By Nicole D. Batey
With the success of her co-owned online business, Nkeoma by Ivy and Livy, Nigerian-American Ifeoma Madu is on a mission to help women in product-based industries launch their companies through her popular business academy, Hustle & Glow.
Madu, also known as Ify Yvonne in English, aims to help women -especially moms- to know that you don’t have to hesitate or wait for permission to start doing what you love and get paid for it.
“For that mom or woman considering creating her own business, get started! Don’t hesitate, you can do it. You don’t have to have all the pieces together or know everything about the future before you do it,” says Yvonne. “Just trust in God; that He will give you the knowledge and the resources along the way.”
“I don’t want women to wait for permission to do these things. We, as women, tend to put our passions or ideas on the back burner for others,” Yvonne added. “But it’s 2022 and I feel like we can do whatever we put our minds and hearts to do, and we can do it well.”
Yvonne, along with her sister, Nkeiura Mkparu, MD, started the luxury brand of lounge and sleepwear seven years ago, after receiving her doctorate degree in Pharmacy. She currently works full-time as a pharmacist in Ohio and has one two-year-old son, Kamsi.
“As I was still a budding influencer at that time, I built the business from the ground up. Along that journey I learned a lot, especially about the textile and manufacturing industry,” said Yvonne.
“With the success of my businesses, I had a plethora of friends, family and my followers asking for help and guidance in building their own businesses. That is how my business launch academy, Hustle & Glow was born,” she said. “I help women go from zero to launch in just a few short months.”
More women, especially moms, are looking for creative ways to earn income and have more flexibility in their schedules. “With the pandemic, so many of us realized that time and relationships are so precious, and there’s so much more to our lives than just working.”
As National Financial Literacy Month continues, Yvonne gave tips to women who are considering the start of their own side business and mothers looking to become business owners, or “mompreneurs.”
Tapping into passions and skills that you enjoy
No matter what you choose to do, there will be ups and downs. That passion and love for what you do will help drive you, especially during those times when you just don’t feel like it.
Research, research, research…
Do your research and make sure that the market you’re looking into is sustainable. Some businesses couldn’t make the transition when the pandemic hit and consequently closed their doors.
Don’t let the lack of funding deter you from what you want to do
Funding for start-ups can be really challenging due to lack of knowledge and information that’s provided. There are so many companies and organizations, like 8Fit and Create Co., that are willing to help or looking to invest in small businesses. Also, check out credit unions. The information and resources are out there, but not widely known.
Think about what value of what you’re offering to consumers
Besides the product itself, how convenient is it to order? How are you making your customer’s life better? Take Amazon, for instance, their hot commodity is quick and convenient shipping for whatever you want or need. You can place an order the same day and possibly get it in a few hours or next day. That’s giving the customer back their time.
Have a really good marketing plan, especially with social media
You don’t need a lot of money to do that. Create a brand that tells your story and creates a connection with the consumer. This helps build a sense of loyalty to purchasing your product.
Block out time to push your side hustle forward
“You don’t have to quit your job to start your career change,” said Yvonne. “During my first year as a pharmacist, after I finished my shifts at a local retail pharmacy, I would put in hours at night to build Nkeoma By Ivy and Livy.”
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