How have you used new technologies to expand your business?
I can confidently say that 90% of our sales have been made solely through social media specifically Facebook and Instagram. The rest have been through recommendations and maybe the media coverage we receive in the newspapers or on television.
Social media is cheap, majorly free, and effective. Thousands are easily reached and from the thousands, several will make a purchase based on the images, people’s testimonies, stories, and the like. I also have a website.
Moreover, we also use new technologies in manufacturing and bookkeeping. These not only help us manage the business as is, but provide easier, and more efficient grounds for expansion to allow processes to be more streamlined.
How can upcoming or established entrepreneurs use social media differently for the success of their businesses?
Social media is free and good stories spread like a fire. Upcoming or established entrepreneurs can use good, relatable stories that they can share on social media and where possible boost the posts.
Also, constant outpouring of productive information is good for companies. The more and frequently information is out there, the more people are reached, and the easier it is for a possible client to relate with a brand or company. Additionally, there are several groups on social media that could be of benefit to (upcoming) entrepreneurs.
I encourage young companies to join such groups and form reliable social networks. I am a member of several Facebook groups where I regularly share information regarding Livara, post images and any other information I deem necessary. By doing this, I not only gain trust in the industry but it also gives me mileage.
Who inspires you?
I would say, Amancio Ortega. He is the founder of Zara. He is the world’s richest man in Europe, the wealthiest retailer in the world, and a pioneer in fast fashion. He is self-made, highly enterprising and diversified and despite all the wealth, he remains a simple man at heart. I definitely want to be like him when I grow up.
Other than that, I am inspired by the evolution in the field of science and technology. The fact that humans have the brains and means to make a cart, then a bicycle, and continuously improve the innovation to create the recent self-driven electric car inspires me.
The evolution of science and technology inspires me. It proves to me that we are our own limitation, but if we choose to, we are limitless.
When you are not busy thinking about Livara, what else do you enjoy doing, and why?
I enjoy traveling and seeing more of the world, I love learning about new cultures and seeing the way other people do things. I enjoy seeing the different levels of development in different places and understanding why that is. The similarities and differences help me appreciate life the more.
I find and see God in my surroundings and the world at large. For me, traveling is also a form of worship that I cannot live without.
What is your advice to young people who wish to venture into a cosmetics business?
If wishes were horses, we would all fly. So, stop wishing and start doing, but approach systematically. Seek advice from your elders and people who are already successful in a similar or related business.
Also, if you are to join the cosmetics business, do it because you love it not because someone else has succeeded in the business. Our stories and journeys are different, make sure you live and enjoy yours.
Who do you admire the most between Chimamanda Ngozi and Winnie Byanyima (Uganda’s Kizza Besigye’s wife) and why?
This is a difficult choice as they are both very admirable ladies.
Winnie Byanyima and I went to the same secondary school, Mt. St. Mary’s College Namagunga, though in different years. She is proof that a Ugandan woman can go ahead to rise up to the helm of international power and influence.
Chimamanda Ngozi is a September baby, just like me. Hers is a journey purely by her own merit with no political involvement. Hence, she identifies more with the everyday person. I enjoy reading her books, and in a way, I identify with the message in them.
I love how she effortlessly represents the everyday African woman who wants to pursue her dreams despite the cultural norm of following the predetermined education paths set out for us by our parents and families. Did you know that she studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for one and a half years before she left to pursue her dreams? She is also still young, married and has obtained several international prizes for her support of women worldwide, especially the African woman.
I feel that I identify with Chimamanda more than I do with Winnie Byanyima in spite of the fact that both ladies have achieved immensely in different fields.
Where do you see Livara in three years?
I see Livara with branches in major African countries. I see Livara winning prizes and a favorite natural and organic brand for many. Livara will be a force to reckon with in organic cosmetics industry in Africa.
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