When her shoe got damaged, she did not feel embarrassed as other female students would have felt. She picked it up, walked on bare foot to her destination and thereafter the investigation that led her into success began. Faith Emonagbon , a final year student of Project Management Technology (PMT), and Creative Director, EMFAT Creations who shared her experience on how she ventured into shoe making business while still pursuing her degree at FUTA said “there is no limit to greatness for the determined one.”
According to her on a fateful day while returning from class in 2014, her left foot shoe got damaged. She picked it up and immediately she got home she understudied the components and how it was made. From them on her interest in shoe making was sealed. That interest took her to Benin in Edo state while on vacation where she started her training in shoe making for some months. Not satisfied with the training at Benin she moved to Lagos to perfect the training while on her industrial training in 2017.
On what inspired her into shoe making, she said “women are strong and very enterprising. I believe I have what it takes to get the best out in the Nigerian market. I decided to do this because I have a strong passion for quality, especially in foot wear and leather works.”
On challenges faced in the business Faith said “as a woman people will always look down on you and feel you cannot do anything. They always feel the products are not made by me because of the quality. I always receive complements like “are you sure you make this shoe yourself?” Also, inability to access enough funds for expansion and mass production is a major challenge. I really want to make it a big business whereby I can employ a few hands and have an office space with showroom to make my business a corporate one. Another major challenge is power supply. But I make use of a generator because even when there is electricity, the voltage is too low to power my equipment.”
Faith said she get her materials from Lagos because they are not available in Akure.
On her unique selling point for her products she said creativity in design; neat finishing, timely delivery to patrons; good packaging and excellent customer relationship are her secrets.
Faith also disclosed that proper planning and time management has helped her tremendously in coping with her studies and the shoe business. She also said at the moment proceeds from the business is assisting her in her studies and to render financial assistance to others. This serves as a lesson to other students that where there is a will there is a way.
She encouraged other students like her to remain focused, determined and make hard work there watchword, because God increases humble beginning. “Life is tough, so people always say. But I say create a life from it that you can be proud of. Do not let go of your dreams and passion. Chase it and keep chasing it. It cannot be done until someone does it. Go get it done and always put God first.”