•London Returnee, JOY ADESANYA
If you talk about beauty and brain, Joy Adesanya qualifies for the description. Miss JoyAdesanya, a delectable, dark-complexion London returnee is the CEO of SshhhLingerie Boutique Ltd.
Sshhh Boutique Ltd has its first
In an exclusive interview with TESSY MOORE, this hardworking elegant Miss Adesanya talked about her sojourn in London, career and why she delved into selling female undies. Excerpts:
Why the name Sshhh?
Sshhh means discreet, keep quiet and it explains the ethical part of woman’s underwear. It is something you don’t show to everybody. Your undies is something women normally keep quiet about and that is why I came up with the concept of Sshhh Lingerie Boutique, which means keep quiet. Women’s underwear is not something openly we talk about in public. It is not an external wear. It is an inner wear and it is discreet because it is under other clothes you wear and a secret because nobody knows what you have got underneath your clothing. So, we sell products that are underneath your clothing.
I have been curious,are you related to the late popular Abraham Adesanya?
I don’t know. I will need to ask my Dad because I know that we are from the big Adesanyas family in Lagos, but I can’t explain the connection. We left Lagos when I was 2 years old and I have been out of the country for 28 years, so I don’t really know that side of the family because we are not that connected but I know we are from the popular Adesanya’s family, just don’t know who is who.
What was growing uplike?
I was born in Nigeria and I left when I was two years old. We grew up in London. I have been there for 28 years. Growing up in the U.K was interesting because I was dark skinned and a Nigerian and for this, I was bullied in school by the Caribbean and white kids. They didn’t see Nigeria as anything great and that was more of the reason I wanted to come back to change the impression of people about us over there. Because what electronic media over there show us over there when we watch the TV are helpless kids with flies all over their heads. People living in mud huts. We never saw the Nigeria that I am seeing today and that stigma stuck. When those white boys see a Nigerian, they regard themas monkey living on tree. The bullying was predominantly for Nigerians. Every Nigerian who grew up in the U.K would have received his/her share of it. But now, it is different and cool to be a Nigerian because of people like Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa etc, who are changing the narrative, but then we didn’t have anyone to look up to or pave way for us. So, it was pretty difficult growing up. I didn’t really know where to fit in and my parents are pastors. There was so much pressure to live like a Pastor’s daughter, perfect and walk in a certain light, so I was always under the pressure to conform to what people thought I should and not I really who I’m. As I grew up, I realised that it was more important to be true to myself than true to other people’s expectations.
What were you doing in London?
In London, I was working in a Public Relations Organisation and I got bored of working there, I wanted something different and I decided to relocate to this beautiful country called Nigeria.
For how long have youbeen running underwear business?
I have been in the underwear business for about 3 years now. I started in 2015 and we have been growing and doing well. We have a store in Lagos and Abuja.
What inspired you to dothe lingerie business?
The Lingerie Boutique was born out of frustration. To meet the growing demands for exquisite and affordable lingerie in the country was a major reason. When I relocated to Nigeria 6 years ago, I realised that to buy decent underwear, I had to wait to travel or wait for someone, who was coming into town from abroad. There was no decent lingerie store here in Nigeria. So, it was when I travelled out and I went into stores that was how I got the idea in my head. I asked myself. Why can’t we have something like this in Nigeria? Why can’t we have a lingerie store that gives the ambiance, product and also great customer service? As soon as I realised that there was a gap in the market, I started doing my market research and that was how l started.
What makes your Sshhh Underwear Boutique unique?
Already, we have a store in the heart of Abuja. The boutique carries brands that are sultry, has feminine allure and intricate details in redefining the African woman’s sensuality through innovative and cutting-edge products.
Perfect for lingerie enthusiasts, Sshhh Lingerie Boutique creates a completely impressive experience in the world of lingerie.
The store provides patrons an opportunity to discover cutting edge designs in vast varieties of bra cup sizes (A-K), lingerie, nightwear, swim wears and bridals wears from top international brands.
Sshhh provides a retail conduit to a target market of intimate apparel enthusiasts and luxury lovers alike. The Nigerian market is of great strategic importance for Sshhh Boutique Ltd, and that is why celebrities troop in here on a daily basis.
How has the journeybeen so far?
The journey has been so challenging, especially with the inflation, customs, and the fact that the economy is not doing so great with the exchange rate fluctuating widely. So, it has been very hard because 80% of my products are imported from the United Kingdom and USA and that is because we thrive on giving quality products to our customers. So, for me, it has been very challenging because it would be amazing if we have a manufacturer house in Nigeria that produces these things in large quantity.
Who are your patrons?
Our patrons are women who have disposable income and care about the undergarment needs. She could be working, but she has to be confident, bold, and unapologetic woman who doesn’t really care what anybody thinks or says about her. All she cares about is her beauty and what she wears underneath.
How expensive are yourproducts?
Our products range from N70,000 to N9,000. But it depends on the item that you are picking and the brand. We have several brands in stock.
What else do you do?
I work with a production company called Place Center Nigeria. We produce shows that are shown on Ebony Life T.V, programme Silverbird and other channels as well on you tube and other social media platforms. I am also a T.V host. I host my own T.V show that will be coming to T.V soon. It has been recorded, but we plan to air it in January 2019 by the grace of God.
You look so beautiful,what is the secret of your beauty?
Coconut oil and lots of water. I use coconut oil for everything and I think I am really addicted to it. We have good skin in my family as well and we took that from my Grand Pa. but I found that coconut oil nourishes my skin and makes it glow so I moisturize my skin very well with coconut oil and take a lot of water.
How would you define beauty?
Beauty to, me, is a woman’s character. I think it is the way a woman carries herself and not necessarily the physical attribute but the inner most part of her and how she treats and relates with people, gives back to the society and how she holds herself in the society. The book of Proverb 3 in the Bible doesn’t talk about a woman’s physical beauty but more of her character and what she was doing in the field that made her husband praise her even more. So, no matter how beautiful you are physically, if your soul is ugly, then you are an ugly person. Your character is your beauty.