Ibukun Martins is the real definition of “circumstances don’t define who you are.” She found her passion while in school and turned it into a successful business.
She is an athlete, engineer and also the founder of FitandPro Gears. If you’re looking for some inspiration this week, read her story.
What ignited the spark to start FitandPro Gears?
It was getting closer to the end of the school year, and I had that relief that I was finally leaving school. Sadly, I got an extra year at the university I felt bad because this meant Ibukun wasn’t graduating with her mates! For a second, I thought of my future plans and asked myself, “Is this it?” The whole situation may have gotten to me but I made sure I didn’t dwell on it.
I had so much free time because I wasn’t taking as many courses. I would go to the sports centre to relax and watch people doing all types of exercise. The frequent visit, soon got me interested. So, I started. Sports and fitness activities became a lifestyle for me! Sometimes, you never know where you’ll find your passion.
After months of enjoying my fitness journey, I noticed something. All the sports and fitness enthusiasts had a common problem. They couldn’t get good quality gym wear at an affordable price. I saw the problem and decided to fill in that gap. That was the silver lining for me!
What business challenges have you faced and how have those challenges shaped your mindset?
Businesses go through highs and lows and that’s something I’ve come to acknowledge. The important lesson is, “don’t dwell on the lows for too long!” One challenge I face sometimes is low sales. When I experience this, I take some time to reflect and think of possible ideas to make things better.
I start by reaching out to our customers to give feedback on the products and how they can be improved. I note and discontinue products that haven’t done well. This changes the way I approach many aspects of my business. I go back to the drawing board and restrategize!
One thing, I, Ibukun Martins is proud of is product improvement. I’ve been able to create better fitness gears due to customer reviews. This has led FitandPro Gears to gain partnerships in sports and fitness-related fields.
What is the heart of your business?
My customers are the heart of my business, every positive comment or feedback they share pushes me to work harder. I feel I’m getting closer to my dream, the bigger picture which is to be the biggest sports and fitness brand in Africa. I know it’s not impossible!
Also, seeing the impact and growth of the business and how far it has come gives me joy. Overall I would say, being passionate about sports and fitness got me here! A “not so good experience” turned into favour!
What have you learned so far from running this business?
A lot! I’m going to drop them all because I believe my fellow sisters in the entrepreneurship game will be reading this.
- Believe in yourself!
- Have a vision to always remind you why you started.
- Always track your growth and improvements.
- Face your fears! To build a successful business, you must take risks.
Ibukun is a participant in the High Growth Coaching Program 2020. Catch up on her business journey on Instagram.