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Crown Feature: Meet Oreoluwa Shonibare – The Creative Soul With A Business Mind

Historically, creatives have not really been known for having a good understanding of money or how to make it. This is because many creatives either don’t think it is important or simply don’t know their worth. Whatever the case may be, generations of creatives have walked the earth getting paid less than they deserve or squandering their money all in the name of “being inspired.” It’s a problem and remains one of the main reasons why African parents would brag about their child who is a lawyer and fast for seventy days when their children begin to show an interest in pursuing a career in music. The times are quickly changing, however, and we have creative minds like our Crown Feature for today to thank for that. Ore’s story is instructional in its essence because of how cogently it combats the “I don’t do this for the money” narrative. Read to be enlightened as usual but this time, read to be enkindled also. Over to you, Ore – The Creative Soul With A Business Mind.

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The Wii Create Office in Lagos

Oreoluwa’s Profile

  • Legal Name – Oreoluwa Shonibare
  • Born – October 25, 1995 (23)
  • Gender – Male
  • Nationallity – Nigerian
  • Educational Background – Secondary School (Igbobi College), A’ Levels (Oxbridge Tutorial College) and (B.Sc. Mass Communication with specialisation in Advertising and Public relations) Bowen University, Iwo.
  • Occupation – Founder/CEO of Wii CREATE

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Ore shares the Wii Create story at Piggy Vest’s Open House

Introduce yourself to Crown Nation, who is Oreoluwa Shonibare?

Oreoluwa Shonibare is a value driven entrepreneur with an eye for gaps in markets and industries. He holds a strong belief that Nigerian millennials will play a big part in the development of the country. He is the cofounder of Wii CREATE as well as the founder of Amb Designs – a graphic design agency currently catering to students and SMEs. Amb Designs was set up while he was a student at Bowen University.

What is one thing about you that Ore that would surprise most people?

I think more than I talk. It’s an interesting fact because I talk a lot but I think more. I think about everything – from business to the framework on which society was built and models on how to hack most things based on insight and principles.

How did you get into the printing business?

I got into this business through design while I was in University. I used to write poetry and design covers for them, so I decided to use T-shirts as a medium to amplify my poems. I sold over 50 products (long sleeves and short sleeves) in school. While I was waiting for my convocation, I met Donald Onwochei on Twitter who had a similar background so we worked together to start Wii CREATE.

How long have you been in this business and how much do you think you have grown since you began?

Wii CREATE has been running for a little over a year – we launched on the 10th of October, 2017. Within that time, I have learnt about almost every form of printing and design that is required for printing. I have become better at working with people, become more familiar with legalities, truly understand the importance of structure and the need for a sense of belonging for people you’re working with. The importance of communication and consumer relations are lessons that stand out to me among others. I have grown a lot, especially in my understanding of how business works.

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Custom designed jerseys by Wii Create

Tell us about Wii Create.  

Wii CREATE is a content, design and print company which provides services to corporate and individual clients. Donald Onwochei and I have pushed the limits of prints and design and opened new markets from universities to start ups and Non Governmental Organisations. Wii are known for prints on apparel, t-shirts, polos, tote bags, varsity and so much more. However, wii also handle other forms of printing from business cards to flyers and roll up banners.

What inspired you to start the company and where did the name “Wii Create” come from?

Here’s the interesting story about the name – In my 300 level, I took a brand course which was taught by Late Mrs. Omolara Adetola, one of my favorite lecturers. We were divided into groups and each group was to be an advertising agency. I came up with the name ‘We C8 Agency’ and made a logo. We didn’t win the pitch, another group ‘Sapphire Communication’ did. However, when it was time to come up with a name I “pitched” the idea to my cofounder and He liked it. Wii CREATE was fledged from an idea to a company by two people. Although I’ve been the only active cofounder for a little over 5 months.

What’s the major thing you aim to achieve with Wii Create?

I’d say accessibility. The aim is to provide everyone access to printing solutions: from creatives, students to SMEs. At the core of the company is the ability to create and at the moment wii are creating various printing solutions

In a time when there are more than a handful of printing companies, what’s Wii Create’s signature?

Our signature is our design and content. Our ability to make designs and develop open ended content is what makes us stand out. For example, there was this customer who wanted to get her male friend a gift but she didn’t know what to get him. This is normal with many customers, so wii personalised the design. She was asked about what her partner liked, his hobbies, nicknames and other personal details. With his data at our disposal, wii designed something unique for him. He loved the t-shirts and our client was also very happy. That’s the type of experience wii put our signature on.

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Who are some of your notable clients that you’ve worked for?

I’m proud of all the brands that have entrusted us with their orders. Some of the amazing brands wii have as customers include: TATA Motors, TheNET.ng, Cowrywise, Piggy Vest and Sterling Bank Marina. Brands wii look to work with this year include Taxify, Ingressive and Andela.

As a brand that is familiar with working for both corporate and individual clients, what lessons have you learned about the two different types of customers?

Every client is important and every client is a partner. The difference between corporate and individual clients in my opinion is the approach and process. How both categories are approached differs a lot, however they’re also connected. Why? Individuals form Corporations.

How important is creativity and originality to the work you do?

Creativity and originality are very key. Asides from helping you stand out, it gives you a reputation. In a dispensation such as ours, if any business is not creative or original it would be very hard for it to thrive. We draw inspiration from people’s works but use inspiration to make original work.

Being a CEO definitely has its perks and detractions. What are your favourite and least favourite things about running a company?

I’d like to say I don’t adopt the tag “CEO“, for many reasons. As a growing business I think it’s more fashionable than functional. I prefer Lead or Cofounder because I think “CEO” is more appropriate for more structured and full fledged companies. So my favorite thing about being Lead at Wii Create is that it affords me the opportunity to learn. I learn everyday on the job – about people, business and how people. My work is also an opportunity for me to meet a lot of people who I look up to. Freedom is also a major perk. Freedom to execute ideas and shoot your shot sporadically is an advantage like none other.  One of the “disadvantages”, I’d say is pressure and weight of expectation. A lot is determined by you.

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Customized Wii Create shirts for CowryWise and Travel Massive Lagos

What is your workforce at Wii Create like? What is the work environment like?

Our workforce is currently at 5. Our team consists of 2 designers, a screen printer, an apprentice and a tailor. Wii try to build a work environment that aids creativity. Our production space is finished and functional.

Wii Create has an impressive and active social media presence. Do you have a content calendar for posts and how do you ensure to remain consistent?

Our social media presence was organically grown based on a model wii created that worked wonders. My cofounder and I developed it from experience. Wii don’t have a social media content calendar at the moment but that would grow naturally as our organisational structure grows.

Walk us through the Wii Create process from when the client contacts you till when you deliver?

Wii try our best to simplify the process as much as possible to make things easier for the client. The client contacts us, wii ask for the design (if he or she has one). If not, wii design for a token, send a quote depending on the type of order, then the customer makes the payment, production commences and wii deliver.

What does the future hold for Wii Create?

The future holds impossibilities made possible. Making and breaking records of sales and engagement, opening up more marketing spaces and most importantly enabling the average Nigerian with cost effective print solutions.

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Which myths or preconceived notions about running company did you have before starting Wii Create?

That running a business is easier than having a job and that once you get to a level, things get easier. Both have been very wrong so far. Running a business is more tasking and I’m yet to get to a level where it gets ‘easier’.

How do you balance your work life with your personal life?

Honestly, I’m still working on that. On some weeks I don’t work on Mondays. I work from home, give directives to colleagues at work and sometimes I get home early. Other times the job drags me by the neck and tombstone pins me to the office till 8pm. However, I must say negotiations are moving smoothly, I’m working on getting my life back.

Have you seen Avengers: End Game? If yes, what is your rating?

Yes. INSANE!

Sign us out?

I’d say consciously create your own world. Enjoy your process and destination. Be happy today because tomorrow is not certain. Help someone when you can and as Charles Isidi always says, be human, it costs nothing. Also don’t forget to read TheArtofAde.com, they’re original!

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– Ore
IG: @Amb.ore
Twitter: @Amb_ore
Facebook: Ambazzador Oreoluwa Shonibare
Wii Create Website: Wiicreate.com

#StayCrowned

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