“I can bring paper to life with my creativity” – CapCraftShop, Emamoke Okeze
Tell us a bit about yourself, your personality, and your background.
My name is Emamoke Okeze. I am the founding partner of CakeAccessoryPlace and founder of CapCraftShop & CraftSupplyShop. I am a creative person who loves to bring ideas to life through paper and a bit of acrylic crafts.
How did you start your journey?
It wasn’t premeditated; I had just resigned from my job as an SAP consultant because I wasn’t growing. My sister, also a partner, who is a baker was relocating, so she had new and used baking items that she couldn’t travel with. She thought about us displaying and selling some of the items on Instagram. That same month, one of my best friends’ younger brother was having his birthday. I have always loved playing around with paper, so I thought of making a cake topper. That was the first thing we made in the craft shop. After putting the baking items up for display, we realized people kept coming back and asking if we had some items; instead of turning them down, we decided to keep selling. That was how it started; all these began August 2017.
What do you consider the most challenging part of this journey?
That has to be staffing. Everyone wants a job, but they are not willing to put in the work. Another is logistics as it relates to clients. They want to order now and receive immediately. Running a business in Nigeria is somewhat challenging in its own because of FX and fluctuating importation fees.
What keeps you going on this journey?
The quality of the service we provide for people. You can count on us for our products’ quality, great customer service and trust us to have products you might not find elsewhere. People come back to patronize us for these reasons.
What would be your one word for someone looking to go into this same industry?
Be sure it is what you want to do. Most people do business these days because there is an importation class somewhere to join, not so much because they are knowledgeable about the business or have what it takes to run a business. Also, make sure you are giving people your best. You always need resources, people, and team members that are supportive. Think well about it and give your best.
How do you unwind as a CEO?
I think work-life-balance is unreal. Making crafts can be demanding and time-consuming. I work overtime sometimes because I often work from my home office. I just forget that time passes. I strongly recommend taking time off, shutting out anything, and relaxing to avoid burnout. I also feel it would be easier to unwind when you have a team you can rely on. Sometimes, I just end up sleeping on said “rest days” after promising myself a visit to the beach, lol.
Tell us about one of your remarkable moments.
It amazes me daily when people patronize us. Of all the options to choose from, they pick CakeAccessoryPlace and CapCraftShop. It is so beautiful to see the trust, commitment, and dedication to the brand.
If you were not managing CakeAccessoryPlace, what would you be doing?
I would be crafting. I enjoy doing things with my hands. I honestly don’t think I would be doing anything else than craft. Traveling is another thing, maybe going a bit out of my comfort zone.
What’s your number one rule that keeps you going? Is there any advice or recommendation you have for the audience?
Luke 6:31, (this is my translation of the verse) treat people how you want to be treated. Life goes around and comes around; you don’t have to know what people are going through to treat them right. It would make the world a better place.
What’s your most ordered product?
Our transparent boxes and 12 hole marble boxes.
Give us three important crafting tools.
Scissors, papers, and glue.
What is your favorite color or the best color to design with?
My favorite color is turquoise, but my best colors to craft with are gold and black. Gold and black works with anything and gives off a unique statement.
What is your favorite dessert to have?
I love chocolate. Like real chocolate, not milo. Chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, anything chocolate.