Interview with Nkeiru Nzeka-Chief Curator at Gifts by April Daises
It’s the first edition of gift diaries and we are super excited to introduce our first guest, Nkeiru Nzeka. She is the Chief Curator at Gifts by April Daisies, a business she set up in 2018 after serving for 11 years as a banking professional.
She’s a creator of habits and believes that excellence comes from practice. She has an amazing family and wonderful friends as a support system. She’s fascinated by butterfly decor, loves to wear white, enjoys watching tennis and can eat chicken wings all day, every day. In this Interview, she shares how she started her business and great advice for giftpreneurs.
So tell us about your business, how did it all start?
Looking back, I would say it started when I was much younger. I had an eye and a knack for gifting, and so I was everyone’s go-to gift organizer – my mum, dad, friends. It wasn’t until a few years ago I realized that it was actually a calling, and that’s when I decided to give it all the attention required for the business to grow.
What’s your greatest achievement so far?
Looking at the business now and seeing how far we have come and how much we have grown in 18 months – that is a blessing I’m so thankful for.
What are the two major challenges you’ve passed through as a business owner and how were you able to overcome them.
As a new business owner, you’ll experience some disappointments and setbacks but it’s important to get up everyday and keep pushing, keep going. If you focus on the challenges, it’ll rob you of the resilient power you need to charge ahead and recover.
Sometime last year, my system crashed and I lost significant business data. Sometimes, you loose money to excessive shipping charges or damaged products. Sometimes your goods arrive and you’re unable to mark up because they have landed at such a high cost. It’s okay to cry today, but you must get up tomorrow, dust yourself, straighten your head and keep going!
What inspires you to keep going?
I want to be the best at what I do. I want my brand to be synonymous with gifting all over the country and beyond. I want to be an industry leader, responsible for creating new and innovative ways of gifting through times and seasons.
What advice do you have for young or aspiring giftpreneurs in the industry?
When you truly get to that place where you know that God has called you out for a purpose/to start a gifting business, then take a leap of faith and go for it. But be clear in your mind that this is truly what you want to do and not just because you want to make money or because you see others doing it. For it is truly those who are passionate about what they are doing that will have the capacity to go deep and go far.
A day in the life of an entrepreneur
What’s your morning routine like?
Wake up, meditate/visualize/pray, head out for a morning walk/jog. Come back and have a cup of coffee or tea and then do some house chores. Take a few minutes to set the agenda for the day. Have bath and then head out to work. Work can be a variety of activities depending on the day – curate gift boxes and ship out, respond to customer enquiries, branding and marketing, explore markets and new products, see suppliers/vendors/shippers, research and training etc.
What’s your typical day at work like and your favorite moment of the day?
To be honest, everyday is different. Sometimes I start off curating gift boxes early in the morning, sometimes much later at night. It all depends on when I get into the zone. There’s that moment when I feel the juice running through my veins and I’m super-charged. That’s my favorite time of the day – putting together those lovely gift formations and hearing the subsequent wows and gasps from clients and recipients. There’s no better feeling…
What do you do when you’re not working?
Watch tennis!! lol.. I love watching tennis and I follow all the grand slams. Other times – I’m often searching for information or taking one course/watching creative videos online. Amazing what you can find online when you search specifically.
What are the most important things to consider when starting a gift business?
Passion for what you do, discipline and dedication to the craft, an eye for unique items and how to make them work together, attention to detail, good customer relations, and a willingness to learn and grow. You must be determined to do business right, from the onset. And of course – the grace of God without which you can do nothing.
Share with us the most interesting gift project you’ve done and why it was interesting for you.
I’ve had quite a number of interesting projects for high profile recipients. Sometimes they stretch me to the point where I’m actually shaking with nerves.. Like – I really have to get this right!
One very interesting one was a call I got in the middle of last year. It was from a pleasant man who I didn’t know was working for a popular celebrity. He asked me to put together some gift boxes for a profile of people. He gave no names at first, he just described the personalities. It was a big project so I gave it my all without knowing who was behind it all.
At the end of the day, everyone was so pleased. I’ve done many more projects for the team and they’re now one of my biggest clients. Through them, we have gifted many reputable men and women in society. For this and many more, I’m truly thankful.
What’s the greatest business lesson you’ve learnt in your entrepreneurial journey?
When God calls you to it, He will equip you through it.
Sometimes, mistakes are ordained. I won’t have learnt and grown this much if I didn’t make some of those wrong calls. It’s all part of the process. You must trust that the journey, through twists and turns, leads to a beautiful destination.
Thank you Nkeiru, for sharing your entrepreneurial journey with us. We wish you the very best!
Let’s know what you think about Gift Diaries, please leave a comment below. Thank you so much.