Bimbeads Concept Founder and CEO, Bimbo Balogun, is an exceptionally talented and focused lady. I am indeed excited to introduce her to you today. I am sure there’s a lot we all can learn from her.
When we meet such interesting individuals at Bellafricana we don’t keep how wonderful they are to ourselves alone. We generously give you an insight to how amazing they are. So come on beautiful people, let’s meet Bimbo Balogun, founder of Bimbeads …
Please introduce yourself and your background.
My name is Bimbo Balogun. I’m from Ondo state, I graduated from Petroleum Training Institute and majored in Petroleum Marketing Technology. I had my secondary school at Federal Government College Idoani, Ondo state, where I’m from. I’m a recipient of Goldman Sachs scholars at Pan Atlantic university Lagos state. I’m married with kids.
Please tell us about your work.
I specialize in beads, gem stones, gold filled etc. to make exquisite jewelry. I love working with sea shells, star fish, oyster shells and unique objects to enhance jewelry.
I have various collection of jewelry;
Abike Premium: these jewelry are customised. They are made once or twice as the case may be and not be repeated. The idea behind this is to have only you wearing the piece, without finding it elsewhere.
The Ugonma collection: they are regular designs with a bit of tweak to give it a different look from the regular.
Corporate/casual collection: they are jewelry worn to offices, not very serious occasion.
I also have the high profiled collections: They are not displayed in my show room. I take them out for viewing. Most of these customers do not want their jewelry showcased in public. I use high grade pearls, coral and other gemstones with gold filled, 18kt gold, sterling silver etc to finish them.
How did Bimbeads Concept start?
Bimbeads concept wasn’t planed. I started out of frustration of not being employed. Like I said earlier, I studied petroleum marketing, I had my life planned but man proposes, God disposes.
I wanted to work in an oil company, to follow my dad’s foot step but fate had it differently for me. I sought for job after I had worked in two independent oil marketing company.
I got trained in beading 10 Years ago just to keep busy until I find a job and ever since, I have been busy with beads. I was taught the basics and went abroad to acquire more. I just wanted to be different.
Where do your ideas for jewelry come from? Where do you find the inspiration for your jewelry designs?
I get inspired mainly in the dreams, I draw out whatever I saw and bring it to reality. I also get inspired by some of my colleagues.
Can you remember one of the first things you crafted? What makes it memorable?
The first item I made to sell was a bag and a necklace to go with it. I sold it ₦5,000.
How long does it take to design and make a particular work?
It depends on design. After materials are available, on the average, two days. Sourcing for materials can be time consuming. We work round the clock if we are running out of time.
Can you explain a bit about your techniques to make jewelry?
I use different techniques: i work with wires of different gauges, monofilament, threads etc. I always make sure my jewelry balanced and there are focal points. I consider movements too. I use colours that agree with each other.
What are the challenges you face in business?
The major challenge is not getting staff to key into my vision. They don’t understand the business world and it gets me frustrated.
What is your most popular item/product (include image)?
Sincerely, I can’t say there is a particular product that is more popular than the other. It’s been really amazing, all our designs get immediate acceptance and are all best sellers. This usually makes me glad, that indeed we are doing something right.
To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?
You know Nigeria-Africans like to be noticeable hence we love bold and colourful jewelry. I try to consider that whenever I design especially my bridal jewelry.
What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
Ultimately, my goal is to have a strong successful brand that can compete internationally and I’m also starting to consider succession of the business when the time comes.
My goal in life is to fulfill purpose and to mentor as many people that want my mentorship.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
People will be surprised to learn humility from me. I am a down to earth person, approachable and deep.
For someone who wishes to take up this kind of career, what kind of advice would you give them? Also, if you could give one piece of advice to youths who want to start their own company, what would it be?
My advice is simply patience and humility. Humility grows business. Patience sustains business.
Don’t copy, be original. Be the best version of yourself and not someone else. Do the best you can and leave the rest to God. Don’t run someone else’s race.
And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share two to four images of your work and tell us a little about each.
Here are more jewelries exquisitely crafted by Bimbeads Concept.