Hi Oreoluwa, What’s your background, and what are you currently working on?
My name is Oreoluwa Shoinbare, co-founder and CEO of WiiCreate. I am the last born of 3, a graduate of Mass Communication from Bowen University (specializing in Integrated Marketing Communication). I grew up in Lagos state and am an alumnus of Igbobi College and Oxbridge Tutorial College. I have worked all my life as an entrepreneur, trying to solve one problem or the other.
What motivated you to get started with Wiicreate?
The idea of Wii create was the dream of a student at Covenant University. It was the first idea of Donald Onwochei, He sold t-shirts and other custom merchandise to students at his university. I was doing a similar business at Bowen University, and when Donald was about to graduate from university, he searched for a cofounder to build a bigger business with. He put out a tweet, and I saw it on my timeline. Thankfully, the rest is history.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Good service and value. Wii have been able to get our MVP right, and this has led to many referrals. This has been the case since our first month of launch. It has helped us stand out from the clutter.
What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?
Wii helps startups and companies source, and ship custom branded boxes with the use of technology. We launched our first product in 2021 – wiicreate.com. On this platform, companies can mix and select the merchandise they want. We have grown our revenue by an average of 100% year on year.
What are your business goals for the future?
To be the biggest merchandising company in Africa serving thousands of companies across the continent.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources for you?
How They Started: How 30 Good Ideas Became Great Businesses by David Lester, and Lean Startup by Eric Ries. I absolutely enjoyed the first.
The first book helped me understand why companies scaled, and how. It opened my mind to the dynamics of growth as a company. There are so many gems in that book.
Which were your marketing strategies to grow your business?
Positioning, learning how to market, and leveraging storytelling. Your experiences are relatable, social media helps us to share and amplify our stories. You also get to gather like-minded people. I have folks that have been following our growth for years. You would need a community to scale in this time and age.
What were the biggest challenges you faced and the obstacles you overcame?
Funding and Focus were the biggest challenges I had when Wii started. Wii kicked off with 200k in savings. However, we focused on scaling the economics of our business. The growth of our business helped me with focus and funding. I made sure our growth was the backbone of our business, and our growth attracted even more funding. I focused on how sustainable our model was and also managed our revenue frugally. One major thing that helped us overcome our challenges was prioritizing the growth of the businesses over myself for as long as was needed.
If you had the chance to do things differently, what would you do?
I would watch my numbers early and probably take more leaps earlier. Sometimes what we are waiting for to happen would never happen, and no better time would come to take the risk.
Have you had any failed business?
No, I have not.
What are some sources for learning you would recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting?
Follow those that have built successful businesses on social media. I have always held on to the words of those that have gone ahead of me, especially in my industry, off the top of my mind I can recommend, cofounders of Piggyvest, Cowrywise, and Schoolable.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Start with what you have, do not wait for the perfect time. There is no perfect time for starting. Just do it. Test the idea, If it works, scale it. If it doesn’t, check around for competition that is thriving, assess their business, and do some experiments. Also, learn more than you earn for as long as possible; it would help you stay ahead of the curve.
Where can we go to learn more about you?
Twitter and Medium, I share my thoughts a lot. @amb_ore on Twitter, Oreoluwa Shonibare on Medium.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Wii are looking to add a junior or mid-level graphics designer to our team. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.