Lockdown Brought The Best of Me
Ideas conjugated between Ondo State born Ayo Oluwakayode and his wife, Ayo Soromidayo who is from Ikija, Lala compound in Abeokuta, has become fruitful.
Ayo Soromidayo who studied Applied Geophysics at Federal University of Technology, Abeokuta (FUTAB) and graduated in 2010, had a stint of teaching at Solomon Grace International School, Abule Egba, Lagos and learned fashion designing simultaneously but incredibly COVID-19 pandemic change her entire story. She led the due of Creekvibes, Oludaniels and Bidemi Williams into how it all started with Taste and Grace, a company she registered to take care of her steadily growing Catfish business, be it live Catfish or Croaker in varieties, smoke fish, Catfish pepper soup, Catfish Barbeque.
What message do you have for Nigerian youths in the area of essential agriculture?
Agric is very interesting. It is something youths wouldn’t want to do but come to think of it, COVID-19 uncovered our eyes to the hidden treasure in the palm of our hands. In Agriculture, there are essential and non essential business, all you need to do is to tap into the essential business which food, I bet you, you will never go hungry.
During COVID-19 lockdown people where complaining of financial drought in all facet but that was when I started making money, i sold a fish for 2,500 or 3,000 or more than, it depend on the size though, I added value (in form of barbeque) but if it was fresh, it will go for 1,200, for medium sized fish. My advice for the youth is to tap into any aspect of the essential business in agric and they won’t regret it.
What are the challenges of fish farming?
Electricity is one of the major challenges and if you are not careful with the water and feeding, you can lose thousands in a day. If one of them is infected, it spreads to others because infection transmission among pond fishes is very fast. They are comfortable in fresh and cool water, you need to change the water 3 times or more in a day because of our geographical region, they could die of heat.
Have you incur lose?
Yes, but not a massive loose, but there is no how you will not incur loses in fishery but the mortality rate just need to be on the low side. From a thousand you should project 10 per cent loose.
Fishes are carnivorous in nature so you need to be pro active to ensure they don’t eat one another.
Do you think of going into another aspect of agricultural business in future?
Within Agriculture? No. Apart from cat fish farming but I have other business ideas I will want to tap into in the future.
Do you sell on credit?
Due to my experience as an entrepreneur in fashion designing which spanned across six years, I’ve learnt a lot of credit pranks so I don’t entertain them at all.
What are your plans to enlarge your business?
I actually started with people but they went home in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic and not yet back. I have plan to establish a fishhub that will be as big and popular like Domino Pizza, KFC, etc.
Apart from Fashion Designer, have you done any other business?
As a fashion designer I was also doing a corporate job, teaching simultaneously, I taught for two years before quitting it.
Where you well paid as a teacher?
I wasn’t, like N30,000, but I made more cash from private tutorials.
Tailoring and Teaching which was paying better?
Why did you let go of teaching?
I woke up one morning and said to myself, if I could wake up as early as 6:30am and jostle to resume someone else’s job and my workers about six of them resumes 9.00 am and I also pay their salaries from the tailoring outfit, then i dont see why i wont face my business, so I decided to work solely for myself, then I quit teaching. Earlier on, I had searched for jobs related to what I studied at the university, I’ve written many applications; aptitude tests and all proved abortive.
Your apprentices that you left to face your new horizon, are they still in the business of fashion & designing?
Yes, some of them collected my sewing equipments, I still sublet jobs to some good hands.
I am now a full time farmer, my fishes are from farm to plate.
Is your hubby supportive on the fish business?
Yes he does, he ensure social distance is maintained and encourages more eat out.
After COVID-19, do you think you’ll continue fish to plate stuff?
Yes, this business is God inspired business as at June 2nd we became two months and we are doing fine.
As a kid, did you nurture the idea of entrepreneurship?
No! I had always thought of being an engineer.
Thanks and do have wonderful day ahead.