With Nigerian economy going through hard times, it appears a university degree might not be enough for you to make a breakthrough as the availability of jobs continue to be on the decline.
With that in mind, skill development appears to be the way forward. BlackBox Nigeria has uncovered a lady who is going against all odds and not dependent on her degree as a source of income for her.
Michelle Ekure is a University of Benin, UNIBEN graduate of International Studies and Diplomacy. However, she didn’t depend on her certificate. The beautiful Michelle simply ventured into the world of shoemaking which before now was thought to be a fort for the male folks. Michelle is into designing patterns and building shoes.
Michelle, in an interview with Lukmon of Wazobia Global Times USA, explained how the journey into shoemaking started for her. See excerpts from the interview below :
Lukomon : So Why shoemaking?
Michelle : My inspiration is from God, I never knew I would be a shoemaker. I graduated from the University six years ago, after which I looked for for job, but to know avail. At sometimes I got employed by a company in Lagos, but the boss was owing too much so I left.
On how it started, there is this other company I buy sandals in Lagos and resell. They sell nice shoes, so one day I thought to myself that I can tell this people to make sandals for me with my label, so I approached them and they said yes. That was how I got my first set of shoes. Then a friend introduced me to a guy that makes shoes. I watch him make shoes one day and I was amazed then I asked him to teach me and he did.
Lukmon : That’s a lovely beginning.
Michelle : hmm. Thanks
Lukmon : So how do you drive sales and who are your target customers?
Michele : My target audience are Men of honours, people like the famous Nigerians comedian Alibaba…lol . I make direct sales, but I drive more sales on social media platforms like instagram, facebook and twitter. Michele leather sales per week is over 50 pairs.
Lukmon : Wow! That’s a great number. You must be a workaholic. Do you have partners?
Michelle : No, maybe someday. But I have people that are learning under me.
Lukmon: How many are your apprentice?
Michelle : There are about 6 of them and more are still coming.
Lukmon : Talking about the Nigerian famous comedian Alibaba. We’ve seen pictures of you with him. Are you in anyway related?
Michelle : No we’re not related, but he is like a father to me. He always want to see me succeed.
Lukmon: So, if not shoemaking, what would you have ventured into?
Michelle : Maybe work at foreign affairs of British council or UN embassy. I love to be a diplomat .
Lukmon : Hmm. That might come to pass one day.
Michelle : Yeah. (smile)
Lukmon : So, what’s your advice to young ladies that are yet to find there ways out there?
Michelle : I always tell people I come in contact with that are looking for job to start something, anything you are good at can bring money to you or just learn a trade.
Lukmon : Is there anything else (e.g unpopular fun fact about you) you’d like to add that might be interesting to our readers ?
Michelle : Hmm… Let them find out. I’m a very interesting person be with though, I have my moment.
Lukmon : Thanks for your time, we appreciate chatting with you.
Michelle : You’re welcome Lukmon.