AW WomenPreneneur Series : In A Twinkling Of An Eye, Oluwakemi Adepetu Creates Twinkleen With A Spark

By Onozasi

Above Whispers WomenPreneur Series is a platform to showcase amazing businesswomen. Young women who have taken the bold step to starting a business and fighting the odds surrounding entrepreneurship in Africa. We share in their journey, share in the challenges and growth process to inspire other women. We believe that when a story is shared, there is a leap in the heart of those struggling with doubts. The purpose of this is to push that woman out there to engage in what she has been afraid of, by reading through the inspiring stories of other women.

Oluwakemi Adepetu, the brain behind The TWINKLEEN BRAND is our guest on this week’s episode of AW WomenPreneur Series. Oluwakemi has been running this brand for 12 years and has done this brilliantly well, this is not her peak as she says, there’s more to conquer! This amazing woman shares her journey to entrepreneurship with us and we know you would be inspired by this. Do enjoy this exclusive interview.

 

 

AW: Kindly introduce yourself 

I am Oluwakemi Adewumi Adepetu from Ekiti State, the first daughter and second child of four from Mr&Mrs M.A Adepetu.  I was born on the 23rd of May 1986. I started my nursery/primary education at Masters International school Shangisha and concluded the same at Littlewoods Primary school Ketu. Secondary education, for me, began at Maryland Comprehensive Secondary school before work brought my parents to Ekiti state where I later finished my secondary education at Christ’s Girls’ School Ado-Ekiti in 2002. I went to train on the basics of computer software in 2004 and also got some entrepreneurial skills at Enterprise Development Centre/Africa Leadership Forum Ikeja, Lagos in 2009 before obtaining a degree in accounting from the University of Ado-Ekiti in 2011.

image_6483441Oluwakemi Adeputu. CEO Twinkleen Services

 

My career started during my undergraduate days having noticed a major avenue to make money and spare my parents the pains of always trying to send a large chunk of their meagre monthly wages to me. I delved into manufacturing of cleaning products in 2007 and by 2009, I had started making supplies to big hotels in and around Ado-Ekiti. I went to make a delivery at Southwestern hotel in Ado-Ekiti one day and I met one of their guests who needed a data entry clerk to complete a task in Ekiti. He asked if I could help get one individual with such competencies, but unfortunately, the person I wanted to link up with the job had travelled out of Ekiti. He eventually asked if I could take the job and I answered in the affirmative. I was interviewed and I got the job. The job lasted for two weeks and I completed the task in record time. I’ve since been getting job referrals from the organisation each time they have projects within my jurisdiction. They are research consultants and I work as a research assistant when there are projects. I have grown from a data entry clerk to field enumerator and sometimes I work as a supervisor. I’ve been able to do all this in a space of 10 years. Besides been an entrepreneur I am also a research assistant for research firms.

 

AW: What prompted you into this kind of business?

So many things prompted me into the production of cleaning materials. I love sparkling clean toilets: While growing up I make sure our toilet bowl was always clean, I had different tools like ‘used toothbrush’ that I use to scrub the corners of the toilet bowl. {Lol.}

Then, My love for washing clothes. I started washing clothes as early as age 9, I washed my parent’s clothes and my sister’s clothes every Saturday. I also love to make money {laughs}. I saw an opportunity for cleaning business in Ekiti. I wanted to support myself and family in my own little way. I wanted to create employment in Ekiti as most youths in Ekiti depends on the government for jobs

 

AW: You’ve been running this business for over a decade, tell us how you’ve been able to manage this, through the years?

Hmmmm, first and foremost I’d appreciate God for blessing me with supportive family and friends.  Also, I see a bright future and a better Nigeria that will favour entrepreneurs and I am not willing to back out irrespective of the present situation, this has kept me going in the business. I have support from my friends, clients and family when I hit a crossroad I run to them for back up {lol}. I have my research job that comes in handy, and also the profit from the business I plunge it back because it’s still a growing business.

 

AW: What inspires you as a businesswoman?

The Word of God is where I draw my inspiration from for example Mathew 25: 15-30.  I also get inspiration from stories of successful men and women, I get inspiration from Music and Motivational books.

 

AW : We know how porous Nigeria entrepreneur space is, what do you think can be done to make startups measure up to bigger companies in the country?

Quality products

Consistency

Branding

Good customer service relationship

 

 

AW : You are in an industry with renowned names, how have you been able to kick against the stereotype that comes with patronizing renowned names in the country.

The quality of our products has helped us in our own little way to kick against patronizing renowned names in the country. Our present customer base is satisfied with the quality we offer and most of them don’t want to go back to the renowned names as long as we maintain the standard of our products.

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AW : Introduce us to your Brand

Twinkleen is a brand that every household would love to have in their homes that will give them a sparkling effect from their floor, to the kitchen, to the toilet and bathroom. We proffer solutions to every cleaning needs with our products which are: Multipurpose liquid soap, Loo cleaner, Air freshener, Tiles and surface cleaner, antibacterial handwash.

Our services: We provide post-construction cleaning, move-in cleaning, post-renovation cleaning, office cleaning.

Trainings: We train youths and interested individuals on how to produce cleaning products

 

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AW : How do you deal with clients who are unreasonably demanding?

I can’t say we don’t have unreasonably demanding clients but I have learnt to be extremely patient with clients that have such attitude. I listen to them, I proffer solutions to whatever issues they come up with and I give them time to decide what actions they want to take; if it’s to continue to patronize our business or otherwise. If otherwise, I will also give them time and I go back to reintroduce our products to them. We don’t give up on our clients easily.

 

AW : Is feedback essential for business?

Oh yes, feedback is not only essential, but it is also important for business because this is the first thing that will sell your product or brand to other people.

 

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AW : In your own words, describe the Nigerian market place

Nigerian market space is such an interesting one. There are days one would feel so dejected and upset because of the very many unavailable infrastructural tools that are essential for the smooth running of businesses; chief of which is electricity. I can categorically say the market place is not encouraging for fresh and new minds in business.

 

AW : Do you think there are more women in business compared to men?

Yes I think there are more women in business compared to men

 

AW : How have you been able to stand against competitors and thrive?

I have not stood against any competitor oo, I dey my lane them their lane. {they are in their lane, I am also in my lane} {Lol.} the sky is big enough for everyone to shine.

 

AW : What’s been your most vulnerable moment(s) in business?

They are moments I feel I have not done enough in twelve years because I am financially restricted. Earlier this year I thought of getting involved in other businesses but I realised the necessary resources needed to float such business interests were not within reach and that amount that I intend to start other business, why can’t I invest it into Twinkleen? I passed that phase, I went to my drawing table to restrategize.

 

AW: Share your success stories with us

One of my success stories was registering some of my products with NAFDAC in 2013, I graduated in 2011 and I felt I can expand the business instead of getting a full-time job, so I approached NAFDAC and I got their requirements for registration and started working to get those requirements in place. It wasn’t easy but I got support from NAFDAC staff in Ekiti they were always ready to guide me through the process and after some months the registration number came out and I was so happy like I won a jackpot.  I was able to sell the products in supermarkets and public places after been registered.

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Another success story is having kept returning clients for 12years to me is a success and I don’t take my clients for granted. Having a factory was another success story that amazes me till today. When I was about to start the NAFDAC process I had to rent a factory space at Afao road and after a year the rent was increased and I couldn’t pay the rent at the second year because at that time I was servicing some loans and my mum came to my rescue by paying the rent. That second year my mum just asked what my plan was about the factory and I    said I am confused so she said what if we build a factory on her land and I said okay but I don’t have money to build at that time and she said God will provide and that was it within some months the building was ready and that was how I stopped paying factory rent. Meanwhile, before I secured my first factory space at Afao road in Ado-Ekiti I said a prayer “God please I don’t want to pay factory rent more than 2years”. The Lord granted my request and I am grateful to him.

 

AW: Share your social media handles with us

Instagram handle: www.instagram.com/mytwinkleen

 

 

AW: Who are your role models 

Mo Abudu, Tony Elumelu, Ibukun Awosika, Rev Sam Adeyemi, Mr Segun Oguntoyinbo,

 

AW: What’s your advice to women who want to have a brand of their own?

My advice to women who intend to have a brand is to start no matter how small. One of Zig Ziglar’s quote says “You don’t have to be great at something to start, but you have to start to be great at something” propose value to your customers, keep improving the brand you have started, be consistent, be prompt with your deliveries and be faithful with all you make in the business, set your priorities right and keep doing what you know how to do best.

 

AW : How did you figure out chemicals that are just unique to your brand?

I have been able to figure them out with my experience in the business and make sure I stick to the ones that does the magic for Twinkleen.

 

AW : What makes you different?

The effective composition of materials we put together that remove tough stains in toilets, bathtubs, tiles, marbles and ceramics and our prompt delivery makes our brand different.

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Source: Above Whispers

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5 Responses to AW WomenPreneneur Series : In A Twinkling Of An Eye, Oluwakemi Adepetu Creates Twinkleen With A Spark

  1. Olumuyiwa Igbalajobi September 24, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    I can attest to the originality of the label. The best in town!!

    Reply
  2. Olufunmilayo September 24, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    Wow what an inspiring article. Go ahead Kemi, the sky is your launching pad.
    I can’t thank God enough for making our paths to cross.
    Kisses hugs and greater heights for Twinkleen products.
    Your self made Regional manager cares.

    Reply
  3. Jesudunni September 24, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    This is such an inspiring one. I can attest to the fact that Twinkleen is a very fantastic household cleaning product and I reccomend to all.

    Reply
  4. Da_Bengs September 26, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    This is an inspiring story and the Lord that has brought you thus far shall keep you going to you get to that deserved spot light and height. Twinkleen all the way………………….

    Reply
  5. Oluwakemi September 30, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Thank you

    Reply

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