Adenike Akinyemi: Entrepreneur making mark in Nigeria’s event decor business

Nigeria’s event planning and rental business is highly competitive and among the few entrepreneurs making their mark in the industry is Adenike Akinyemi, chief executive officer of Kolony Events and Rentals.

Adenike who is a brilliant and visionary entrepreneur and often regarded by her peers as the queen of event decor was inspired to establish Kolony Events in 2011 while waiting to be called up for the country’s mandatory National Youth Service.

The young entrepreneur when speaking at the business 10th anniversary recently, says she has been an entrepreneur right from her undergraduate days when she was into baking cakes to generate an additional income.

Narrating her early years’ experience and how she was able to secure her first client, Adenike says the support from family and friends got her the first contract which afterward brought her lots of referrals.

“I recall how my fiance, now husband got me, my first client. A colleague of his at work wanted to host her daughter’s one-year birthday celebration and I was privileged to handle the event,” she says.

“Surprisingly, when we concluded the job, we got loads of positive reviews both offline and online when we posted the pictures. The breakthrough began,” she states.

Similarly, she adds that patronage from friends and former schoolmates in her early years also helped scale her business.

“I remember with nostalgia how my friends contacted me when they began to get married back then,” she recalls.

“The jobs were coming in back to back. I also remember doing a job for Lagos State Government, which turned out well. I can say all of these helped the business grow in no small measure in the industry,” she notes.

Speaking on why she is often referred to as the queen of event planning and flower goddess, she explains that it is owing to her instinctive ability to use flowers to create the perfect colour balance and seamless designs.

“No one does flowers as I do. First, you have to know I love flowers a lot. I could spend all day amidst flowers.”

“Beyond loving them, though, lies the instinctive ability to make them work exactly as I want them to – creating the perfect colour balance, and using appropriate types and colours of flowers for different events, creating seamless designs with them and a host of other things,” she adds.

Highlighting some of her brand’s current offering, she says Kolony Events provides exceptional event decoration services, decor rentals that include flowers and accessories as well as offers training to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to gain entry into the industry.

She adds that the brand had just launched another subsidiary – Kolony Impressions to provide bespoke wedding and party dresses for the luxury woman.

She notes that the business has leverage social media to advertise its products. “We have maximized our brand website and Instagram handle @kolonyevents to showcase our products with good results to show.”

Sharing success secrets in the last ten years, she says the God factor has been her number one trump card. “I have always extolled virtues such as hard work, originality, doggedness, knowledge, and teamwork,” Adenike adds.

“I have come this far only because I have a solid and very understanding support system that includes but is not limited to my husband, kids, and my team,” she says.

On her advice to other entrepreneurs, Adeyemi says “First, be you. No one can do you like you. Put in your best every time.”

“Be faithful and committed to your work and clients as much as possible. Let your customers be able to trust you. Pursue excellence, be consistent and leverage social media for visibility,” she advises.

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