Foluke: Creative fruit stylist, dogged entrepreneur
Adedokun Foluke is a fruit stylist that is a cynosure of all eyes at major events. As an exceptional entrepreneur, her creativity speaks volumes.
Her expertise at her fruit craft has opened doors for her in the event industry as well as gained the attention of high profile clientele from a business she learnt from a mentor. According to her, she started out about four years ago with a seed capital of N10,000.
Foluke, who is the CEO of Fruitie World, says her love and passion for eating healthy, especially fruits, made her venture into the fruit craft. This year, Foluke was among the nominees and eventual winner for the Award of Fruit Stylist and Smoothies of the year by the Association of Professional Party Planners and Event Managers (APPOEM). She was also a one-time winner of the City People Magazine’s best Fruit Dessert Stylist of the year.
“About four years ago I made a decision to venture into fruit styling as a result of my lifestyle, that is, healthy living through healthy eating. I decided to make a business out of my lifestyle and my dream is that everyone would make healthy living through fruit consumption a lifestyle,” she says.
The fruit stylist says her business has given her the privilege to meet with some Nollywood celebrities such as Mercy Aigbe who engaged her to provide fruit services during her 40th birthday. Also, her brand, Fruitie World, was engaged by the planners of the 80th birthday party of Chief Ade Ojo, founder of Elizade Motors, sometime back. She was also a fruit vendor at this year’s Access-Lagos Marathon.
If there’s one thing the Fruitie World boss does not take for granted, it is her presentation and the level of hygiene she puts in the preparation of her fruits.
“In my line of business, I don’t compromise safety, which was why I had to undergo the level 1 and 2 of Food Hygiene and Safety course of the London Professional Training Centre, Lagos,” she says.
According to her, marketing her craft has not been too difficult as she enjoys referral from clients who have been dazzled by her brand offering.
“If there’s one thing we don’t fail to do, it is exceeding our client’s expectation per time, which has paid off,” she says.
Speaking on the challenges in her line of business, she says, “The challenges are many, but to mention but a few. We know that some fruits are seasonal. It can be challenging getting them when needed. Also, the state of our fruit markets is nothing to write home about and it can be tough getting there,” she notes.
“Pricing is also an issue as well as fruit preservation. Then you also talk about the tools of the trade. They are very expensive,” she explains.
On how she has given back, the entrepreneur says she runs periodic training sessions for those who want to learn fruit craft and so far has trained about 130 people, many of whom are doing well for themselves.
Lending her voice to entrepreneurship in Nigeria, she says business growth is an ongoing concern.
“Businesses are birthed daily, but growth and sustainability is the main issue. Truth is, being an entrepreneur in Nigeria is quite demanding, most especially because of the poor enabling environment. In spite all of the odds, I encourage more Nigerians, especially youths, to embrace entrepreneurship and not give up on their dreams.”
Speaking on her future plans, the Fruities World boss says her dream is to be the leading Fruit Styling brand in West Africa and put Nigeria in the world map of exceptional Fruit Stylists.