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My mother built an empire with $3 and it inspires me do what I do
When I was a kid growing up in Nigeria, my mother started a Business with less than $3 (650 NGN). She started by learning how to sew and then worked as a tailor for a few years. After that, she expanded her small tailoring business and started selling Fabrics. She went further to establish a fashion apprenticeship centre to train other women to become fashion designers. From $3, she grew her Business to multiple states in Nigeria, exported her designs to people in Europe and North America and trained and funded more than 100 women. She worked very hard and inspired my interest in the fashion and entertainment industry.
When to say no
My mother taught me many invaluable lessons. From her, I learned the value of hard work, consistency, diligence, and prudence. I learned that for a business to grow, the founder must follow a route that other businesses do not follow. While watching her in one of her stores, I remember how she was able to bargain and win contracts. This taught me the value of negotiation and gave me to confidence to ask for more and also decline offers that don’t advance my goals or that of my Business. In her stores, she combined small add-ons to her main products to add value for customers and thus win more businesses. My mother was a strong, powerful and independent woman and I am who I am today because of her.
How to learn from failure
In 2016, I started playing with the idea of building a platform to help couples invite guests to their wedding and went on to build an MVP over the 2016 Christmas break. Through research and the State of Nigerian Weddings Survey that I led, I learned that the original idea was not suitable for the market. So, Lush Plans was born.
What is Lush Plans
Lush Plans is a platform that allows couples and event planners to plan a wedding with the push of a button using the formula:
Budget + wedding info = wedding package.
For couples and their parents that are planning a wedding, this is a very simple formula and it saves them a lot of time and money and prevents disappointments on their special day. Behind the scene, on our end, a lot of work goes into generating each and every wedding package. Each step in the process is intentionally designed with the goal of transforming the stress of wedding planning to fulfillment, which is our mission at Lush Plans. Before a vendor joins the Lush Plans platform, we use data and machine learning to validate them. We also know their rank in relation to the > 20k Nigerian vendors that we know. We also understand what people are saying about them and their cumulative Lush Taps, Lush Feels and Lush Weddings (These are labels for some factors that we measure and use to rank vendors). These and a couple’s preferences enable us to recommend the best vendor for any Nigerian wedding and ensure that a couple’s special day is truly special for them.
Building a Movement
It is sometimes scary to be the Founder of something like Lush Plans and to imagine what it will become. My mother, however, taught me to pursue excellence, to be kind to people and to love what I do. These values are what Lush Plans is built on and they make us different. Every day, I am inspired by the team and I am looking forward to seeing what they build. I truly believe that the wedding industry is exciting and that we have the power to make a difference in the space. Lush Plans is part of an upcoming entertainment movement that will add value to every aspect of the entertainment space in Africa and the world and I can’t wait to see how this unfolds. I always say that we are not building a company. We are, instead, building a movement but starting first with weddings. Want to be part of this movement? Check out the solid team behind Lush Plans and read some of our thoughts in the Lush Plans blog. We are looking for Developers, Designers, and Salespeople, so join our team.