Meet Oluwatimilehin Yinka-Adeniyi, the 11- year-old handmade jeweller
Can we meet you?
My name is Oluwatimilehin Yinka- Adeniyi. Everyone calls me Timi. I am 11 years old and a Year 7 student.
What business or businesses do you do?
I make handmade jewellery. When I was in Year 4, I took part in the weekly needlework and beading after school activity. I was in the club for three years before I finished primary school.
How did you start this business?
During my last summer holiday, I went to a shop, where I bought some accessories, which I used to make different jewellery pieces. I realised that I could sell the jewellery and so I did.
What is the aim and vision of your business?
My aim is to provide affordable and unique jewellery pieces for children, men and women everywhere.
Were you trained by professional or self-trained?
My training was from school. My teacher trained us on Thursdays for about 30 minutes after school.
What problem is your business solving?
My business is solving problem of beautification. My jewellery is affordable and a lot of young people that cannot afford expensive jewellery can buy them.
How do you combine school and business?
I started my business during the summer holiday, and I had a lot of free time to make lots of pieces. Now that school has resumed, I can’t make as much as I did during the holidays. I can only make during the week, on days that I don’t have homework, but I make more during the weekend. I just started secondary school, so I get so tired because the workload in school is more.I decided I would make at least a piece each day, but then my mum encouraged me to wait till weekends, so I could produce better pieces when I’m not so tired.
Do you see yourself as a company or just a girl with passion for business?
I see myself as a girl who is doing what she loves and it’s exciting that I can make money from it, too.
Who are the target customers for your business?
My target customers are young people who love jewellery. I started selling to my mum, my brother, my uncles and aunties and their friends. My mum has opened an Instagram page (@jewelrybytimi) for me, which she helps to manage. That way, lots of people can see what I make and they can buy.
Have you been making money from your business?
Yes, I make money from the business. I use the money I earn to buy more accessories.
Where do you get your motivation from and who are your role models?
My mum always encourages me, as well as my teacher Miss Osaore. I’m always happy and proud of myself, when people buy my jewellery. It pushes me to make more and I’m inspired to get new ideas.
Where and how did you get your customers?
My first customers were my family and their friends. Recently, my mum had an event at her shop and I sold some jewellery there.
What makes your brand stand out from others?
I feel my brand will always stand out because it is unique. I make everything myself from start to finish. My choice of materials and design is what makes it beautiful. As I get older, I will come up with more designs that will also be unique.
When you see awesome kids doing wonders in their different fields, do you feel motivated to try more or you feel you are lagging behind?
When I see other kids with talents, it encourages me to work harder.
What are the tools you use for yours business?
I use lots of different kinds of beads, pearls, jewellery findings, wires and pliers. I would love to get a Wig-jig for wire work, a Kumihimo set for wire works and crocheting, a complete set of jewelry making pliers, a beading loom for making bigger pieces and beading boards.
Which ones are you looking forward to purchase for even greater work piece?
I hope to work with precious stones, gemstones, beautiful crystals and even gold and diamond. Then, my jewellery will be for everyone, but with different prices.
Were you at any point discouraged, maybe by your parents, siblings, parents or pressure from studies?
I have people around me that tell me I’m doing a good job. I don’t get discouraged by anyone. I’m just tired sometimes after school, but when I think of how much money I can make, it gives me a little energy to try harder.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I hope to have graduated from secondary school, have a bigger business and be more experienced and producing more beautiful jewellery pieces.
Aside this business, what other things are you skilled at?
I love Math very much and I’m very good at it. I like to think I’m a human calculator. I also know how to crotchet, sew, embellish and do bead embroidery on clothing.
What are your experiences so far, and your final word to other kids with potentials out there?
The experience so far has been good for me, because I learned how to relate to customers in trying to satisfy their needs. I have customers with different needs and personalities. I learnt how to interact with them, understand what they want and create pieces that would impress them and make them come back to buy more or recommend me to other people. I also learnt how to work harder because there was a time I got so many orders to complete at the same time and I did not want disappoint anyone.
One major lesson I learnt was bargaining and not to back down, when customers want me to sell below cost price. I learnt how to negotiate prices with the vendors, so I would not lose money. Also, my mum taught me the importance of investing my profit back into the business, so that it can grow bigger. My advice to other kids with talent is to do what they love, and to keep practising in order to get better at their skill.