Oluremi Martins started her Direct-to-customer (DTC) hair company, Natural Girl Wigs, when she discovered a gap in the beauty market. Like many other natural hair enthusiasts, she couldn’t find the afrocentric styles she wanted.
Two years down the line, Oluremi has launched a collection of over 50 styles made by local black hair stylists in Lagos and Texas, and has grown a global brand using social media.
On today’s How I Work, she shares with us how she’s keeping her business going while working from home.
- Current role: Founder and Chief Experience Officer.
- Location: Lagos, Nigeria.
- Current computer: MacBook Air.
- Current mobile device: iPhone X.
Tell us briefly how you started out in your career and how you got where you are today.
While working as head of digital marketing in a digital boutique agency, I started an Instagram page to inspire black women. One day I shared my views about how I loved natural textured wigs and protective styles, and the feedback showed me many that women needed these options. I created the first wig with the help of my hairstylist and that’s how the journey started. Since 2018 we have delivered thousands of wigs to black women in over 30 countries using the power of community and social media.
Describe what working in this pandemic is like, in one word.
It’s not different for me because we have been working remotely since we started the business. The only challenges are external factors that we can not control like partners who have been affected due to regulations but we’ve managed efficiently regardless.
Tell us briefly about what you do and what your job entails
I manage the brand and content direction and development of the business across all platforms. My job is to make sure we are creating great experiences for our customers. This entails making sure our products give the best value as promised and that our community is helping women live their best lives, which is our goal.
I wake up between 7 and 7:30 a.m. I have developed the habit of not picking up my phone when I wake up and this helps me control how I start my day.
I exercise, stretch, and do some meditation for one hour after which I have a bath.
I get my coffee ready and my work table set because I have to start work at 9.
I spend the first hour of work responding to emails and making sure our social media pages have been updated with the right content.
I start to cross my to-do list from 10 a.m.
I give myself a 15 minute break per hour to check social media and respond to personal messages.
I prepare and eat my first meal of the day between 12 and 1.
After that, I get back to work and check in with the production team to make sure things are going well.
Most of my Zoom meetings are between 3 and 5 p.m. so I start preparing at 2 p.m. if I have any meetings for the day.
I also research and brainstorm with our content team so we can come up with new ideas and how to execute them.
Work closes officially at 5:30 p.m.
Dinner preparation begins at 6 p.m. and I try to wrap up by 7.
I watch some Netflix till 10 or 11.
From 11, I look through my emails and read articles and case studies that help me improve my ideas and think better about the brand.
Last thing I do is to make my to-do list for the next day.
What apps, gadgets, or tools have you been relying on to work from home, and how do you use them?
Notepad: to write things down
My iPhone Note app: it helps me save links and write things quickly
To-do list App: I use this to plan my to-do list daily and my long and short-term tasks
Slack: to communicate with the team and manage projects
Instagram: this is the biggest social channel for the business so I check it often
Plann: I use this app to manage social media posts and manage schedules with other team members
G Suite: for all my work emails.
To be honest, it’s difficult to separate them, but scheduling all my daily activities helps.
Do you live/work alone? If not, what’s your living condition like and how do you avoid/cope with distractions?
No, I live with my partner.
How do you recharge or take a break?
I take a 15-minute break and stretch when I get tired of sitting.
What’s your biggest challenge with working from home and how are you trying to solve it?
Distractions from social media and getting carried away with things around me when I am in between tasks. I try to solve this by looking through my to-do list anytime I catch myself and once I see all the work I am yet to complete the distractions disappear.
What are you currently reading, watching, or listening to? What do you recommend?
I’m reading Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer. One of my online mentors recommended it and I will recommend it to other entrepreneurs as well.
I watch a lot of YouTube; I find lots of resources and lessons from entrepreneurs who share freely on the platform.
I am currently watching Blood & Water on Netflix too.
What piece of advice would you give someone trying to adapt to working from home?
Plan everything, add them to a to-do list, and always write things down.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Moe Odele, Managing Partner at Vazi Legal; Tolani Thomas, Founder at Halisi Consulting; and Ola Adewale, Creative director at OlarsGrace.
Listen to Built in Africa, a podcast by Techpoint Africa
NEW REPORT: Nigerian startups raised $28.35m in Q2 2020; only about 4.5% of that came from local investors. Find out more in the full report.