Nigeria: How Online Jewelry Merchant Becomes Most Influential Young Leader in Nigeria

Business comes to her naturally. She does not struggle to keep balance between family and business because multi-tasking is on auto-pilot in her business brain. Aisha Ochuwa-Tella is her name.

A lawyer turned online Jewelry Merchant. She founded online jewellery brand, Everything Beautiful by Aisha Ochuwa, EBAO, which only sold on Instagram. But today, Everything Beautiful is not only online but also on brick and mortar shops scattered all over Nigeria.

At the age of eight, Ochuwa-Tella made her first thousand naira from selling neatly knitted caps, purses, school bags, table, and chair mats to her relatives and neighbours. This feat did not only define her business future, but also created in her the feeling that given the right push, any youth could just blossom in every field of choice and thereby help in transforming his or her generation.

That dream is what Ochuwa-Tella appears to be living now, having mentored many youths and propped up many aspiring business entrepreneurs.

In return, Ochuwa’s works are standing her out and accolades are pouring in. The irony is that she is now even more recognised as an influential young leader than a growing entrepreneur. Recently, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Lagos chapter, selected her for NANS LAGOS Mentorship Award.

Chairman of NANS Lagos, Comrade, Olusesi Tolulope said the award was for her good mentorship and the entrepreneurial legacy she has introduced to Nigerian Students in Lagos State.

He said: “Barr. Aisha is a supportive mother who has been supporting us since the commencement of this administration. While she recently launched her inspiring book, ‘A guideline to online Jewelries business’, she also made it accessible to the student populace in Lagos through NANS.

“She is our Matron, our mother and our Mentor. She has brought gender balance to mentorship for the students, and her success story is a motivation to the over 41 million students in Lagos. I can only congratulate her and pray she continues to believe in us.”

Before then, Ochuwa-Tella was also selected by the Pan African Youth Leadership Foundation, as one of the 100 most influential young leaders in Nigeria.

Presenting the certificate, Chairman governing council of the Foundation, Prince Ebrahim Sanyang, said her inspiring business story, mentorship programmes and philanthropy stood her out to be counted.

Ochuwa’s Everything Beautiful recently moved from merchandising on affordable luxury jewellery to actually luxurious jewelries.

She spoke to Hi-Tech on the transition and the technology behind her successes in jewelry merchandising.

Why the transition

For over four years, the brand was centered on the production and sale of stainless steel jewellery which we commonly refer to as affordable luxury. Over the years and as our clientele grew, customers began to demand for actually luxurious jewellery.

It will surprise you to know that quite a number of people purchase pure gold and diamonds. Some see it as an investment while others see it as the show of luxury. Why buy steel when you can afford actual gold. This was the fuel behind the new venture.

Economic implications

Well, you will be surprised that a lot of people consider buying luxury jewellery a means to save money. The value of pure gold and diamonds never depreciates, it appreciates. The price of gold now is more than 40 per cent higher than it was in December 2021. Buying luxury jewellery will give more value than putting money away without use.

Balance between business and home fronts

Balance has always been my watch word. Business conduction is something that comes to me naturally. I never struggle with it. Even when Challenges arise, I see them as an opportunity for fast growth. For my household, that’s not something i consider an option. I treat my responsibilities as a wife and mother with the same level of importance as I treat my businesses.

Yes I am a lawyer, I am learned. This aspect somehow finds its way into all areas of my life. Being learned has brought about discipline and great work ethics which play out in both my business and how I conduct myself in my household.

Impact of leadership honours

Being selected as one of the 100 most influential young leaders in Nigeria simply made me realise that people are watching at every point and mediocrity is not an option. Every effort and business transaction has to be the best or nothing. It serves as a strong driving force in my advancement and self improvement. After this selection, my next step was to implement strong measures for internal restructuring which have been playing out positively.

Are business women pushing the men counterparts?

Women are taking up roles in the society. It is not just a phrase, it’s a movement. Gone are the days when women stayed back and accepted everything thrown at them, in whatever form they came. This new generation of women understand their strength and are ready to go after all they deserve. I wouldn’t say women are going for everything men are. All that is playing out is the enforcement of equal rights and opportunities. Women are simply showing themselves worthy of all the accolades.

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