1. Kindly tell us your full name
Full name: Bamisaye Gideon Ayodeji
2. How was growing up like and how did it contribute to your success today?
Growing up was quite interesting for me, as a child, I would always look up and dream of being a pilot, as I got into secondary school, then I changed my interest and wanted to become an accountant because I felt they always “touched money”. I didn’t know better then, so I went ahead and join the commercial class in my senior secondary school.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, the dream of becoming an accountant was aborted as I couldn’t secure a minimum credit mark in mathematics, the best I had was a D7; I was also given a provisional admission to study Economics at the University of Abuja (2009) and not accounting as I wanted. The only option I was left with was to change my course to another department and that was how I found myself in the Faculty of Arts, linguistics department, university of Abuja. The saving grace I had was a B3 in Yoruba Language and so my journey began. Today I’m doing things totally unrelated to what I studied in the university and it’s not changing anytime soon. Did I mention I tried to write WAEC 3 more times and still didn’t pass mathematics while passing other subjects (making it a total of 5 times)
How did it contribute to my success today? Well, the process of growing up has always placed leadership roles in my hands so it has helped me in growing my capacity to manage people to a certain level. In my Primary school, I was head boy, Junior Secondary School, I was the assistant Senior prefect, then in my senior secondary school, I was the Labour prefect. Getting to the university, I was course representative for two years, Electoral Chairman for the Department twice and I equally held leadership positions in the Christian Fellowship I attended then Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES). I was Publicity Secretary (where my passion for designing started) and then moved on to be the Vice president. During my service year, I was also the Vice President of my Community Development Scheme group. The whole journey into graphics designing started for me in the year 2012 or thereabout when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on a 6 months’ strike, that period was when I acquired basic skills in graphics designing using photoshop, and the rest they say is history.
Having to hold leadership positions for a good part of my growing up years has helped me see things from different perspectives and appreciate diversity. It has helped me build some level of empathy which is needed when running a business. As a growing brand, you should be able to empathize with your clients and customers to fully understand where they are coming from, what their needs are, and how you can use your skills, knowledge, and experience to proffer a lasting solution.
3. Give us details of your brand and what you do.
The name of my brand is Sculpt Creative Concepts and we are a fast-growing visual identity and digital design company in Lagos, Nigeria. We help individuals, corporate organizations, small and medium scale entrepreneurs and start-ups create visually appealing and target market-oriented design solutions. We offer logo design services, Vehicle Branding, Outdoor Advertising, print design and management, Website development and maintenance, social media branding and marketing, Cartoon and Illustrations, 2d animation, motion graphics, and training.
Our website (though currently under some reconstructions) www.sculptcreativeconcepts.com.ng
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn (Sculpt Creative Concepts)
4. What was the inception of your brand like, how did you come up with the idea?
The brand started in 2016 after I resigned from my former place of work in Abuja and moved back to Lagos to focus on building Sculpt Creative Concepts. I had always possessed design skills and was actively freelancing back in 2016. I was working with a digital marketing agency in Abuja on an International Digital Campaign and decided it was time to go start my own thing. I wanted to build something, have access to more projects across different fields and solve more problems and I felt my job was quite limiting as I wanted to explore other aspects of designing and gain more experience. Before that time, I had already registered my business with the Corporate Affairs Commission during my National Youth Service (NYSC) period, so I simply started some basic branding for the business (Logo and a couple of flyers) and opened social media pages for it. I later registered a website domain name, hosted it, and then proceeded to have it built.
The name SCULPT came from studying Sculptures and Sculptors. They simply take a raw material, chip off unwanted parts to create something magnificent; something meaningful and captivating. That was my aim when I started; to leave a significant positive mark on every brand we come in contact with and it has been our standard. We push to the edges to see we don’t just churn out stuff but leave a mark in the minds of our clients.
5. What were the challenges faced and how did you overcome them?
Every territory has its own challenges and one of the greatest had to do with an internal battle of imposter syndrome. Having self-doubt about one’s accomplishments and feeling like a fraud. As a matter of privilege, I’ve been able to work with brands like Access Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Imo State Government Agency, Malala Fund, to name a few and sometimes I hesitate to list those accomplishments in proposals when vying for projects. I think one of the reasons was because I didn’t want to appear proud or perceived as an arrogant individual but the truth of the matter is highlighting things like that in your company proposal with verifiable links increases your chances of getting selected for major projects. Now to overcome this, I have these facts already stated in the proposal templates we send out so I don’t have time to second guess myself. I just change a few details and send them out. I also try to bring it up in conversations that might potentially lead to sales as it increases the worth of services rendered.
Another challenge faced or facing is scaling while keeping costs low. Currently, we don’t have a visible office where we converge to work every day because we are trying to keep costs of running business low (there is already a number of things we regularly pay for). We were also advised not to take a loan to set up an office space but were told to pursue grants as it will make scaling faster and arduous. Having an office where clients can easily walk into and have meetings is one of the game changes when gunning for major clients especially if the location is in a perceived “big area”. So for now, we work remotely and meet at hubs to have our meeting when the need arises. It’s a cheaper alternative for us at the moment.
6. Can you recollect any mistake you made, the effects, and how you were able to manage it?
Mistake made, well this example I’m about to cite is really interesting but what I learned from it has helped me become a better person. In 2017, I received a call from a client who referred me to an opportunity at Stanbic IBTC to work on an explainer video for a small project a department of the bank was working on. Someone was already working on it but was charging higher and also was proposing a 3d animation explainer video, I on the other hand was proposing a 2d animation and due to lack of business experience was charging way lower than I should (It was 6 figures but my contemporaries would have charged 7 figures). The mistake I made was giving them an exact figure when I was not fully aware of the full scope of work. I had not even seen the script then so we agreed on the amount and I started work. It was at the point of making inquiries for a professional voice-over artist that I knew I had shot myself in the leg. The voice-over artist was charging about 30% of the total budget and I was still going to pay illustrators then (as of then I didn’t do much illustration). I had to agree and have the voice overdone but the effect was that my take-home profit was reduced by a large chunk but I learned a good lesson there.
7. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Business-wise, we should have a physical office, a couple of employees. We should have also owned our studio for animation and expanded our printing business.
I should have some of my art creations in several homes across Nigeria and the entire globe. I am currently doing some illustration work and growing steadily, and I plan to focus more on creating Christian comics, cartoons (Print and Animated), and educational materials for kids. There are plans underway to also have licensed board games designed by me and produced under a different company selling in Nigeria and Abroad.
8. Do you have any fears; can you share?
I have none.
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9. From who have you enjoyed maximum support and how?
Well, I enjoy maximum support from my Wife. She has been really supportive even before we got married. Not many people would want to settle down with a man who is just building a business as we have many ladies seeking for already made man. I’m glad she’s standing by me on the journey. She currently helps with the financials and accounting aspects of the business. She has an eye for figures and has been helping. She has also been emotional support. Having someone who gives you peace and rest is underrated especially when you come home from unsuccessful deals or receive disappointing emails, or when the pressure from work is unbearable.
I equally enjoy support from my family and friends who refer our services to potential clients and customers.
10. Your advice for youths out there
Advice to the youths would be to start small. The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step
Invest in acquiring relevant skills. This will open many doors for you in your endeavours
Invest in relationships; This will keep many of those doors open.
Have a personal relationship with God. Life is Spiritual, don’t just take everything at the surface level.
I learnt not to be relentless regardless of how many times I try and fail… And most especially learning a skill an high income skill… Motivating I love it
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