How Lack of Creativity Almost Frustrated My Fragrance Brand – Chandelier by Zy CEO – The Whistler Nigeria
Hyeladzira Mshelia, Programs Associate and CEO of Luster by Zy, an Abuja-based fragrance startup, revealed how the lack of creativity almost jeopardized her business in the beginning.
The CEO said this while sharing her company’s story during a program hosted by SKDC Global Links Ltd on Tuesday.
When Mshelia founded the fragrance brand in 2017, she focused on creating wealth from the lucrative business which was valued at around $39 billion in 2017.
In 2021, the global fragrance industry reached over $46 billion, thanks to the influx of startups like Luster by Zy.
The entrepreneur shared how earning money was her biggest motivation when she ventured into perfume making. But she was almost frustrated trying so many bad business decisions to make money.
“It’s fine for you to love money, but that shouldn’t be your motivation, to be honest. Make sure you’re passionate about something you’re doing, so that even if money doesn’t not come, even if Nigeria wants to frustrate you, you will find a reason to continue,” said the founder of Luster by Zy.
Mshelia, who has described starting a business in Nigeria as a “bittersweet” adventure, admitted that when she started she struggled with a huge shortage of bottle supply to package her product.
She told how she resorted to importing bottles from China and paid 100,000 naira to DHL to clear the bottles.
She also revealed how she was duped out of 40,000 naira at the popular UTC market in Abuja when she tried to buy bottles from the local market.
But the CEO had a bigger challenge which she described as the lack of “creativity” in her new startup.
She said, “There are a lot of factors working against you (Nigerian business owners). It is frustrating if you are trying to make money and everything in Nigeria is working against you.
“Financially, you will say there are financial constraints when it comes to businesses, especially as a small business owner. To be honest, we don’t have flexible loan facilities in this country.
“For me, as an entrepreneur as a perfumer, my biggest challenge has been the lack of creativity. The biggest killer for an entrepreneur is when you don’t have that innovative idea.
“For me, I will continue to say the lack of creativity, because there are deadly consequences that happen when you’re not creative, to be honest.
“When you’re not creative, you can’t be innovative. It’s the plain truth. Three things that would happen, you either steal someone’s idea, buy the idea, or just fake relevance.
“The latter is not the best because the business is very competitive. You must always be on your guard. You can’t sit on your back and say I’m fine.
She said the lack of creativity has deprived many Nigerian entrepreneurs of the funding needed to grow their startups.
“Without creativity, you will not be able to sell and exploit opportunities,” added the CEO of Luster by Zy.
She linked her lack of creativity in the business to her efforts to balance her entrepreneurial ambition and her career.
Shelia said: “It’s hard to juggle the two roles to be honest. I’m trying to make ends meet at the office and I have perfumes to sort out.
“So realistically, it’s very difficult for you to be an entrepreneur as a career person, in particular. You know, the challenges go back as far as you’re trying to see clients and some of them are trying to talk to you inappropriately.
“It’s just the whole thing, it’s just a lot. You try to balance your professional life, your professional life.