It’s often said that it takes a village to raise a child. While that’s true for us as humans, it’s also true for businesses, especially SMEs. It takes a community to build a brand.
Over the past few years, Hingees has leveraged the power of friendships and a strong community to build the brand from the ground up.
As we wind down and reflect on our progress, I’m writing to express my gratitude to a few exceptional friends and professionals who have played a crucial role in shaping our brand, not just this year but over time. These people are experts in their respective fields, and their contributions have been invaluable.
If you’re in the early stages of building your small business and feeling lost, don’t worry! You can reach out to any of these amazing people for consultation. Just use the discount code – GoodMan 😁
. . . .
I’ve been friends with Oyinda since our days in Ad school in 2014. She defined and created the first Hingees brand strategy document, which is still relevant today. She’s also a marketing communications guru and has helped in creating some of our annual marketing plans. She sabi the work well!
I first met Ope at SoFresh in Yaba in 2019. We hit it off right away, and in 2020, we teamed up to revamp the Hingees brand strategy. Ope has been a dedicated supporter of the brand ever since. We’ve also collaborated on a few side projects together. It’s worth mentioning that he was one of the partners at Fourth Canvas, a top-notch brand and design agency in Nigeria.
Amina has a deep understanding of email marketing. We connected on Twitter through a mutual friend in 2019, and since then, we have collaborated on various projects, including product descriptions, email marketing, and strategy. I even had the opportunity to take a writing class with her last year. Amina is incredibly skilled at her craft.
Fu’ad has dabbled in everything – journalism, product growth, people operations, and team building. We’ve been friends for over a decade, and he’s been instrumental in Hingees’ success since day one. Last year, when we struggled to find the right talent for Hingees, I sat down with him to redefine our values and figure out how to attract the best people.
If you’ve got a project, business, or product in mind and need someone to help you crystallise your ideas, Fu’ad is your guy. But fair warning, he’s currently knee-deep in building Archiving – a national project that aims to digitise Nigerian Newspapers from 1960 and make them accessible to everyone, everywhere.
“You have impeccable taste!” The ‘Hingees’ slogan was coined by Justin. Just like Fu’ad, Justin has dabbled in various roles. He started as a writer, then transitioned into a growth marketing, and now he’s a developer – talk about range! Back when he was writing and working in growth marketing, I had the opportunity to collaborate closely with him on creating a few of our communication materials. To this day, we still use some of the materials we developed together.
. . . .
. . . .
You can’t mention Cowrywise’s growth without mentioning Feranmi. This guy is an amazing storyteller when it comes to products. Whenever I find myself stuck trying to figure out what to do next for Hingees, I always have Feranmi on speed dial. If you have a product or business and you’re thinking about expanding, increasing conversions, or entering new markets or attracting new users, then you should definitely have a chat with Feranmi. He’s the real deal!
Feranmi recently introduced me to Bukayo, who we consulted with for Hingees on paid marketing. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions we’ve made. Bukayo is an absolute expert in this field and has been incredibly patient in explaining how paid marketing can benefit our business. If you’re looking for assistance in this area, I highly recommend reaching out to him.
Sonia’s expertise in product and growth marketing is unparalleled. She played a crucial role in successfully launching the CREATE notepads into the market. We collaborated closely to develop an effective landing page and devise a winning product launch strategy. We’ve also worked together on various email campaigns. If you are looking to introduce a product to the market, engaging Sonia is a no-brainer.
. . . .
. . . .
One of the most crucial aspects that is required when starting a business is having a plan or at least a clear direction of what you intend to do. Although Hingees has never utilised a formal documented business plan, having Tunde by my side (from childhood days) to exchange ideas and discuss the future of Hingees has played a vital role in our growth. Tunde possesses exceptional skills in crafting detailed business plans and corporate profiles specifically tailored for SMEs. If you find yourself in need of one for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to him. He’s got you covered!
Aisha Ife is a well-known figure in the area of portrait and product photography, particularly in the skincare industry. We have collaborated on numerous projects for Hingees, including the initial release of our wallets in 2020 and, more recently, the CREATE notepads. Her talent in her field is truly remarkable.
Ayodeji has been a friend since our days in Ad school, along with Oyinda. He has consistently helped us with some of Hingees’ product photography. In fact, Ayodeji was the one who photographed our Black Series set, which we introduced earlier this year.
I have always admired Shina’s work for a long time, but we didn’t have the opportunity to work together until this year. Shina photographed our product releases for July and December this year. One of the most outstanding products is our Apple Leather Watch straps and shorts, which have continued to be best sellers in the shop. He currently works with FMCG brands but is also happy to take on SMEs
. . . .
. . . .
Efficient organisations are built on the foundation of good people and great systems. That’s where Diseye comes in – an expert in creating structures and cultures that foster and propel high-performing teams.
This year, we were determined to establish an efficient people management system, so naturally, we turned to Diseye for assistance. The experience has been nothing short of incredible. We’re currently collaborating on this project, and the progress we’ve made so far is simply mind-blowing.
If you find yourself in need of help with hiring or building a more efficient team, Diseye is the person you should turn to.
Abdulrahman, a senior product marketer at Paystack, played a crucial role in our efforts to optimise our website and boost conversions back in 2020. I scheduled a review session with him, seeking his expertise and guidance. During the session, Abdulrahman provided valuable feedback and suggested actionable steps we could implement. Since then, he has continued to assist us by reviewing our communications, offering his insights and support.
Interesting backstory – the domain name hingees.com was purchased using Ejiro’s debit card back in 2015 when we launched. At the time, we were both working at Jumia. If you read the Hingees guide to making, my wristwatch whose rubber strap broke was a gift from Ejiro.
He also helped in building the first version of the website and taught me how to efficiently add products to the web catalog. Ejiro has consistently helped in reviewing the website for best practices and improvements in SEO.
Oyinda has successfully established businesses that now operate independently with minimal involvement from her. Earlier this year, I scheduled a 2-hour session with her to discuss scaling and enhancing our operations. She is a highly knowledgeable business consultant who truly grasps the process of taking a retail DTC business from zero to one hundred.
I met Afeez at an owambe in Ijebu last year, and we instantly hit it off. Despite having mutual friends, we had never crossed paths before. Our conversation quickly turned to Hingees and how we wanted more people to discover the brand. Afeez offered to lend a hand with our SEO efforts, and the results have been nothing short of remarkable.
If you search for “sweatpants” from a Nigerian IP address, Hingees now appears as the second result, right after Jumia and even ahead of Amazon. This achievement is absolutely massive for us, and we owe it all to Afeez’s SEO expertise.
. . . .
. . . .
I’ve been friends with Babatunde since our days in uni. If you’ve been shopping on hingees.com since 2016/2017, then you’ve been interacting with Babatunde’s work. He played a crucial role in developing both the v2 and v3 versions of our website and has been providing ongoing support ever since. He was also one of Hingees’ first models. If you ever encounter any problems with WordPress or WooCommerce, Tunde is the person you can rely on for assistance. He doesn’t ghost like other developers 😂
In the course of running a business, there comes a time when having access to cash can truly make a world of difference. Although we haven’t secured any funds for Hingees just yet, it’s absolutely crucial to grasp how the fundraising landscape operates. Luckily, Rildwan is a seasoned expert in this field and has been incredibly helpful in shedding light on the ins and outs. If you find yourself in need of raising funds for your own business and feeling unsure about where to start, you can book a session with Rildwan. He’ll guide you through the process and help you figure things out.
He’s a co-founder and current program manager at Vestance – a data, intelligence, and advisory service that aims to help investors and governments unleash Nigeria’s agribusiness potential
. . . .
These are just a handful of the incredible people who have played a vital role in shaping Hingees into what it is today. Cultivating strong relationships and also providing value are essential for successfully navigating our journey through life. This not only lightens the burden of building but also ensures a reliable support system during challenging times.
The journey of building meaningful connections is a timeless endeavor. A good way to begin is by reaching out to people during this holiday season. You can also consider sharing thoughtful gifts with friends, colleagues, and family members.
Wishing you a delightful holiday season and a joy-filled New Year!