Meet Funmi Ogboye, CEO of Sentelle. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I would like you to meet Funmi Ogboye, CEO of Sentelle. I was very excited when Funmi accepted my interview request. Funmi turned her love for candles into a business, but most importantly, focusing on areas with the qualities she wanted in the industry. One where varieties/choices are not limited to a few candle scents, one where the candle performs excellently without compromising values. Because of her love for stylish packaging, all Sentelle soy candles come in the packaging you’ll want to keep long after the soy candle is finished.
Meet Funmi Ogboye, CEO Of Sentelle
Hello Funmi, it is a pleasure to interview you. Tell me something important about yourself?
Before starting my business, I worked in the research and development department of various cosmetic and skincare companies, including Rimmel and Lorien. I also worked in a fragrance company, so I have experience in skincare, cosmetics and fragrances.
What inspired you to start your business?
I have always wanted my own business. I thought it would be in the beauty space, skincare and cosmetics because that is what I have always liked, and that is my background. Still, the last company I worked for before starting my business was a fragrance company, and we made fragrances for home products, including candles. At that point, my focus shifted to candles, and I started researching selling candles. The first supplier I spoke to only manufactured soy candles. By the end of the conversation, she told me the benefits of soy candles over conventional candles. That soy candles are an environmentally-friendly choice. I had made up my mind to sell candles and specifically soy candles.
What Services do your business provide?
Retail of soy candles.
How do you stay motivated in your business?
I listen to audio and watch videos by people in the motivational/personal development industry.
What challenges do you face the most?
Attracting a steady flow of new customers to my website. New customers are essential for any business, but companies like mine must sell products with a long shelf life. Sentelle soy candles last a very long time, and sometimes I don’t see repeat customers for over a year or two, and not all customers would become repeat customers. So, the balance between attracting new customers and making sure I am not wasting money on something that is not bringing in customers is a constant challenge.
How do you handle the challenges along with Family Life?
I don’t have a family.
What do you do for self-care?
My first self–care every day is deepening and strengthening my relationship with Jesus so I can stay in tune with him and be, do and have all he wants me to be, do and have – that is to become the highest and best expression of myself he has made me be.
Every morning I also say a lot of affirmations for my mental wellbeing. And every evening, I listen to audio or watch videos that strengthen me spiritually or mentally.
So, that is the spiritual and mental well-being side taken care of. As for the physical, I must admit I am not regular with my exercise, but I am regular with my pampering. Every morning I give myself a mini-spa treatment. Before entering the shower, I apply oils and body paste on my body sometimes, I use body scrub instead of body paste, and then I have a warm shower.
I am then ready to start the day.
I am sure some aspiring Entrepreneurs are reading this. What advice would you give them?
Oh, I have a lot to say about that. I should write a book, but I don’t yet know how to write it, so it is not unfavourable.
To answer your question, if anyone wants to start a business with a physical shop, they should adhere to the saying “location, location, location ” even if your shop is in a good locality, the wrong spot in the excellent locality makes such a vast difference it is unbelievable, like being on one of the side roads and not on the high road itself or even wrong end of the high street, or customers not being able to park and come into your shop little things like these contribute to the success of your shop, you should also observe the shops beside you, complementary shops are the best.
And online, Visibility is essential to work with a good search engine optimization company. There are so many cowboys out there, but you have to use one of them unless you know SEO, but don’t into a lengthy contract. Most SEO companies can get your website on page 1 in 3 months, but keeping your website on page 1 or getting your website higher on page 1 is where the good SEO men are separated from the cowboys. If you have entered a lengthy contract with them, you continue paying your monthly fee while watching with despair your website disappear, while they come up with one technical jargon or the other month after month.
The company you use for Google Ad words also does not need to throw a lot of money into advertising. The less money they use means they know what they are doing, and they are an excellent Google Ad words company.
Also, send out many press releases to journalists to get a mention in magazines, and I don’t think offering free samples work gives them a good story.
It is also essential that you develop yourself, study and go on personal development /growth courses, I think personal development/ growth is a lifetime study, but I also believe you should have worked on yourself considerably before you start your business, researching about your business and reading and studying business books is good. Still, I think more important is that you grow/develop yourself.
I have other experiences I have gleaned over the years, but I think I’ll stop here.
Can you advise the audience on how to support each other during the Global Pandemic?
Zoom parties lift the spirit. I was watching a podcast the other day, and the lady was talking about how her friend had organized a zoom party, and there was a lot of sharing stories, singing and laughter, and at the end of the call, she felt so refreshed and thought to herself “can do this, things are not that bad.”
Last but not least, do you have any questions for me?
I was fascinated by your tagline “Life is a gift, not a guarantee” – that is so true. Is there a story behind choosing such a poignant tagline? And if it is not too personal, would you like to share the story and how has this changed how you live your everyday life?
Thank you so much for that question. I get asked this a lot. There is no story behind how I came up with the tagline. However, just like everyone else, I have been through many challenges from childhood to the adult I am now. And through those challenges, I have learnt a lot of lessons. Therefore, I started the blog to share my stories and life lessons and hopefully inspire others going through some difficulties.
When we seek advice from others, we are constantly being told that we can try again tomorrow or there are still many years ahead, or we have a bright future. This is true. However, it is also essential to learn to move forward with our lives quite quickly because Tomorrow is not promised.
I want to say a huge ‘Thank you to Funmi for this beautiful interview.
I wish her all the best.
Check out Sentelle for your favourite Soy Candles
Use the code LWS50 for 50% off!
I hope you enjoyed that.