Oluseyi Abdullahi; The Multi-skilled Founder of Crafties

Quick Facts

Name: Mrs. Oluseyi Afolake Abdullahi

Birthday: She’s born on July 10, close to 60 years and with a wealth of crafting skills. A serial Craftpreneur.

Education: BSc Business Administration, several workshops and courses in different crafts; training by Swarovski and working silver smith

Craft Business: CEO/Founder, Crafties,

General Craft Materials, tools and Books

Carrying a few brands such as Beadalonu;ILoveToCreate, Polyform, Collection D’Art and many more

Crafties stock materials, tools and books on many crafts: Crochet, Cross stitch, Knitting, Embroidery, Fabric Painting, Paper Crafts, Children’s crafts, Jewelry Making, Tapestry, Rugmaking, Felt works, Polymer Clay and more

She started craft business in 2002

Founder, Zilman Jewelry

Convener; The Craft Fest Show

She’s been referred to as a multi-talented crafter, a serial craft entrepreneur, the pioneer Craftpreneur in Nigeria, seasoned Craft Trainer and Consultant. …and Her titles are growing

TCC:

What’s your vision: for self, the circle of your choice of craft business, and the country?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

The aim of Crafties is to ensure that materials/tools and Know-How are available to as many people as possible. We aim to encourage creativity in everyone and through e-commerce reach as many people as possible

TCC

How far are you willing to go to take Crafties, Craft Fest?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

Very Far! We hope to become a regional force

TCC:

What’s your greatest source of encouragement, inspiration/motivation? Did you have any family influence on your choice in the crafts industry?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi

No family influence on my career choice but I enjoyed a lot of family support. The fact that some people come to learn and then use such acquired knowledge to create amazing things continues to inspire me

TCC:

What kind of exposure (within or outside the country) shaped you/your creativity the most?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

As a teenager I spent holiday time in craft shops. I knew after a while that I wanted to have a big craft business

TCC:

Who are your key clients, for the products, services and craft supplies?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

We provide materials and tools for many individuals and Schools

TCC:

Next to yours, what craft companies/businesses do you admire? And perhaps would love/need to collaborate with?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

There are Wool companies asking for an impossible MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity). The one we would really love to work with is Alize based in Turkey.

TCC:

Please share three pieces of advice with an undergraduate who is a potential craftpreneur, underscoring the long term benefit of being an entrepreneur over being an employee.

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

i,  Start small but have someone look over your accounts

ii Maintain a separate account for the business

iii Be prepared to work really hard

TCC:

How best do you think Nigerians can get involved to support the crafts industry for the nation’s economy and eventual benefit of all?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

As many people as possible should find something they love to do, improve on the skills and make strictly beautiful things for sale. That way, unemployment would be banished.

TCC:

How easy (in an ideal situation) or difficult (in the current state of our society) is it to secure investors for a crafts venture? Where or how did/do you raise capital for your own business(es)?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

It is extremely difficult. In my case family and friends came to my rescue

TCC:

Which do you think are the least/most explored kind of crafts in Nigeria at the moment?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

Ceramics/ Pottery

TCC:

How/when best do you generate new ideas? Crafting, craft supplies and craft business

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

On going all the time but I like to have quiet around me

TCC:

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful craftpreneur (especially within or around your own choice of crafts business)?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

Accounting and record keeping skills

Tenacity

Originality

TCC:

Do you have any specific tip(s) on how to get the right people to build a business?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

No. Right now it is very tough,

TCC:

What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage it?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

None

TCC:

What has been your most satisfying moment in your craft business?

Mrs. OA Abdullahi:

Having businesses spring up and seeing the way skills are applied differently to what we teach

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