Founders Spotlight with Founder of QCandles by Kanyin
Kanyinsola is Founder/ Creative Lead of Qcandles by Kanyin, a Lagos based Luxe/ Ingenious Home Fragrance Company. She is also the MD/ CEO of BrooksnVale Ltd, a Real Estate Company connecting individuals to residential & commercial properties, and providing them with property investment opportunities.
Lawunmi Nwaiwu interviews Kanyinsola, on how she was able to scale up her start-up and ways that your business could benefit from free or very affordable resources to turn your dream into a reality.
Q: What is your typical day like?
Currently in this season I'm writing a book, so I get up earlier than my usual time. I'm a person of faith, so at early hours I would do my prayers first and then I get dressed for work, get the kids ready for school, do school runs and then head to the office. So I'd say after 4pm, I'm out of the office to continue with school runs, get the kids settled for their lessons, and then I head back to work by four-ish. Now, between the hours of 9, 10, 11pm I'm either writing my book or I'm reading a book. And obviously when my husband comes home, it's husband time.
Q: As the founder of QCandles by Kanyin, among other ventures; could you tell us more about your business?
We play in the home fragrance space. We make about 21 products and we make all of them from our studio in Lagos, Nigeria. We have candles, diffusers and other products. We sell the culture of gifting by creating products that are inviting enough for the buying crowd to celebrate their loved ones and just basically nurture and foster relationships. We know how hard Nigeria is and so we at times give out products that help in relaxations. There's something fragrance just does. You can literally get fragrance in and then within seconds, it can just change your mood.
Q: There's a very high rate of unemployment, specifically youth unemployment in Nigeria. Many young aspiring entrepreneur are looking for ways of thriving in their business. How important is Entrepreneurship in our economy right now?
I feel like as many entrepreneurs as we can get out there could create makes more job opportunities available. So yes, definitely I would say I'm an advocate for entrepreneurship any day, any time. Although, I worked for a bit before going straight into it, but t's definitely a welcome idea. Q: From your experience, how would you define an Entrepreneur?
I would say an entrepreneur is basically one who can creatively create stuff and make it sustainable. What you're creating has to be sustainable. In a nutshell, I'm a creative, so from a standpoint of a creative, you need to create stuff that is solving a problem and meeting a need. It's the measure of sustainability that keeps you and makes you an entrepreneur. When people start a business, you may not gain a profit immediately. It takes time and that is why it's good to have a substantial amount of knowledge. You need to understand your market and that is key.
Q: There are many start-ups right now struggling to get access to business funds. How were you able to raise funds to sustain the business?
I didn't get any formal funding when I started my business. Funny enough, I had worked in a law firm for some months, so I was able to get some savings and from family to be able to start my business. I started small, but I had that growth mindset. I wanted to get my packaging etc from outside the country. So since then, I've been able to grow my business, and still growing,
Q: Where you overwhelmed with the materials that you needed to be able to produce your candle fragrances?
[Laughs]. Materials? Is that what you're asking? I'm currently still overwhelmed because we don't buy raw materials. We can't source very locally - because we have to deal with quality. Even though we have waxes, it's really not the quality we are looking for in Nigeria. So I'm constantly exchanging FX constantly; getting raw materials from the UK, or the US, and it's an ongoing process.
Q: What are your top selling fragrances right now?
[Laugh]. So a mother loves all her products equally. So I wouldn't say that there's a particular top selling, I would say everything is doing well, but if I was to look at popular demand and what the buying crowd always indicates, interestingly, I'll say our diffusers.
Thanks Kanyinsola, from everyone at The Moment of Truth Nigeria. If you are a business start-up, you can watch Season 1 of The Moment of Truth Business Reality Show or subscribe to the channel for inspirational & educational content.