Editor’s note: This is a series, highlighting just some of the fascinating skills on SkillPages. A business consultant by night, Mariam Campbell carries an interesting career by day. As a, jewellery designer and teacher, there’s no question behind her talent and deep passion for creativity. We hope you find Mariam’s advice in growing your business on-line helpful.
Hi Mariam! First can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi, my name is Mariam Campbell and I was born and raised in Nigeria. I am a social media lover, business development planner and jewellery teacher. My skills are diversified but interrelated and largely dependent on innovation and creativity. By night I’m usually up to my elbows in business plans and report writing but during the day I love teaching and making different fashion accessories such as bags, hair pieces and just recently shoes.
How and when did you start creating accessories?
While I was doing my 1-year national youth service program, I had a friend who was an expert in bead work and I trained under her. When I returned in February 2005, I bought materials and made some beads and I instantly found that there was need for them. I then just practised and practised and taught myself how to make bags, hair pieces and other accessories.
So obviously you’re passionate about making jewellery, but tell us how you started to teach it?
Truthfully it has developed rather fast. It started out as a hobby but it is quickly developed into something a little more permanent. It has been a strange and wondrous journey as we (my sister and I) now hold classes on jewellery and bag making and the response has been great. The first class was on wire jewellery while the second one was on bag making. The participants at the classes were impressed and we even have a few of them that are already making good use of what they learned. The feedback from all of the participants has been awesome! In a space of a year, it’s blossoming into a serious business.
Has featuring your products on-line helped you to generate business?
Yes it has, all the marketing and publicity we have done has been on-line. I am a viral person and most of what I do is on-line. The classes that we have had this year have all been promoted on-line and the response has been admirable. I use various on-line platforms to get word out about my classes. In particular, SkillPages helps me to showcase my services and has given me the opportunity to get contacted. I make a point of duty to update and visit these sites on a regular basis.
Would you have any advice for people starting a similar path?
Yes! Everyone in this industry should have an on-line presence of some sort to showcase what they make through pictures, videos and extra content. I also really believe in Thomas Edison’s principle and try to follow it and it hasn’t let me down yet, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try just one more time.”
Apart from teaching, what new skills would you like to learn?
I would like to go back and learn to make cloths (a skill I learned some years back but never developed). But I would also love to be able to write books on small businesses and entrepreneurship!
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