Marygold Ologun Adieme is the CEO of Marygold Global Concept, a jewellery business that started small but has grown into a huge empire.Marygold is a graduate of the university of lagos. She read English/ guidance counselling. She has a master’s degree in psychology
Marygold started her career in the banking Industry. She held significant positions in Equity Bank and Diamond Bank.
After working in the banking industry for 8 years, she decided to set up her own business and that was the birth of Marygold Global Concept.
In this Interview with Oyinlola Sale, Marygold Adieme reveals to us how she left the Banking Sector to set up her Jewellery business.
After 8 years in the banking sector, you went ahead to establish Mary Gold Global Concept, now tell us the story behind it?
My going into business was by accident. I had to get into business when I could not get a ministry job because the banking job was tasking and with little of no time for my home, my husband suggested that I quit.
I was introduced into this jewelry business by a friend called juliet. A childhood friend of mine who saw my potential that I will be a very good business woman
Compare and Contrast the Jewellery business in Nigeria and Abroad?
The jewellry business in Nigeria is not bad at all. Nigeria being a social country expecially in the yoruba setting.
I am one of the Pioneers that brought costume jewellery business into limelight when the price of real gold sky rocketed.
What does it take to set up a jewelry business like Marygold Global Concept, Is it Capital Intensive?
Jewelry business is capital intensive but you can start small like I did when I first started.
In the Jewellery Industry, many entrepreneurs have complained about infiltration of fake products, what can be done to reduce it in the market?
There are so many fake products. It’s not jewelry alone. Even in terms of clothes , bags to name a few. The only way to get going is to keep buying from a good source. Once you are sure of the source and where you can get real and genuine , stick with it.
You are very busy woman with responsibilities of managing your business and the home, so tell us about how a typical day starts for you?
I start my day with prayers. The beauty of being on your own as a business woman is that you have your time to your self. You can plan your day and manage your time to your satisfaction.
Raising funds for a business is not easy, so how did you manage to finance this business in it’s early days?
Financing the business in the early stage was not easy at all. I started with the little savings I had and my husband supported me as well. In addition to that I was getting stock from my customer and paying after sales. Yes! Once your suppliers trust you and see that you are consistent, they give you stocks to sell above your money. I didn’t go into Loan at all.
Starting up a business comes with fear of uncertainty, so tell us what were some of your biggest fears, when you started this busines?
In starting a new business, there is always fear of the unknown if will it work or not. someone like me that was coming from the banking sectors, it was a big challenge for me.
I was shy initially about what will people will think about me, as a banker now selling jewellries. I had no shop. I was going from salon to salon, office to offices showcasing my jewellries.
I had my junior sister with me then and she gave me the boost. Before you know it, I was making money.
Running a business in Nigeria is filled with challenges, so tell us some of the challenges you are encountering?
Well, there are challenges in every business. I have had issues with people owing and finding it difficult to pay. Expecially when we had a lot of clients in the banking sectors and were layed off their jobs. Many of them could not pay me and went away with my money. I lost a lot of money then. There are some customers who buy on credit and don’t pay up on the agreed time. It’s really not easy when you deal with women expecially in business.
It’s also a very vas business. When you talk about jewelry business, you are talking about : wrist watches, rings , neck and ear sets , chains, bangles, accessories in general. Keeping track and counting is always very difficult. Sales representative will cheat, steal and accountability is always not sure. Sometimes you feel like running mad when dealing with this people. Expecially when you are not always in the shop. Aside from sales reps , some customers do shop lifting. All these are part of the problems one faces in business.
Now, what makes Marygold Global Concept unique from other Jewellery and accessories brands out there in the Market?
Marygold global is unique in the sense that , we have been able to keep and maintain our customers thoroughout the years that we have been in business.
Satisfying our clients has been our goal. We have maintain customers satisfaction and we also do after sale service. I go from one place to another in search of quality, unique and uncommon jewelries. Most of our jewelries are near to gold and mist people don’t believe it’s not real gold, because we copy real gold. The only difference is that it has no karat. In terms of durability, we are number one. Our customers can testify to it.
In this your business journey, was there a time that was so difficult, that you felt like giving up?
There are times that I really thought of giving up. Most customers like to buy on credit. Sometimes your money will be tired down for a while because you are waiting for customers to pay up. We all know that credit kills business.
There are also times when customers are rude just because you remind them to pay up their debt. But what do I do, I just have to be patient. Being in business is not an easy task. We sometimes had to source for money some how to restock before the monies out side will begin to come in.
Business in Nigeria is not really easy, the average Nigerian wants to buy on credit.
Infact they tend to patronize someone who agrees to sell on credit. Especially products like mine. But when it comes to payment, that’s when the issue will start expecially when they have no money.
However, the Jewellery business I must confess is a very lucrative business. It has to do with a lot of dedication, time , taste and style.
As an entrepreneur in Nigeria, in what way can the government make your business to thrive ?
Government can create an enabling environment for small scale business to grow If they can provide good amenities like light, good roads , flexible loan and also let money be in circulation. If the standard of living is raised, people will live well and also be able to want to look good.
In a country where food is expensive , it’s only those that have fed well that they can think of buying jewellries and clothes to look good.
The journey in business can be quite unpredictable, but as an entrepreneur you must be visionary, so where do you hope to see Marygold Global Concept in the next 5 years ?
Marygold global concept has come a long way and we have also been known internationally. My plan is to open shops abroad. So that all over the world , Marygold will be a household name.
Our slogan is ” Marygold: looking good is our business”