How did we select them?
We asked female entrepreneurs to tell us what a business registration will do for their businesses and had Odunayo Eweniyi (of Piggyvest) select 5 winners.
In today’s episode of Norebased, we sit down with one of the winners of the IWD Giveaway, Barakat Olatinwo (Creative director of Tiwarewa), to talk about your workspace and productivity.
Tell me about yourself.
My name is Barakat Olatinwo. I am a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University. I currently work as the growth and marketing lead at Lazerpay while running my Tiwarewa on the side.
I’m curious as to which came first. Tiwarewa or your career in tech?
I’ll say my career came first by chance. I’ve always been in the tech space right from school. I studied Computer Engineering, so I had quite some access to many resources, including talks from startup founders. As a result, I was interested in having a career in tech; but I didn’t want to code, so I took up digital marketing, grew my skills, and transitioned to growth marketing.
When did Tiwarewa get into the mix?
In 2020, at the peak of the lockdown.
Interesting! What Inspired this?
I’ve always loved Interior Decor. Then during the first lockdown in 2020, people began working from home, so I noticed a need for comfort, especially with home workspaces. Tiwarewa was borne as a solution to this.
Wow! How did you start?
I rounded up my NYSC in 2020, and because I was working while serving, I was able to save my allawee until I was done. This made up the capital I used to start Tiwarewa.
“Tiwarewa” is an interesting name. Any story behind your choice?
I think it’s here I mention that I had the name of my business before the idea.
Ah! It’s giving Norebase “Trademark” material.
LOL. Tiwarewa is Yoruba for “ours is beautiful”. I’ve always had the name in mind right from my University days. I always wanted to start a business back then, but my parents were opposed to the idea; they believed I should focus on graduating with good grades. I just had the name without the idea or the structure. So at the slightest opportunity to use the name, I took it and started the Tiwarewa brand.
Do you currently have a team?
Yes, I do. Internally, I have a small team of myself and the social media manager who handles the brand’s pages. I also work with a logistics company to manage deliveries.
What challenges does your business currently face?
The major challenge, for now, is logistics. Most of the items I sell are imported, so I have to look for the right shipping companies. I also have to pay the shipping rates in dollars, and we all know how discouraging the exchange rate is. Another problem I’m trying to solve is building a business structure that can support itself. There could be blurred lines between my personal cash and business revenue, especially when I have to sort some financial needs from my pocket.
What sets your brand apart from your competition? One thing people always get from the Tiwarewa brand.
I try my best to ensure that people always have a reason to keep coming back while recommending the business to their contacts. To ensure this, I take my time to specially curate the items I stock. In addition, I look for suppliers that sell items that are not very common. So Tiwarewa items are unique. Customer satisfaction also stays on top of our goals.
Eh, let’s just say competitive pricing because we all know what the economy is like. So we are literally trying our best.
LOL. Fair enough. Where do you see Tiwarewa in 5 years?
I’d want to have a physical store specifically for showcasing what we stock. Because our items are for interior decor, customers would like to see or have a feel of how the pieces will occupy their space. Currently, we depend solely on pictures, and clients just trust, buy, and eventually get satisfied with their purchase when they get installed. So I’m looking to own 1 or 2 walk-in stores. Also, my long-term goal is to find a way to infuse tech into Tiwarewa.
Awesome! What African country will you like to expand to?
I’ll say Ghana.
Alright, Chale, Any specific reason?
Not really. Based on my research, the products I stock tend to do well in the Ghanaian market. So I’ll start here and consider other countries eventually.
You can register your company in Ghana on www.norebase.com whenever you’re ready to
Definitely! I will.
What are three things you want people to know about your brand and beliefs?
- Tiwarewa is a brand that stocks items used in interior decor to drive comfort and productivity in your homes and offices, respectively. We take pride in customer satisfaction, so our pieces are tailored to your needs.
- Many people need to take cognizance of their environment because you still come back home needing to relax at the end of a long and tiring day. When your space is free of clutter, it enables you to rest and think, which begs the need for people to invest in their homes and workspaces.
- To fellow entrepreneurs, I’ll say I don’t think the journey gets easier, but the best thing to do is have a team of people who share your dreams and vision as an entrepreneur so your business can survive without you. You don’t have to spend every waking hour stressing about your brand because you know that you have a team that can be there for and grows the brand.
What will a business registration do for your brand?
I believe it’s the first step to establishing my business. Also, with Tiwarewa having its bank account, I can properly separate personal finance from my business finance. Finally, it will help fast-track building a structure for the brand.
Interesting! Any questions for Norebase or me?
How long does it take to complete a business name registration on Norebase?
After filling the application on www.norebase.com, we begin processing your application, And it typically takes between 3-5 days to get your registration documents sent to you.
Finally, how can I patronize the Tiwarewa brand?
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