Souvenir production gives me connection, money —Kunle Fadare, CEO, FOA Authentic Nig Ltd, Lagos
THE decision of Kunle Fadare, the Chief Executive Officer of FOA Authentic Nigeria Limited, Ijaiye-Ojokoro, Agbado, Lagos to explore souvenir productions and sales was borne out of the prospect of the business which he saw through his brother who is into souvenirs production, specialising in engraving artistic designs and pictures on mirror.
Kunle, who noted that he has never worked under any company, explained that “the success of my brother in the business, coupled with my creativity and passion for excellence and hard work, gave me the assurance of enviable success in the business and make more that what any organisation can pay me as salary.”
The graduate of Economics from the former Ondo State University, now Ekiti State University, disclosed that the strength of his company lies in the production of unique natural gifts and souvenirs for its customers, dynamism and maintenance of professionalism.
Recounting the proceeds he had hitherto got from the business, the Ijero Ekiti-born artist, who has been in the business for over 13 years, said: “souvenirs production has continued to open financial doors for me, while connecting me to prominent people in the public and even in the private sector. I must note that, the quality of my job speak for me.
“As an evidence of the financial proceeds from the business, I have my own house and machineries to produce the souvenirs, just to mention a few.”
According to Fadare, FOA Authentic Nigeria Limited boasts of financial inistitutions, such as First Bank, Zenith Bank, Wema Bank and GTBank; seven tertiary institutions, which include Obafemi Awolowo University, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Tai Solarin University of Education, University of Abuja, Federal Polytechnic Ilaro and Federal Polytechnic Ede; government of Oyo, Osun and River states; Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, National Union of Local Government Employees, Osun State, and innumerable prominent personalities and individuals, on its clientele list.
He disclosed that though he has some partners in China and Dubai, he plans to extend his tentacles of partnership to other companies and professionals in other parts of the world to aptly translate his unique and creative ideas into finished products.
Fadare also noted that the future is so bright, “as individuals, government, organisations and companies will always be in need of souvenirs for their events and to champion their course.
Making fortune from souvenir production
THE many advantages of souvenirs make it an inevitable part of every event and a veritable tool for a serious and business-minded organisation, company and even government institute or parastatal. Souvenirs serve as tools to appreciate kind gestures, keep memories, educate and also champion a course, among other usefulnesses.
The aforesaid facts underscore production and/or supply of souvenirs as a lucrative business, especially for the creative minds who can look at all the conventional souvenirs and think of ways to put a twist on it. There are so many outdated souvenirs that are still being used and if you can tweak it, it will be something new, and earn you more money.
Who can do the business?
The business is opened to any interested person, but creative and dynamic minds stand at vantage position to make more proceeds from the business.
The business gives room to both low-income person and the rich to explore and enjoy the goodies it offers, as you can start the business without a dime, with as little as N30,000 and with as much as millions of naira.
To start without a dime, you will have to attach yourself to an established souvenir producer, whose products you can use as samples or whom you can sell his products to raise capital for the business.
However, the basic equipment needed for the business include a mesh machine, which costs about N5,000; a good mathematical component for about N4,000; set of ink for about N5,000; table and stood for about N5,000; two feet iron ruler for about N500, while about N5,000 will take care of eraser, pen and pencil, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Grasping the basics in the business will take you about six months while acquiring deeper knowledge about the business will take a school certificate holders about two years and take a graduate about one year. You need to underscore the fact that the period you will spend to learn the business will also be determined by how fast you can grasp knowledge. Training fee ranges between 50 and 100k, depending on your tutor.
Research and planning
Research your target market. Your target market will determine the kind of souvenirs you will produce or sell. If your target market is corporate organisations or government, then special artworks frame (mirror design); crystal items (crystal table clocks, ball or plaque); wooden clock, solar key holders; lapel pin; cufflinks; desktop items and sets; hard-board note pads productions, among others are good to explore. But if your target market is individuals, you can consider printing on umbrellas, writing materials, T-shirts and mugs, just to mention a few. If tourists are your target, then souvenirs portraying culture and history of particular society will be good to tap into.
Contact suppliers and estimate the cost of the inventory you intend to provide. Then research your storefront costs. Know the cost of materials you want to use for the souvenirs, though at times, individual customers would bring the materials they want you to customise for them, but you will have to source for materials if you are producing for organisations or companies. You must ensure that the materials you are using are of high quality.
Write your business plan. Putting the time and effort to do this thoroughly will point out any holes in your ideas and make an impressive presentation to banks or finance companies, potential suppliers and landlords. The more professional you appear, the more breaks you will receive from these people.
Cost and potential earning
The kind of souvenirs you are producing will determine your cost of production. While some requires much cost, others require less. Meanwhile, there are some determinant facts for your potential earning. These include your creativity, your clients and the value you place on your expertise.
By and large you can make between 30 and 100 per cent of your cost of production as profit.
Reputation and marketing
In this industry, do not expect the market to go to you. You have to go to where the market is. You must underscore the fact that you need point of reference to get better deals in this business, especially from banks, companies, organisations, politicians and government. Hence you must either produce some good quality souvenirs as part of your capital or produce some high quality and creative souvenirs for friends and relatives at a very low price.
Get marketers who will take samples of your works to corporate organisations, companies, government parastatals and politicians. This is because organisations and companies are better clients to souvenir producers as they produce souvenirs at least once in a month, unlike individuals who call for it occasionally.
Your creativity and ingenuity will build a good reputation and market for your souvenir works. Every souvenir bears the imprint (name and phone number) of the artist, so whoever sees your works and appreciates them can call you for more works. Souvenir collectors can also contact you, make arrangement with you and become your marketer.
You can also contact local craft stores and fabric centers, provide them with brochures or flyers to hang at their location to help advertise your works.
You can as well sell your works at conferences, exhibitions, trade shows while sales for painting works is mostly on the increase during festive periods.
Hotel, which is a good component of tourism, is a good market for painting works, also tourist centres, and wherever there are expatriates or foreigners. The intellectuals pay good money for arts, so you can have brisk sales in an environment full of intellectuals.