The next person of Kaduna is Aysha Bindawa. I met her a month ago and just got talking when I found out what she does. I think she is pretty awesome so I thought you should know her too.
Who is Aisha Bindawa?
My name is Aisha Bindawa and I am the co-founder of ccbMart Nigeria.
What is ccbmart?
CCbMart is an online beauty and fashion company. We manufacture and retail jewelry made out of natural gemstones that we find across the country. We use all these gemstones and accessories to create timelessly classic designs that can stand the test of time. (laughs)
How many times have you had to say that?
I have written it a lot of times, but I have not said it plenty times. (laughs)
How did you start CCB mart?
I have a co-founder, Aziza Bindawa who is my sister and we have been making jewelry since we were little. Our younger sister once saw it on the TV, picked interest in it and my mum got her the equipment required to make jewelry. We were not taught how to do it. We just learnt and explored together how to do it.
It was play we enjoyed when we were kids and later on, after she finished school and there was no job, she decided to continue with it. I was still in school then and when I graduated, I joined her. We were doing it separately eventually ,we came together in 2017 and decided to create ccbmart.
We recently also started producing natural skincare products free from harsh synthetic chemicals using natural oils fruits and herbs..lets just say we love nature.(laughs)
What did you study?
I studied computer science at Umaru Musa Yar’adua University in Katsina State. I graduated in 2014 and finished my national youth service (NYSC) in 2015. I took an MBA at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) and just finished last year (2018).
Do you see yourself going to work in computer-science related field?
I’m not sure, you know how life is. You plan something for yourself and eventually, something comes in but I do not see myself going or doing any computer jobs. What I see myself doing is growing my company to become an internationally recognised jewelry and skin care company. Basically beauty and fashion. We are planning to expand and go into other spaces but for now, we are trying to get a really huge market share.
Kaduna – Have you always been in Kaduna?
No, I actually came to Kaduna after I graduated from school during my service year. I served at Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO).
Let’s talk a bit more about your business
I like talking about my business (laughs).
What challenges have Nigeria posed for you?
Ahh! Don’t even let me go there (laughs). Nigeria is messed up better write that down.
I think we need to change our mindset here in Nigeria because we are not doing ourselves any good. If we are to build this country’s economy, then we need to bring ourselves down and start patronising Nigerian-made products and start producing here in Nigeria because for a community to develop, they have to produce and consume but once they are not producing and are consuming, they are not doing themselves any good. They are just building up another community while they are destroying their own community. I think Nigerians have to really sit and think and then change their mindsets. It is going to be like a process but nothing is not achievable.
The way we let all these foreign brands to come in and dominate our country did not happen overnight. It was gradually that they won us over. If Nigerian brands are really stepping up and doing what they are supposed to, we will eventually get there. What the consumer wants is appealing products . So once we have that, high quality, good packaging, easily accessible and appealing products, we won’t have a problem with the consumers.
It is not really that Nigerians don’t like consuming Nigerian made products, it is because we are not doing our homework. We are not looking up to our competition and seeing how we can beat them. We are being mediocre.
What do you enjoy about business?
I enjoy the impact I am making and the amount of people I inspire. Lots of people are going into business, not just the jewelry business but other businesses because they feel like I am the girl next door and if I am doing it, they can also do it. Of course they can do it. I really like that, it is a step forward.
I also like the acceptance we get from people because we really make our products high quality and we are really doing good with the packaging and you know our people have this mindset that if all these influencers use your product, that means it is valuable.
This influencer did not just start using our products. They have seen the quality, the packaging and they value it. I think we can do more. We just need to get more market share and do more marketing.
You’ve mentioned market share a couple of times, how is sales so far? Are you breaking even, are you making profit and at what point did you start making profit?
We make profit. It did not really take us long to start making profit because we already know this business in and out. It is not like we are trying. We did not launch the product on trial basis. We were already into it. We’ve been selling since we were kids to family and friends with lots of people buying but we did not make it a brand then.
We sort of rebranded not making from scratch. We already have our past customers, so we just upgraded our quality, packaging and branding and we do make profit.
Do you do any other thing?
Asides jewelry, I also package general gifts, emotional gifts to fix relationships and we are also into training, skill acquisition training, jewelry training and skin care.
Apart from making and selling jewelry, I am also a business coach. I have helped people set up their businesses and I just try to mentor them. I mentor them using my business as a case study they can study to see how I started . This is to make sure they have principles when setting up the business not just go into business because someone else is doing it. They have to have passion for it.
I do that for free and give free advice.
Are you married and how’s work with that?
Yes, and I have 2 beautiful kids. Having kids have not stopped me or given me any challenge. I work from home and my office is in my house. I can be in the kitchen one minute and the next, I’m in my office. One thing I love about my business is I get to be part of my family.
I’ll like to add one last word
We all trying to generate wealth and we want to go into business but sometimes, we neglect our responsibilities to the community we live in. We try to create all these walls between us and the people that really need our help. God sent us into this earth so that we can guide and improve people. He did not put us on the same level because he feels some people are stronger and they can help the less stronger people.
At any chance, we should try to give a helping hand. Sometimes, it is not about money. What some people need is a listening ear, a positive energy, a smile, motivation. I think we should all try and help the community at any chance we get because, alone, we win but it is only together we can succeed.
And everything is possible, you just have to believe it is possible.
Let me know who you would like to see in the comments and also check out other awesome people of Kaduna.