The saying, “great things start small” has turned cliché but like all clichés it is true. You hear of great enterprises that start from a small scale, this story is no different. Peculiar Concepts is the brainchild of the highly creative Eki Peculiar Ehebhamhen.
The venture is into stocking household products (kitchen equipments especially), unisex accessories, decoration of homes, hotels and offices. Perhaps a look into how it all started will help buttress the first and second sentences of this paragraph.
Peculiar Concepts started very small, in her own words: “I started very very small with the money I saved up during my NYSC days at Visafone as a Stock controller in Warri, Delta state, Nigeria. I came back to Port-Harcourt after NYSC and decided to start with what I had. It was very difficult when I started because I was selling at home and every time I come back from market I want to sell everything, so people took advantage to buy on credit, there are sum debts I wrote off because I kept wasting money to call. Now that I own a shop its better because am not in a rush to sell off my goods; I say am not selling on credit and I mean it. At the end of every month when I subtract my shop rent, salaries, tax and expenditures am happy with the turnover. Better days ahead.”
The story is not complete yet, “beneath every smoke there is a flame”. What will make a graduate leave the course she has taken four years of her life to read and start an enterprise even when she knows the risks involved are myriad? In her own words, Ms. Eki states her reason and inspiration.
“I got inspiration from my late mum of blessed memories. She did a lot in motivating my love for business by always wanting me to go and stay at her shop. Whenever we were on holidays (secondary school days) she’ll always make sure I went to stay at the shop to learn how to interact with customers. After secondary school I kept going to the shop, even my University days. After NYSC I told my mum I didn’t want to go through the stress most youths went through to get a job in Nigeria that I wanted to start my own business and she was happy and advised me on the dos and don’ts.”
Going up is not always easy, you have gravity to contend with, and even when you are up, you still have gravity to contend with. Peculiar Concepts has faced some challenges; Ms. Eki has always surmounted them.
“At the beginning, I had the challenge of capital but I had to manage and start small with the little I saved from NYSC. I‘ve passed the challenge of capital because I heeded to my mum’s advise of starting small and saving more. Challenges I face now are arrogant customers, but I always remember the wise saying ‘customers are always right’. I also faced a challenge of businesses getting out of season, so I diversified – I began to do a combination of so many things so I can proudly say that I have overcome that because if one part of the business is out of season I survive on other businesses until that one is back again.”
Ms. Eki stunned the interviewer from Southern Brands with her response when she was asked about her future plans for the venture. She simply said she had made short term and realistic goals for now and she was going to set some more as the venture grew, strange but very realistic. “To move the business to a larger place, begin to get her wares and accessories from the UK and become the best renderer of her kind of service in Port Harcourt.”
Still in the same interview, she was asked about her advice to people just like her, graduates. She said the following:
“If you as a graduate don’t advice yourself, nobody will. Some people choose to be lazy and keep “hoping” to get a white collar job. While another set of people are too pompous to start anything small because of the high class life they lived in the university. The earlier you start with what is available, the better for you. Before I started, I sat down and thought of so many things like going to banks and offices and collecting their clothes to launder, I also tried weekend cleaning of houses, cooking for banks and offices, etc sit down and think of something, pray over it, let the spirit direct and you are good to go. Stop waiting for Nigeria, start helping Nigeria.”
Below is a photospeak of what Peculiar Concepts is about:
Peculiar Concepts is situated at 49 Niger Street Town Port Harcourt, and you can contact her via her mobile 08033428722 or 08070935048. BB PIN: 26008F92
“If you can’t find a job, create one”