Morenike Molehin is the Founder and Creative Director of Oak&Teak, a fast-rising interior design and furniture manufacturing company that specialises in residential and commercial spaces.
Beyond business, she is also the Convener of “The Complete Woman Conference” in RCCG Eagles Nest. Recently, she commenced a free seminar titled Design Through His Eyes to help aspiring interior designers/decorators start and grow their business.
Morenike obtained a first degree in industrial mathematics from Covenant University and a second degree in Financial Mathematics and Computation from the University of Leicester United Kingdom.
A mother of two girls, she is married to Yomi Molehin, her pastor, best friend and mentor.
What problems does your company solve?
We meet the interior design needs of retail and corporate clients. For us every project is a unique project and we strive to exceed the expectations of our clients. Interestingly, we find out that most times we do exceed their expectations.
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture?
While growing up my mum would always decorate and re-decorate our house, unconsciously I picked up interest in interior design. Beyond that she was involved in other business ventures, which made me admire becoming an entrepreneur. After I got married and decorated our home, I started getting commendations from friends and family. This, along with the encouragement from my husband, inspired me to start the business.
What are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
The first I would say is resilience especially as an entrepreneur in Nigeria. The second would be focus because it is important that entrepreneurs need to be clear about what they want to achieve and finally building a motivated team, this is very essential because without the right team, the best of visions can easily crumble.
What mistakes have you made and learned from?
One of my biggest mistakes was trying to do everything by myself. I couldn’t trust anyone to do the job as good as I would, talk less of doing it better. I am learning to trust my team to do a great job and I am accommodative when they make mistakes and use it as an opportunity to coach them. Now I’m no longer overwhelmed and I can focus on very important things for the business. Secondly, I would say not managing the finances well. I couldn’t differentiate between personal and company money. I know better now. Lastly, not having alternative artisans when my core artisans are unavailable. This meant that we couldn’t complete some projects within a scheduled duration.
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
I’ve hardly ever had an idea that I had gave up on. Usually, before I give up on an idea. I do a test run on a small scale to see whether it will be successful or not.
How do you generate new ideas?
I generate ideas through different means. The most important ways through which ideas comes to me is by the help of the Holy Spirit, which is a major for me. I also engage in extensive researching online and through other sources. I also get inspiration from my surroundings.
What is your greatest challenge, and how do you manage it?
Craftsmen. I understand each one and can better handle them differently. We have an understanding, thanks to contracts and terms of conditions.
How do you define success?
At the risk of sounding very simple, I think success happens when I achieve a goal or target that I set. Therefore as far as I am concerned, without goals or targets, success cannot be achieved. It is important for me to stress that the goals and targets must be positive in nature.
How do you go about marketing your business?
Initially, when the business started we relied more on one-o-one engagement with family and friends to promote the business. This helped us to secure a few small projects. After a while we did some media publicity on bella naija which also helped to create some buzz in getting customers. However, our most successful customer generation has been through instagram(@oakandteak) and referrals from satisfied customers.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I enjoy many aspects of being an entrepreneur but the most satisfying will be when I see a big smile on my client’s face and I’m told thank you for a job well-done. Also the money is very satisfying.
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