Buky Akinmboni had no intention of becoming an entrepreneur. She had a good job with one of the largest advertising agencies in West Africa and earned a decent salary. But life had other plans as she and her friend, Bolaji Fasanya decided to start a business in an industry that barely existed in the Nigerian marketplace. These female entrepreneurs defied all odds to prove that nothing is unachievable.
After convincing themselves that the idea was worth a shot, they started their company in 2015 and named it Scentify. These ladies, now in their late 30s, chose the complete unconventional roads, never played by the book and did everything contrary to what business experts and schools of thought would advise. No business plan, no market research and they created a product before identifying a market. All they had was passion and the willpower to succeed.
Read the full interview HERE
Of course, the odds were stacked against them. Buky went on to quit her day job to give the business all the attention it required. And today, the brand is gaining cross-border traction and has become one of the leaders in its category.
In this interview with Business Elites Africa, Buky elaborates on all the battles they had to fight and the price they paid to stay in business. She also admits they made lots of mistakes that other entrepreneurs can learn from.
How the journey began
BEA: Of all businesses, why scented candles?
Buky: Let me give you a bit of our background. Bolaji and I have a background in advertising, communication and marketing. So we’ve tried to do business together in that field but nothing really took off. And then one day, Bolaji calls me and says, ‘Buky, what do you think about scented candles as a business?’ I was, like where is that coming from? All this while, we had only experimented with service-based businesses, and none worked out. I couldn’t wrap my head around a production-based business…