- Woman who have sensitive and couldn't wear certain jewellery, launched an online business with N800,000
- Maya Portorreal started her online business while she worked at a luxury brand two months after and now makes N145 million
- From earning N18.6 million as salary from her retail job, Portorreal said she began to make serious money after launching Kitten Co. Jewellery
In 2019, Maya Portorreal earned just N18.6 million every year working in a retail company. In 2020, she made more than N145 million from her online jewellery business, which she started as a side business three years ago.
This is due in part to her sensitive skin.
While working for a luxury clothing brand, Pierre Hardy in New York, Portorreal was complaining about the fact that most stylish and fun jewellery was either costly or made from inferior materials that gave her rashes, she told CNBC
Portorreal said she has sensitive skin and cannot wear brass or something made of heavy copper.
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Because of her sensitive skin, she launched a boutique brand called Kitten Co. Jewellery, making inexpensive jewellery from skin-friendly materials mostly out of frustration.
Beginning from scratch with N830,000 from her savings, she reached out to suppliers and manufacturers to her turn her idea into an actual jewellery business, leveraging social media and online influencers to feature her jobs in their posts.
According to Portorreal, she makes more than N12.4 million monthly, taking between N6.2 million to N8.3 million home monthly as profits.
In 2021, in what she said was a huge moment for her business, two rappers, Saweetie and Doja Cat wore her brand, the Maiko butterfly necklace in Saweetie’s official music video.
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Portorreal said she was not expecting instant success she recorded from her online business.
They thought she was mad
Less than two months into her job at Pierre Hardy, she began to mull the idea of beginning her own business, she says.
She said her colleagues at Pierre Hardy thought she was crazy because she was able to pull it off.
Social media to the rescue
According to Portorreal, she was making next to nothing from sales in the first few months. Things changed after she got some sales with direct messaging from online influencers with huge followings.
Turn around via online masterclass
She attended an online class by internet making businessman, Abu Fofanah. She learnt about creating Facebook ad campaigns, writing captions and re-targeting potential customers to build brand awareness.
Portorreal said that online classes changed her company’s fortune. She paid N1.2 million for the class. She says Facebook ads have become an integral part of her business.
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Legit.ng reported that Candice Pitts, who later adopted the name Makhosi Nejeser after becoming a Shaman in South Africa, said she has always dreamt of owning her own business from the age of 8. After she graduated from the university, she worked in direct sales, getting a top spot among the 2 per cent of consultants in her company.
The job also came with many benefits, like being rewarded with free trips, designer handbags and parties in mansions.
After becoming a mother at the age of 24, Nejeser said she began to think deeply about her life when she moved to a small town in West Virginia, she wrote on CNBC.