Welcome to ‘Women We Love’ – our weekly column where we celebrate women doing amazing things in their areas of influence. From the tech & the fashion world to social activism & politics, these women, we think, are definitely crush-worthy.
Today, we shine a light on Business Strategist, Export Trading Consultant & Author – Olori Boye-Ajayi!
How would you describe Olori Boye-Ajayi?
Africa, Social Impact, Apparel.
These 3 words best describe what is top of mind for Olori as an individual. I am an alumnus of the U.S State Dept. 2018 International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP); and the Founder of The KATIE WANG Company – a growing global Fashion trading company with operations currently in the U.K., Europe, Australia and the US. At its core, the vision of the company is to link talented fashion suppliers and manufacturers from Nigeria and other parts of Africa to global opportunities, improving their lives and their communities multiple stitches at a time.
I have been listed as one of the ‘Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs in Nigeria’ for my contribution to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria, and that contribution and support to the Youth in Nigeria has been recognized by the U.S Consulate, Lagos where I also had the privilege of sharing my knowledge in Fashion.
I am set to pioneer a new but much-needed turn for the Fashion industry in Nigeria and Africa at large in quality assurance and supply chain. I believe strongly in Nigeria, but more so in the women and young people of Nigeria.
How did you get into the export industry and how long have you been in it?
I got into the export industry after I started the Katie Wang company. Throughout my business, I started thinking of how I want to export my products. That led me into this journey, and since then it’s been remarkable with no regrets.
You just wrote a book titled “Borderless Trade”. Is this your first book? Tell us about it.
Yesss! This is my first baby *laughs*. It has been monumental because if I were to be a part of the people saying everyone is now writing a book I wouldn’t have written one. In general, everybody is doing fashion but there’s a market for everybody, so why not write despite the fact the writer’s industry is already crowded.
How long did it take to write it and what prompted it?
It can take as long as the story fills my mind, and what you want to share out there. I can’t give you a specific duration.
Share what the writing process was like.
Well, I just started writing and developing my thoughts, and also backing it up with a lot of exporting research. And I must confess, reading other books in the past helped me throughout my writing process.
Can you tell us what you think the future of the export industry is like In terms of funding, government policies, foreign exchange, export relationship with other countries?
The future of export is big. Gone are the days when we left agriculture for oil…that’s not going to be the case again. Every industry has a place in exporting, and you can imagine not just exporting your products but your service as well. So far, the government has been really supportive about exporting, and every policy, foreign scheme and export relationship with other countries has been reconstructed to fit even small scale businesses.
What is your end goal with the book and the industry?
To help anyone new to exporting. It’s a detailed step by step guide to taking you to the next phase of your business.
Will there be more parts to the book?
Definitely Yes! And expect more to come.
Tell us one thing you learnt while writing Borderless Trade.
Writing Borderless Brade has been remarkable. I learnt some things that I thought were minor to me while writing the book. It made me seek government support and even made me meet exporters that I never knew of.
When you’re not being a coach, a fashion guru and now an author, what is Olori Boye-Ajayi doing?
I’m busy taking care of my family, being adventurous and thinking of the next shocking thing I want to do.
Give one piece of advice to business owners and entrepreneurs
As a business owner and entrepreneur, you have to be approachable, consistent, drawn to research and be able to challenge yourself to stay in the game.
Where can Borderless Trade be purchased?
You can purchase the Borderless Trade book online http://bit.ly/borderlesstrade at Okada books, Amazon, Goodreads and Bam book.
In case you missed it, check out our last Women We Love feature with Sweet Kiwi Founder, Ehime Eigbe Akindele.