Nwamaka…making fabulous beads
NWAMAKA Juliet Ihunwo, the creative director of Eljul Beads, Omole Phase 2, Lagos, loves to beautify people and this is evident in her work.
After completing her compulsory one-year national service, The Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, mass communication graduate ventured into the buying and selling of fashion accessories and children’s clothes, while waiting to secure a white collar job. But when all hopes of getting her dream job failed, she began to make beads for herself, friends and family members.
Reminiscing on how it all started, she says: “I learnt how to make beads from the Internet and from a good friend of mine, but circumstances actually led me to put what I had learned into practice.
“It all started when my good friend wanted to buy beaded jewelry for her cousin and I introduced her to my neighbour, who does beads. My neighbour made the beads for N7, 000 and I was so angry because the design wasn’t worth the price. I then said to myself, I could do better if I try,” she explains.
So, next day, Nwamaka went to the market, got the materials and began to put all what she had learnt through the Internet and from her friend into practice.
“After getting the materials, I went ahead to make the beads for my friend’s cousin. Though it wasn’t as simple as I thought, but it was really beautiful after I finished it. She wore it to church, took pictures and posted them on her Facebook. When her friends saw the pictures, they requested that I design for them and that was it.
“As time went on, learning and improvement came with every necklace and earring I made. I also went a step further by adding semi precious stones, which made them look unique,” she recalls.
Since going professionally over a year, Nwamaka says that her clients within and outside the country have increased beyond what she had imagined and she is happy to have taken the decision of going into bead making in the first place.
On the state of market for beads, she says, “it is flooded with all kinds of beaded jewelries. There’s a lot of competition and the key to be ahead of others is to be creative and bring out unique designs that would make one the desired choice.”
Explaining the nature of the business, Nwamaka notes that bead jewelry making is one of the easiest businesses any entrepreneur with little capital and a lot of creativity can venture into.
“Anyone can make bead jewelries. All you need are a few simple tools and a little creativity. In today’s internet-based world, you really don’t need any formal training to start making beautiful pieces of bead jewelries. There are hundreds of resources online that can get you started in this venture in less than 30 minutes.
On the future of the business, she explains: “Bead jewelry will definitely go far more than you and I think, because as the years go by, new designs and patterns are coming up. The beads business is thriving and it has come to stay.”