I bet I’m not the only one, who once in every little while, feels mighty glad to have been born in times as these. Times when the creative spirits have been given flight. Oo-la-lah! I remember when the mark of a well-educated Nigerian youth was a good career with a multi-national company or being in one of the ‘big’ professions.
People like Omotayo remind us of how far we have come as a people and it is a beautiful thing to behold. From a chance encounter with bead stringing, she has built a jewelry line that commands attention with its polished presentation.
It is no wonder that she was selected to adorn the contestants of the last Miss Tourism beauty pageant. Nigeria is truly a blessed nation with people like Omotayo and I in it 😉 Sit back and dig into this chat that I had with her.
MCM: Please tell us about yourself
Omotayo: I am Omotayo Oguntade, Chief Creative Director of Mo-teebeadZ. I am a graduate of Political Science University of Ibadan.
MCM: Give a brief account of how you started and grew your brand.
Omotayo : Mo-teebeadZ initially was called TY concept but my hubby advised me to rebrand because of the proliferation of the use of the name TY concept. Jewelry-making found me. I learnt how to string by divine arrangement. I was attending a family friends wedding and joined the brides sister to string some beads. That was all.
My initial interest was to make a piece for my wedding but my husband had told his brother that I make beaded jewelry. My order made me so shaky cause I had no idea of what to do. I called my big sister who taught me how to string to make the jewelry but she was busy and told me what to do on phone. That was it and the journey has been amazing.
The Mo-teebeadZ brand growth is a function of openness to ideas and out of a passion for the craft. I learnt that skill isn’t enough, the skill must be managed as a business. So, I ensure to engage Mo-teebeadZ as a jewelry line with a definite mission.
MCM: Hmm. You sure do. How did you get to be the official jewelry designer for Miss Tourism 2016?
Omotayo: The Miss Tourism job is a result of an understanding that partnership is pivotal to grow start ups. We boarded the Miss Tourism team train by proposal for partnership.
MCM: What was the experience like for you as a brand?
Omotayo: It was a rewarding experience but sooo demanding. The photo shoot was at night! It was a good experience though. Attention to details sets Mo-teebeadZ apart. Also, understanding customers needs has helped us to grow and expand clientele.
MCM: Have you professionally showcased your work before – runway, exhibition etc.
Omotayo: I am looking forward to that. The challenge is that I have to create time out from making pieces to meet clients’ orders and shooting for the jewelry campaign drive of Mo-teebeadZ for 2016.
MCM: What kind of trainings have you received?
Omotayo: Regarding training, I learn from colleagues and I look forward to learning other forms of jewelry making like gold smithing, soutache, etc.
MCM: Share your most memorable moments since you became a creative entrepreneur
Omotayo: I have so many memorable moments but I’m so thrilled when I get international calls and messages from various nations admiring my creations.
MCM: What challenges do you face in your creative business now?
Omotayo: One of the big challenges we face is the value that is placed on handmade jewelry. People don’t understand that handmade products are unique and are so tasking. Apart from the cost of materials, production time can last days depending on the piece.
MCM: Describe your concept of creativity; do we all have it in us?
Omotayo: My concept of creativity is functionality. Whatever u create and can’t use is useless. Also, this is business. If people don’t buy what you call creative then the purpose is defeated.
MCM: Do you have role models in the industry or people whose work you admire?
Omotayo: I have so many people I admire. Presently, there are loads of creative people. For me Beads by Oma inspires my by her presentation. SeunDs Beads, Zuri Perle and Gbenga Dada for his business savvy. I love House of Halimahs style.
MCM: I am sure that your fans are keen to know this – what is next for Moteebeadz Naija?
Omotayo: The next /future step for Mo-teebeadZ is to go beyond beaded jewelry to embrace other art forms of jewelry designing and expand it to become a wider fashion brand.
MCM: What are your thoughts on the development of Nigeria’s creative sector?
Omotayo: The creative industry in Nigeria is a potential job creator. Like Nollywood and the music industry, all forms of art must learn the power of packaging. Presentation and investment is key. Financial returns may not initially yield but it would surely pay. Also, government must go beyond lip service to invest in training opportunities for creatives to compete globally.
MCM: How would you encourage aspiring/new creative business owners?
Omotayo: Consistency is key. For all aspiring creatives, passion is a fuel, consistency would make that fuel never run dry.
Did you enjoy reading this account or did you pick something from it. Let us know in the comments; Omotayo will be reading too!
Do connect with Moteebeadz on their Instagram handle @moteebeadznaija