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 the healthy dessert connoisseur – Ehime Eigbe Akindele of SweetKiwi!
…is a product of Grace, hard work and foresight, who, like most entrepreneurs, started her brand because of a recognized problem. We had a chat with Ehime to find out the driving force behind the brand and to get the details on some recent milestones.
What made you start SweetKiwi?
SweetKiwi was born from my quest to find a healthy dessert that I could have when I changed my diet due to a health scare back in 2009. I am a big sweet tooth so I was reluctant to give up ice cream. Frozen yoghurt was a perfect alternative, however, it wasn’t quite as healthy as it could be, so I started working on creating a recipe that was healthier for the lifestyle I wanted.
SweetKiwi recently got a huge break in the last few months – tell us about it!
We just launched into Whole Foods Market in the US and signed a major distribution deal for the East Coast and Mid Atlantic region. This is a major dream come true as many more people can experience our product and the detail that goes into producing it.
Here’s Ehime Eigbe Akindele talking more about her new achievement in detail;
Your brand is diversifying from just frozen yoghurt to other products. What can we look forward to?
We are backwards integrating to create more dairy-based products using milk sourced locally in Nigeria. Our desire is to contribute to the growth & development of the Nigerian dairy industry, and export these products to other countries showcasing Nigerian made products to the rest of the world.
Now that this is in the bag, are you going to revel in it for a few years or is there already more in the works?
Well, there is no time to revel, we are already back to work, closing more stores and distribution. Our dream is to be the biggest dairy company out of Africa, so we can’t afford to stop right now until that dream is achieved. Then maybe we can revel.
What is your dream for SweetKiwi?
To be the biggest and most valued dairy company in and out of Africa.
As a woman making such amazing strides with her business if you could share 3 lessons with women who are just getting started in the business world, what would that be?
- Understand the ins and outs of the business you are in. Know every single process and all elements that affect your business.
- Don’t be afraid to dream bigger than what seems possible. Keep looking to innovate in the space.
- Build a strong, solid foundation and be ready to put in the work.
What has been your worst day in business and how did you overcome it?
My worst day I would say was the day we lost over N1m in diesel value through a staff error. I was beside myself. I left the office and decided to spend the day with a friend just talking about anything but the situation. We worked out an arrangement to pay back what was lost and kept moving along. We can get knocked down but you can’t let these challenges keep you down.
What message would you give your younger self?
Know that everything works out in the end. Don’t worry so much. Give your best and God meets you with the rest.
What words do you live by?
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
If you missed out last Women We Love on the “Queen of Talk” – Joyce Daniels, Click Here!