Timi Ejiwunmi is the CEO of I Do Weddings; a qualified lawyer who decided on a departure from the legal profession to set up I Do Weddings. I Do Weddings is a one-stop wedding solutions company that caters to all wedding related needs.
Under I Do Weddings there’s a bridal line called Love, Tims that offers bridal apparel including wedding dresses, reception/evening dresses, bridal jewellery, bridal accessories, a perfume line, and bridal bouquets.
What was your inspiration for starting up the business?
Passion and void inspired me. I have a strong passion for all things weddings and romance so it made sense for me to set up a company doing what I love and what comes naturally to me. Void in the sense that I didn’t know of a one-stop wedding solutions company in Nigeria where a bride could go to one place to solve all her wedding related needs.
With regards to bridal wear, when I was getting married I didn’t feel there was much in terms of choice when it came to beautiful dresses and accessories. I feel that I could add an injection of elegance and beauty at par with international counterparts who I ended up settling for because there was a lack of options here.
When, where and how did you make your first move?
Having completed three law degrees and gaining corporate experience at Coca-Cola, I decided that I had enough academic and professional experience to start I Do Weddings.
So towards the end of 2012, before I completed my third year at Coca- Cola, I started to put together a practical plan to set up the company for everyday business.
Just seeing my vision come to life is already success for me. The first person that we sold a wedding dress to was Annie Idibia the wife of 2Face Idibia who happens to be one of Africa’s well known singers.
We have only been in business for a year and a half and under the current services we provide there is; wedding planning, engagement letters, engagement gift wrapping, gele tying, a bridal line, personalised clothes, a perfume line and but to name a few services that we offer. We have a strong following on our different social media platforms with over 107,000 followers on Google plus and on Instagram over 22,000 followers and counting. So I’d say accomplishing a considerable amount in a short space of time is success.
To be honest I cannot say I’ve had major obstacles in the sense that I try not to see things as obstacles. If I did, I’d be dissuaded and not start the business.
That is not to say that there haven’t been challenges. For example not having as much money as I would like to do as much as I want is a challenge. Rather than see it as such, I started small with strategic plans such that I can utilise the resources that are currently available. Instead of spending tons of money on advertising which I need but don’t have the resources for, I have networked to push the brand and focused on building my social media platforms to the point where we have a strong following and so can use such platforms to advertise. We also sell merchandise online which circumvents the issue of having not yet built a big mega store.
The value that social media has brought to my business cannot be overstated. Customers are able to contact me nationwide and internationally because of the various social media platforms that we are on. Social media has also meant that we have been able to save money on traditional advertising, which isn’t as viral as social media. When people walk into the bridal boutique and we ask ‘How did you hear about us?’ quite a high percentage of clients say Instagram or some other social media platform. Suffice to say, social media has been integral to the success of I Do Weddings.
“If you wait till you are ready or for perfect conditions you’ll never start anything. Start today not tomorrow! Take the risk and follow your gut and dreams, it will all pay off so far as you are dedicated and not afraid of hard work. Don’t wait till you have all the money you need, just start by taking a step in faith. When you are moving in the direction of your true calling God finds a way to make things possible so far as you take that step of faith.”_ Timi Ejiwunmi
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