CEO of Graceful Beads; Amarachi Opara is our feature Africanpreneur for the Month of May. She makes Handmade Bead Jewelries, Hair Fascinators/Hatinators, Bridal Perchers and Beaded House Decor. Read through as she tells the Africanpreneurs team about her struggles and reward as a Beads Entrepreneur for over 3 Years despite the increasing influx of beadmakers in Africa.
A brief history about yourself: My name is Obioma Amarachi Opara , an indigene of Mbaitoli in Imo state, I however, grew up in Lagos ,I am the last child in a family of Six, an Industrial chemist (Msc)…I have a flair for growing things, I like to see little piece group together to form larger piece, and I take this as one of the major facts that influenced my choice of business… I remember planting any and everything in a bucket as a little girl and watching them grow…it gave me so much joy watching that tiny seed of bean germinate into a number of pulses…Same goes in my line of business…From various tiny particles comes a beautiful design
How it all started (your hustle):..Hmmmm! My hustle!…I remember asking for money from my siblings to learn bead making and I was adviced to face my studies….So started Graceful Beads with my pocket money…my start up capital was less than #4000naira… My first bead job was for my mum, then I made for friends, then I became a bead-maker… From Bead making, bridal clients made demands for bridal perchers and fascinators…..and so I added that to my list products…Basically, Graceful Beads started as a joke, then progressed to a hobby..and has grown to be a job… and not just any job…It is a job I LOVE!…
Your fears and challenges in the industry: My fear as an entrepreneur is Not been HEARD… and this I face by not relenting in showcasing my product on every platform I can afford to use…My major challenge is finance, as there is always room for more…Daily I wake up with ideas that can improve the quality of product and service I offer, then comes the reality that I am not able to afford some of this ideas monetarily.
I however commend programmes like Ignitecontest, YouWin and Tony Elumelu Foundation for offering entrepreneurs that opportunity to get finance to boost their vaious business ideas.
What makes your style unique: All of my products are produced with our clients as top priority… fashion is serious business and We take the needs of our clients serious and work strictly with specification and quality materials ensuring that our clients are comfortable with each of our piece, we also ensure that these products are delivered as at when due to reduce the stress on the part of our clients.
Current trends in the industry: Nigerians are very fashionable and this makes the fashion business a good one. However, the fashion industry lacks originality to a large extent… People are not willing to try something new unless someone else has worn it and looks good on it…
I look forward to a time where no one would afraid to be a pace setter.
Your life’s motto: ‘Keep Moving…That is the only way you can get to where you want to be’
What is your perception about Africa and Entrepreneurship: There is an increase in the number of Entrepreneurs in Africa of recent and this is a quiet applauding, as there is room for more great ideas which would help in changing the course of our continent. The Government has also increased its support for entrepreneurship, giving room for more youths with great ideas to bring these ideas to reality.
Your message to entrepreneurs and youths: Being an Entrepreneur is the only way to Freedom…so no matter how many Entrepreneurs out there, there is still room for more!
Additional information that you want people to know about: We also carter for other bridal necessities (Aso Oke, handfan) for brides and we offer Nationwide Delivery.
For more information about her works. Check http://www.africanpreneurs.com/graceful-beads/