If you know me well, then you know that I absolutely love shoes, and if you’re much much closer to me, then you’d know that the only thing I love more than shoes are beautiful, affordable shoes. I mean, who doesn’t right? Today’s Youngpreneur is an amazing, driven and determined young lady who has done and keeps doing everything within her power for her business, to make sure we get beautiful luxury shoes at a token! Without further ado, let’s allow Debbie Ayewoh share her entrepreneurial journey with TPH.
I hope you’ve had a blissful week? I did for sure! Oh, and you might want to stick around, there’s a little giveaway somewhere in this post.
A: Hi! Can you please introduce yourself?
D: Hi. My name is Debbie Ayewoh. Creative director of @slydesbywarri
A: Hi Debbie, It’s wonderful doing this with you! please tell us a bit about your brand/business?
D: SLYDESBYWARRI is a brand that is focused on creating masterpieces simply for the feet. All are handcrafted. Most have medical benefits. The brand is keen on bringing luxury at a token to the masses.
A: Luxury at a token is just what I love to hear! That’s amazing. So, what would you say fuelled the passion for your footwear brand, and what was the motive behind the creation of the name “Slydesbywarri”?
D: In one word “DETERMINATION “. I started this business after many failed attempts. I used to do radio. I had crazy passion for the OAP life. At the same time, I sold hair, I did a lot of events, I sold accessories, cars, lol. Name it. At some point I was really determined to do something as I was about to graduate from the university. Everything I tried failed at some point. I remember very well it was a Sunday morning, everyone had gone to church. I was just at home trying to think about my life and all that. Then an idea struck. I did make bags, jotters, journals, notebooks, shoes with ankara fabric then and I did them for free. That day the thought popped. There and then I prayed. I asked God for a clearer picture. Like a joke, I woke up. The name SLYDESBYWARRI came from nowhere. I told my friends about it. The support online and offline was crazy! I officially launched this business August 15th, 2018. I was excited. I started this business with less than 15k. And look how far God has brought me in a space of 8 months.
A: Oh wow. Such an inspiring story, and you’re such a determined young woman. I think I speak for everybody when I say you’ve done amazingly well for yourself so far, welldone. How prepared were you to go into this business on a scale of 1-10?
D: if there was an option of 100% I would choose it. I was really ready.
A: Okay girl!!! I might start including that option now. Lol. Action they say cures fear, and we see that you’ve taken a leap of faith and action by successfully creating your brand. However, you must have had some fears at the initial stages of running the business. What were these fears?
D: Like I said a whole lot of people knew me because of events. I got my audience majorly during the 2015 MTV base search, that was the face and occupation people fixed to my name. I was all about media. Switching to a very diverse range was a whole lot. They don’t relate in any way . It was hard a bit. But a girl’s gotta do the needful. Lol
A: A girl’s got to do the needful because these bills won’t pay themselves, right? How has it been since then? Easier or Difficult?
D: it’s a process. I’m grateful for the process.
A: Love that response. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced since you started, and how have you been able to scale through?
D: A lot. Lol. Ranging from rude customers, some silly mistakes I make, stress, losing stuffs during deliveries. I can go on. It’s a lot. Truth is when all these happen I’m very calm about it. Yes I cry, yes I get really down, but after breaking down and all that, I commune with God.. Running a business without any spiritual intervention will just make you run mad. You need to hold on to something spiritually. Notwithstanding I have an extremely supportive man and an extremely supportive family.
A: I’m so impressed with your responses, and I totally agree with the fact you need something to hold on to even in life generally. With the number of footwear brands I see everyday on Instagram, I can confidently say that the footwear market is getting very saturated. Now, how do you ensure that your brand stands out and remain in the minds of your customers?
D: Very true. You see, I believe your customers will always come for you. They’ll find you. The competition is really tough. I have a dream, that is my brand being universal. Whether baby steps or race. I’ll get there. It’s a process after all.
A: ‘Baby steps or race’.. Okay that bit got me in stitches but just know we’re rooting you whether it’s by race or otherwise. Lol! It’s no news that a lot of entrepreneurs have really harnessed the power of social media in pushing their brands and businesses. In your opinion, what are some of the methods you’d suggest for business owners to adopt in advertising their brand and products on social media?
D: Instagram, and Instagram comes with a lot. Understand your audience. This is critical no matter what marketing you produce. …
•Talk with them, not at them
•Use relevant hashtags
• Know when to post
• Create beautiful visuals
• Add Calls-to-action
•Work with influencers
I get most of my customers from Instagram and then referrals.
A: I can categorically say that these are legit tips, so that your content is met with a wider audience and potential leads. Do you work alone or do you have people working with you?
D: No I don’t. Behind the scene there’s so much work put into this. I have two workers. They’re both shoemakers and again I have a very supportive man.
A: Amazing. What steps have you taken, or do you plan to take to build and project your brand in the nearest future?
D: I’ll say, watch and see
A: Keeping us on our toes, love it! We’ll watch and see. What would you say is the secret for growing and maintaining a business in your experience?
D: Create something of real value
Improve the lives of others
Be authentic and transparent
Focus on positivity
Follow the 80-20 Rule
The 80-20 Rule states that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the efforts. In sales, this means that 80 percent of the sales come from 20 percent of the customers. It also means that, within the 20 percent of efforts, another 80-20 Rule applies. That translates to a very small amount of efforts leading to a very large amount of results.
A: Thank you for the tip on the 80-20 rule. Definitely makes a lot of sense, and I’m sure we’ve all learned something new today. How do you stay inspired?
D:I reflect daily. I keep learning. Everyday I’m thinking of a strategy.
A: Reflection, very important. What is your golden rule when dealing with customers?
D: Do unto your customers as you want to be treated when you are a customer
A: Well, you officially got a round of applause from me. That is definitely a golden rule. I see that you have recently introduced some new beauties to the mix, and girl to girl the new collection is fire! So tell me, what inspired the new collection?
D: (smiling) Thank you. The new collection is just a reflection of myself. I love being responsible. I love cashing out. I love owning my own money. The collection just states you can be whoever you want to. You’re your own boss.
A: I can definitely envision myself securing the bag in one those beauties. There’s a boss lady vibe to it. Ladies (and gents) you better get here! Apart from being a boss, What else do you do?
D: I do a lot of media consulting. I channel all these to my business
A: Very impressive. How do you blow off steam when you’re not working?
D: I hangout with my friends and for every hangout, I turn it to a photoshoot for my brand. Lol
A: I mean, if you’re not passionate about your brand who will? Right? What 5 things can you NOT do without in a day?
D:My phone, My charger, Reaching out to my loved ones, Water, and overall God.
A: Lovely list, so any words of wisdom to potential Youngpreneurs?
D: To the new entrepreneur: persevere. Stay focused. Don’t take no for an answer. Never be too proud to learn from anyone. Try and fail and try again. Create habits; process is the foundation of success. Remember the reasons you do what you do. Be resilient, learn from your mistakes. Being an entrepreneur requires a 100% commitment, so be sure you choose something that moves your heart, something you simply cannot, not do. Entrepreneurs don’t embark lightly. My recommendation is trust your gut, and make them quickly. With the information available, make the best choice you see and move on. Trust those with whom you surround yourself. They will serve you well and the benefits will multiply endlessly.
Network, Network and never give up
A: Thank you Deborah! Stay creative.
There’s a whole lot that goes on behind the scenes in a business for it to come out as the successful business you know it as. A lot of sacrifices, sweat, tears, perseverance, fears, you name it and that is why here at TPH, we make sure to bring you these stories from the horse’s mouth and to inspire to go for it, whatever your ‘it’ is. Don’t be limited by fear and doubt, it won’t be so easy because there’s a lot of hard and smart work involved, but I’ll let you know that even though you feel like you can’t, you can and you will. Go for it!
To keep up with Debbie and her brand on social media, as well as snag yourself some of these amazing shoes, you can follow their page on Instagram; @slydesbywarri
Giveaway time, Yay!
Debbie has been really kind enough to give TPH a discount code, so for every reader of the blog who wants to get a shoe, mules or a slide, all you need to do is use the discount code Phub234sbw
*inserts dance* Talk about an Easter Miracle! Thank you Debbie!