Janada Kwaji: “Do It As Well As You Can Or Not At All”
I am back to introduce an amazing person Janada Kwaji, founder, creator, and scientist behind the brand of Mint Organic Care Ltd. Janada told me that she often mediates on Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” She reminded me that I need hope and faith in order to succeed, and hopefully this verse reminds you as well.
Please introduce yourself: What is your name? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
My name is Janada Kwaji. I have lived in a few different countries courtesy of boarding school, but I was mostly raised between the US and Nigeria. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Economics at Penn State, Pennsylvania. I received my Master’s Degree in Public Policy at Georgetown University, Washington DC.
Describe your business.
Mint Organic Care Ltd. is a natural handmade line that creates luxurious bath and body treatments. We also specialize in custom packaging for bath and body products and create accessories for events. You can read more on my website www.mintorganiccare.com.
How did the idea for your business come about/when did you start?
The idea came shortly after I moved back to Nigeria at the end of 2013. I’ve always had sensitive skin and couldn’t find properly packaged and labeled organic products in the Nigerian market. So, in 2014 I took a class on natural skincare in Los Angeles and started making products for myself and my family. By the end of 2014, I had gone somewhat public but the official company launch was on the 13th of June 2015.
How many hours a day do you work/describe a typical day in your life.
Honestly, when you work for yourself you are always working. There are no real times to start or end. I work late into the night if I have a large order. Typically, I wake up, answer emails, take orders, schedule online meetings, and do accounting work for about an hour or two. Then I head into the lab and stay there until I have accomplished what I need to for the day. Finally, I head back home to do more paperwork and then retire for the night at around 10pm.
What have been some of your failures and what have you learned from them?
My business is still relatively new at this point so I am constantly learning and growing everyday. I would say most of my failures occur in the lab. When I do fail I work on the formula and research until I get it right.
What motivates you?
I’m really passionate about what I do so staying motivated isn’t very difficult for me. When I see the impact my products have on lives or the positive reception my products receive, it makes me want to do more and create better products. My friends and family constantly provide support and encouragement which also keeps me motivated.
What has been your most satisfying moment in your business?
Every time I get positive feedback on how my product has helped a person’s skin is always a very satisfying moment for me.
How do you market your business?
I find marketing to be more limited in Nigeria (compared to the US for example), so I market via social media a lot, magazines, local product fairs, and by word of mouth. I welcome doing event gift favors which is a marketing tool in and of itself since the products reach many people at one time.
What’s an example of what you do?
Looking back, what is one thing you wished you understood before you started your business?
I’m a very risk adverse person, so before I started I did a lot of ground work. I took classes and read many books and articles. I did extensive research for a year before I started my business. So for the most part everything has been expected. However, I am still quite new and I have yet to open up my first flagship store so I will be able to better answer this question in 3 years! 😀
What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to people who want to become entrepreneurs in Nigeria?
Pray about your venture and give it to God; Do it as well as you can or not at all; Be patient.
How do you deal with self doubt and setbacks?
I deal with doubt by burying myself in the word of God and his promises. His word tell us he’s given us a spirit of courage and prosperity not a spirit of fear and doubt. His plan for us is to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11). When I mediate on such passages I feel like I can do and overcome anything!
I also rely on my fiancé who is very supportive, believes in me, and never doubts me even when I doubt myself. I speak to him about my fears and doubts and he reassures me. I know everything will work out for God’s glory.
Janada Kwaji, how would someone get in contact with you?
Please leave your comments below. Thank you for reading!