Dupe Adeniran is the Publisher of Wedding Planner Magazine which she has published for the past 12 years. In this interview with City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE this adorable lady talks about her survival secrets in publishing.
How has it been running wedding planner?
Mixed feelings more like it. I have had several moments in the last 12 years of publishing. I have had my high moments and very low moments, I have made money and I have lost money. But in all, it has been a pretty fulfilling journey. Fulfilling because every published edition is a reminder of how far we have come, what we could have done differently and what more to be done.
What are the challenges you’ve faced since inception 20 years ago?
Unlike many other publishers, I had it pretty easy when I started publishing 12 years ago! Wedding Planner was accepted spirit, soul and body from day one and it was pretty easy to get things done. But I guess our biggest challenge was getting a good printer here in Nigeria. Despite having all the funds required and printing with the biggest printers here in Nigeria, we had printing disasters. From delays, to bad prints, to pages ripping out. That period was painful. We would do so much to put the content and all together, spend millions of naira printing and my heart would bleed when it came out from the press. We found solutions to that in our 7th year and that became a thing of the past. We started printing in Dubai but today, exchange rates make that impossible and that is our biggest challenge right now. But, we are beginning to demand better prints from Nigerian printers now.
What made you go into that line of business?
I simply wanted wedding planning answers… For myself. It was the same thing I did when I needed to be a better lady. I started asking what can I do to get a flawless skin, flawless face, flatter tommy? And that gave birth to my very first stage in life, “the Beauty Health and fashion show, (television) That was 20 years ago. I produced and presented the programme myself for 7 years. Right after I felt I had interviewed all the top designers and beauty expert in Nigeria then, I started asking what next?
I knew I wanted to be married somedays so again, I started asking where do I find my dress, make up, my rings, who will do my decor ? Etc. At this time, we probably had 2 to 3 dress retailers, maybe not more than 3 make up artist that were slightly focused on weddings, another 2 to 5 event planners in all. We had very few wedding venues, but we started with time.
Because all I knew was TV then, I started wedding planner on TV and it ran for one full year. By the first year anniversary of the TV show, the magazine version was born. So all I did was find answers for myself and millions of people also got answers.
What is the state of the Wedding business in Nigeria today?
To answer that simply I would say it is evolving. But I know it is beyond evolving if I am permitted to add the word “beyond”. The Nigerian wedding industry is largely dominated by large number of small to medium scale entrepreneurs that have over the years grown the industry into a multi – billion naira industry. Today’s wedding vendor is not joking. Wedding planners and decorators have gone gaga. And it doesn’t stop there, wedding menu, drinks, cocktails and all have taking new dimensions and everyone is constantly at one conference, seminar, training, exhibition within and outside Nigeria learning and taking their businesses to the next level.
The wedding industry is the one industry that has prove to be a platform for young people to showcase their entrepreneurial and creative capabilities and there is no limit to how far we are willing to go.
What are the changes in the industry and what’s your advice on moving forward?
For 13 years now, I have seen people come and go, I have seen business grow and some die, I have seen some tired business. We, as the publishers of the industry magazine, have also had our fair share of sleeping for a while and waking up. Having said that, some brands remain strong against all odds and I am super proud of them. Yes, there is a little shake up, some new entrants giving the old hand a run for their money but the older brands are most definitely not giving in. So way forward? Keep evolving. Go grand or go Home.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you have been able to realize your dream in life?
I have never known how to describe myself but Dupe is married with 3 absolutely fun kids who rock my world. Duupe is very complicated in the head but simple on the outside. She is an over thinker and very perceptive. Sometimes I think I am so differently wired and no one can understand me but my 5 amazing sisters who we kind of think alike, help me to “belong” somehow with them.
Because I am perceptive, I am able to see things many don’t see and I am able to create and recreate things. And NO!!! I am so far from achieving my dreams in life. I have only just started and wedding planner is just a start God willing.
What will you call the secret of your success and how have you coped with the competition?
Like I said earlier, I do not consider myself a success yet but I am eternally grateful that God placed wedding planner in my hands and many life’s have been blessed by it and many business started just by flipping the magazine. Yes, wedding planner is a successful magazine, I cannot throw that away.
On competition, that is something even I cannot explain. Over 10 wedding magazines came after wedding planner but today we remain the only one on the street. All I did was focus as no one did anything differently. Every magazine wanted to be like wedding planner magazine from cover to back, there was no need fighting that. That was already speaking volume on its own. It did not make me reduce my advert rate nor run a promo, i stood my ground because i knew we had depth. Competition today is online and social media, I am still standing my ground. I am yet to see a full blown wedding blog, it’s still all copy and paste. That to me is not blogging. And as long as international wedding magazine is still printing, we will continue to do the same