My name is Ojoodide Oluwadara Mercy. I create stationery that spur creativity and expressions and help people lead productive lives.
I love art and eye popping stationery (and chocolate cake 😉). In my fourth year in university, I was looking for a journal to dedicate to my bible study. I wanted something cute, with a bible verse on the cover, and with bible quotes on the individual pages. I went from store to store looking for something that would fit the picture I had in my head, but I could not find anything that matched it. All the options I found were rather boring and plain. I was frustrated and annoyed especially when I checked online and found out that stationery like this was only made abroad. I wondered why we did not have any Nigerian made ones. That was when I got the idea to start making my own line of stationery. I finally launched the brand a year after with my younger brother and a close friend and it has been an amazing journey so far.
I have faced tons of challenges but to mention a few; Firstly, I would say wrong conceptions about the product and the problems it solves. It took some time for people to understand the product and the value it was offering. It is also the reason I am always talking about the benefits and all the amazing ways you can use stationery.
Another challenge is funding. Creating the best quality products requires a lot of money, which means we need a lot of resources. Funds are needed to buy machines and materials for creating the products and ensuring that they meet the standards we are committed to offering. Again, breaking into the market was also a challenge. Being a startup, with no prior experience and limited resources, we had to educate the market on the product and also build credibility.
One of the projects that really helped me believe in myself was designing my first set of journals. I had not done it before and had no prior experience in printing or binding. I went to the market, sat down with printers and binders asking questions and understanding the processes. All I had was passion and pictures in my head of the kind of stationery I was trying to achieve. Memories of how I was able to bring those ideas to life are a constant reminder that I can do anything I put my heart to.
I get my inspiration from everything around me, a funny comment my mum says or a really nice shirt a friend is wearing. I’ve always been a creative person, as a child I was always drawing and doing DIY projects.
My dream is to have a big store with the cutest stationery you just want to scream. Artistic illustrations on the walls and kids running around as their folks shop. To build a brand that spurs creativity and helps us live our best lives. To have our own manufacturing factory, where we do not have limits to all the beautiful stationery we can make.
What keeps me going: God first. He reminds me to keep pushing and I will definitely be worth it in the end even when it does not look like it right now. Family: they are my biggest cheerleaders, 😂 they tell anyone and everyone about my business and listen to all my business stories. Friends: I have such amazing friends and whenever I am down, they help lift me up and remind me that I can do things. Passion: I’m really passionate about what I do and it keeps me going. (sometimes I just have to close my eyes and see the picture I want in my head and tell myself, to get there you have to do this!) Shoutout to everyone who keeps me going. I love you forever 😘