Founder’s story: Fisayo Balogun
The owner of the eyewear brand Bolajooko talks to us about the business turning 1 and what to expect in the next milestones.
Bolajooko (meaning to sit with wealth in Yoruba, or more accurately, to exude wealth) is an eyewear brand with the ambition to take on the world.
Almost a year ago Fisayo Balogun decided to start an eyewear business with no more than a little seed money. As all entrepreneurs do, she’d observed a need in her environment, Bowen University. She noticed that a lot of her fellow students wear sunglasses, but no one seems to be selling them on campus or not enough competition for such a big audience. Why couldn’t she sell it to them, she wondered, and that’s exactly what she did.
In a 30 minutes phone conversation, I had a chat with Fisayo about Bolajooko, how it got its lift, the challenges, and what’s in the card for the 1 year old enterprise.
I’ve always wanted to start a business, because my mum is a business woman, but the exact kind of business wasn’t clear till last year. To give you a background, in my school, people love sunglasses. Everywhere you turn, there’s someone putting on shades. It’s an accessory you just fall in love with…
VSO: First of all, I’d like to know more about you.
Fisayo: My name is Fisayo Balogun and I attend Bowen University in Osun state. I study Anatomy and I’m in 400L. Also, I’m the founder of Bolajooko.
VSO: So, tell me, why did the name Bolajooko, I’m curious about that.
Fisayo: One of my names is Bolajooko, third name maybe, and it means to sit with wealth in Yoruba.. to exude wealth, and I love that.
VSO: I see why you do, it’s a great name — it really stands out. When did you start the business?
Fisayo: November 28th 2020! I write everything down, so I remember.
VSO: So why this particular business? What pulled you towards eyewear.
Fisayo: I’ve always wanted to start a business, because my mum is a business woman, but the exact kind of business wasn’t clear till last year. To give you a background, in my school, people love sunglasses. Everywhere you turn, there’s someone putting on shades. It’s an accessory you just fall in love with. And I remember one day, my hall rep I think, was like, why don’t you start a sunglasses business and it just clicked, that I could do this. I started with 35,000 seed money, which my mum used in procuring my first batch of glasses from Lagos, and before you know it, I was in business!
There was also a time that I didn’t make any sales for like 3 weeks and I was kind of sad about it. I talked to my mum who is my business mentor, and prayed about it. Definitely having someone to talk to about a business up and downs is a great thing.
VSO: What has been the challenges so far, running your business?
Fisayo: Hmm, I think I invested the profit from the first batch of sales I had in Crypto..
VSO: Oh my that could either be a disaster or something great!
Fisayo: (laughs), it wasn’t much of a disaster. But, I didn’t have enough capital to get my next batch of products, but I’m lucky because like I said, my mum is an entrepreneur as well and she came to the rescue. But I definitely learnt not to put all my eggs into one basket after that.
There was also a time that I didn’t make any sales for like 3 weeks and I was kind of sad about it. I talked ton my mum who is my business mentor, and prayed about it. Definitely having someone to talk to about a business up and downs is a great thing.
VSO: Yeah, I bet. How did you find vendors.so and how have you been using it for your business?
Fisayo: I found it through a friend. She posted her store on a Whatsapp group and I was like, that’s exactly the kind of tool I’ve been looking for! And since then I’ve been using it to catalog my products telling customers to check out the products and tell me what they want.
VSO: So now that you’re 1 year, what’s in the cards for Bolajooko? What plans do you have for the business in the future.
Fisayo: I definitely want to sell more things! I want Bolajooko to be a big retail store with other products such as jewelries, packaging, just more things. This definitely just the beginning.
We believe that, it’s definitely the beginning for Fisayo as an entrepreneur and Bolajooko as a business. To shop Bolajooko eyewear, visit the store at https://vendors.so/s/bolajooko
Story written by: Busayo Oyewole