‘En­trepreneurs Should Think Pos­i­tively to be Suc­cess­ful’

Seun Tayo-Ba­lo­gun, the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer of Brief Es­sen­tials, an on­line lin­gerie store, is an en­tre­pre­neur, a start-up and busi­ness con­sul­tant fo­cus­ing on e-com­merce, who pro­vides strategic and tac­ti­cal ad­vice to busi­ness own­ers. In this in­ter­view w

THISDAY - - ENTREPRENEURS -

Why an e-com­merce store for only lin­gerie and un­der­gar­ments?

My foray into the tech­nol­ogy space be­gan over 20 years ago. So I can say I grew up un­der­stand­ing tech­nol­ogy as an en­abler. On the other hand, as a lin­gerie and un­der­wear lover, I no­ticed that Nige­ria's bud­ding on­line mar­ket­place was miss­ing a one-stop shop for lin­gerie and un­der­wear with loads of op­tions (brands, colours, styles and sizes). Brief Es­sen­tials was that dig­i­tal so­lu­tion that will en­able Nige­ri­ans to pur­chase un­der­wear in their un­der­wear at prices they will love. S we started small; from a lit­tle space in our apart­ment.

What were the at­trac­tions?

At some point af­ter my sec­ond child, we needed to get lin­gerie; bras, panties and shapewear, to help me get back in shape and help in­crease my over­all con­fi­dence level. My hus­band and I re­alised that an on­line store was miss­ing, and the brick and mor­tar stores had lim­ited op­tions and high prices. I knew that I was not alone - many women like me were in need of a one-stop des­ti­na­tion for high qual­ity shapewear, bras that fit, panties, swimwear and much more, at prices that won't break the bank.

And how dif­fer­ent are your prod­ucts from oth­ers?

At Brief Es­sen­tials, you can find the most wanted brands, fash­ion for­ward styles, a di­verse range of sizes and colours of lin­gerie, specif­i­cally made with qual­ity in mind and won't cost the earth to buy.

In what ways does be­ing an en­tre­pre­neur af­fect your home front? Is it easy com­bin­ing both?

Noth­ing comes easy, but the key is learn­ing to live a bal­anced life and achieve suc­cess.

Are your prod­ucts ex­clu­sively for the rich? Not at all. You will be amazed at the plethora of op­tions, the qual­ity and their prices. We have items from as low N1,000.

Why did you choose on­line mar­ket­ing and sales?

It has a wider reach, con­ve­nience, cheaper to set up and cheaper to man­age with a day job. I was work­ing in a paid em­ploy­ment at the time we started Brief Es­sen­tials.

What are the prospects of an on­line busi­ness at this time?

There are so many prospects for on­line busi­nesses in Nige­ria. With in­creased in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion, the depth of so­cial me­dia us­age, the con­tin­u­ous in­no­va­tion by the own­ers of dig­i­tal and so­cial plat­forms to ease how these net­works are used, so­cial sell­ing and elec­tronic com­merce will con­tinue to de­liver value to those who are pre­pared

What is your ed­u­ca­tional back­ground?

I stud­ied Po­lit­i­cal Science and Phi­los­o­phy from the Univer­sity of Ibadan and Eco­nomic Man­age­ment and Pol­icy from the Univer­sity of Strath­clyde. I am an alumni of the School of Me­dia and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Does be­ing ed­u­cated and ex­pe­ri­enced help your busi­ness in any­way?

Oh def­i­nitely yes. One of the chal­lenges of many small busi­nesses is re­main­ing a busi­ness and grow­ing the busi­ness. We've been around for seven years. April is our an­niver­sary month. My ex­pe­ri­ences work­ing in a struc­tured en­vi­ron­ment and in the ar­eas of busi­ness strat­egy, eco­nomic anal­y­sis, ver­sa­til­ity with a whole lot of com­puter ap­pli­ca­tions, brand­ing, de­sign and web de­vel­op­ment have con­trib­uted to the suc­cess of this busi­ness.

Can you tell us about lin­gerie trends?

Women gen­er­ally love great bras and panties and then shapewear. These items will re­main ev­ery woman's fa­vorite. The lin­gerie as out­er­wear trend con­tin­ues to gain pop­u­lar­ity amongst ladies in Nige­ria and a lot more women are now be­gin­ning to ap­pre­ci­ate what we have been preach­ing, "you don't have to sac­ri­fice func­tion for com­fort". More women are switch­ing to very com­fort­able bras (as a mat­ter of fact, a well fit­ting un­der­gar­ment will most likely be com­fort­able) opt­ing for wire­less bras - this has given pop­u­lar­ity to the Bralette. The Bralette is the sis­ter to the un­der­wire bra. It is flimsy, has none to min­i­mal pad­ding with­out an un­der­wire. In ad­di­tion, sev­eral other styles are steal­ing the spot­light as well. They in­clude long­line bras, har­ness, strappy de­tails and lace racer­back. Bustiers and Body­suits are also gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity - from back­less to strappy to lace. This is the item for ev­ery­one. Vel­vet has also made its way back and it is not lim­ited to main­stream fash­ion. The sea­son's favourite lin­gerie styles are now made with vel­vet - from body­suits and bustiers to bralette sets and chemises. Vel­vet is def­i­nitely a luxe op­tion for lin­gerie and ev­ery­thing else.

What would be your ad­vice to shop­pers gen­er­ally?

When buy­ing un­der­wear, please note that the fit is more im­por­tant than the fash­ion. If you wouldn't man­age a shoe that's not your size, why man­age an un­der­gar­ment that does not fit? If you are that woman who in­sists on the right sup­port, you should visit www.briefessen­tials.com and our of­fice at 8B Dipo Awolesi Street Magodo GRA phase 2.

Tayo-Ba­lo­gun

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