•How She Created Her 0303 Luxe Empire
In this interview with City People’s Contributing Editor, Oyinlola Sale, Adelola Akinyele Omobolanle, the CEO of 0303 Luxe Empire tells us the story of her journey into the Hair Industry.
What is the story behind the Creation of the 0303 Luxe Empire?
As an enthusiast, I’ve always aimed high. I always choose to pick what I presume to be the toughest. I worked in the banking sector for 7years and just before I left I said to myself – building a career isn’t enough any longer, how about I venture into a business. Then I wasn’t sure of which to go for, I did a lot of brainstorming and came up with a number of ideas which I reduced to 3.
The first was fashion design. Nowadays, you don’t need to be a trained stylist to be in the fashion line because I had a halfway training in fashion designing. I thought of importing clothes or getting a stylist to work for me while I do creative designs. I questioned myself how much do I know about that? and the answer was not much.
Then option 2 was selling of deodorants and perfumes I did that for a while and said this isn’t it, the flare wasn’t there as at the time my husband travelled out of the country a lot so he’d buy the fragrances direct for me.
The third option was the hair business. A friend tried talking me out of it, she mentioned some prominent names in the industry with all of that she feared I wouldn’t be able to sustain it as competitors are high but what drove me was the fact that this is genuinely what I love to do. I’ve always been a fan of hair, a chunk of my salary went into these a lot then. I’ve tried a lot of vendors to be sincere, not all were disappointing but I would see people complain a lot about these vendors. I took it upon myself to clear this notion.
Compare and Contrast the Hair Industry in Nigeria, what has changed?
Wow there’s a huge difference between the hair industry of then and now. The hair industry was dominated by the likes of expressions and the hair extensions not everyone could afford, the real human hair then but now hair vendors are everywhere making competition high which automatically reduced the hike in prices of these products.
What does it take to set up a hair business-like 0303 Luxe Empire, Is it Capital Intensive?
Highly Capital intensive!!!! The hair business is capital intensive but the good thing is you can start where you are. There are grades to these hairs. The most important thing in the business is growth.
In the hair industry, many have complained about the infiltration of fake products, what can be done to reduce it in the market?
Like I mentioned earlier, there are so many complaints on hair vendors but what I think could eradicate this is vendors being sincere. The most important thing in business isn’t about instant gain but sustainability. How long do you want to be here for? When you have that drive, then all things will be easy and let’s not ignore the fact that some of these substandard goods are not even from the vendors here but rather from suppliers outside the country but if you have a drive you’ll definitely carefully select the best supplier to work with.
How did you manage to finance this business in its early days?
I started from what I could afford and I tried pre-ordering, getting people to trust me enough to spare their cash to pre-order.
What were some of your biggest fears, when you started 0303 Luxe Empire?
My biggest fear when I started and up until now is customer complaints. To be sincere, I was never afraid of losing customers but I was more afraid of the reputation of the brand I left in them
So, What are some of the challenges you face in running this business?
Some major challenges are delivery hiccups and unstable dollar rates.