“You are never fully dressed without a perfume!” – C. JoyBell C.
Faced with a job loss and a fruitless search for a new one, Moturayo Alex Inwunoba decided to turn her passion for scents into a business. Moturayo had always had an affinity for scents, especially the one her mother wore. Geared up with with nothing but a passion for people and scents, she set out to build a perfume empire with 30,000 Naira in her account.
How it all started:
According to the business entrepreneur, every perfume represents a moment that blooms into a memory. “I particularly loved the perfume my mother used to wear. I can remember scents from years and decades ago. Perfumes are more than just a smell to me, it’s a way to remember someone” she enthuses.
While working in an IT company, Moturayo didn’t know her sense of smell could be turned into a gold mine until the company folded up and a new job was not forthcoming. She had saved some money and decided to invest them in perfumes, this was how the scents store was born.
Her courage to chase her dreams was met with resistance. Some of the people close to her tried to deter her from going down that path as they didn’t see the viability in the business. “Most people I spoke with said they don’t buy perfumes in Nigeria, only when they travel outside the country. Others said it wasn’t a viable business,” she recollects. “Even tougher was the fact that most people who patronized me didn’t get to pay until the end of the month and I was delivering the perfumes all by myself through the width and breadth of Lagos. It was tough.”
Despite the challenges, Moturayo kept pushing through. She got a new job while running her perfume franchise but the delay in salary payments and the lack of creative challenge in the job made her pull out and focus solely on running the scents store. The naysayers tried to deter her again but Moturayo stood steadfast in her choice, “I tell people not to be myopic in their thinking. There are people today who sell nails and use that means to sustain themselves and their families. I don’t believe in being idle, I believe there is enough room in this country for people to succeed. Just find something good to do and work hard and smart.”
Nine years down the line, Moturayo’s business has grown in leaps and bounds, from a business that started out with less than N50,000, the net worth of her business now ranks in tens of millions, and she employs three other people in running the scents store. She attributes her success to passion, consistency, great customer care, and e-commerce platforms like the SME Markethub which has helped to place the business in the minds and faces of more buyers. “Platforms like the SME Markethub make the business easier as customers can now see the goods on a website, order from the comfort of their homes and offices, and best of all we the retailers advertise our goods freely on the platform.”she says.
The scents store is a bonafide success story but Moturayo believes it can only get better. ”We only deliver to 21 states now but we hope to expand to the entire country and even outside of Nigeria. We also hope to expand our staff strength and the range of our products as well.
Drawing from her experience as a typical Nigerian Hustler, Moturayo caps her story up with these words of wisdom.
“Stay consistent. Every business has challenges but you have to keep pressing. Also don’t back out from your dream or business pursuit because there are people already doing it. The sky is big for everyone.”