Wow, where do I start with this? Simply saying thank you does not seem enough. I feel like it does not fully express the debt of my gratitude. Thank you so much to everyone that was a part of this dream come true for me.
Many years ago, about 8 to be exact I started a blog that I loved so much, some of you might remember daminiyi.com. Needless to say I have missed it and sometimes wish I continued. I always have so much to say, lol. I have decided to share a bit more of this next season of expansion from a more personal perspective. I have added "Dami's Thoughts" to my current platform which will serve as my blog. With that said, welcome to "Dami's Thoughts" where I share all of my experiences from the perspective of an entrepreneur, mom, wife etc, latest work, and much more. I am going to be personal but not too personal. It will be authentic and true and if you want to hear about the real life challenges and success of forging your own path in business while handling life, here is the place to be. I will also be sharing on all things By Dami Studios as well. I hope you come back to visit to check out our weekly updates.
Last year I shared in a TM podcast that I had a goal so big I could not actually put into words. It had been on my mind but I had no idea how the job would be executed. But faith without works is dead. I am a christian. I serve a big God that does not deny his children any good thing, I am confident in that and I am a living testimony of that. The first thing I did was WRITE it down. I wrote it down and put it on my wall. There is power in writing down your vision and goals. And I have to do it with a pen on paper not in my note app, on the computer etc.
i had no idea where and how it would happen. I know I have a strong client base and connection to Lagos and my goal has always been to establish something back home. Long story short, we secured the location early this year and I just said I would move my family from NY for a couple of months at the end of the year to sort out the opening. And that was it, I actually kind of forgot about it for most of the year. Maybe I did not forget about it lol but it wasn't at the top of my mind.
LESSON ONE: Write the Vision. and then MOVE.
If you are waiting for a convenient time, it will never come. I started reaching out to realtors in Lagos and at the same time I thought I would need investors. Long story short, the Wedding Mall happened and we were able to fund the entire project without any help.
LESSON TWO: Your confirmation is yours, you don't need validation from anyone.
Don't allow anyone else feed you with their doubt. How can you fully expect someone else to fully understand a vision or mission that has been tailor made and aligned for your life. Except an individual has walked in your exact shoes and your destinies are entwined, don't expect them to fully understand. This does not mean you don't seek "wise" counsel..
LESSON THREE: Get ready to feel like throwing in the towel. Over and over and over and over and over again :)
The real challenge is not giving up when the going gets rough. This was personally my hardest (yet best, so strange :/) year in business. It felt like I was going crazy and simply jumping from frying pan to fire on a weekly basis. Everything that I considered my worst nightmare happened this year. For the first time in my career, I had to refund a client $$$$$, Customs delay on materials, all sorts of unimaginable pressmen errors (when My team makes any error guess what? it is my error. someone else's error is MY error - the post man, pressmen, staff, etc.) And all of this happened when I felt like I was top on of things and had error proof plans in place.
And then there was this other side of my character being attacked in several settings...now if you really know we, you know I am serious about that area of my life. Listen good here, all those things were simply DISTRACTIONS!
LESSON FOUR: Guard your ideas, let distractions serve as fuel to get you closer to your dreams.
With all that said, I am so grateful for those challenges. They also have a role to play and their role is most important. They build resilience, equip you with owning up and problem solving skills. You get to see a new side of you and others. And you can't enter your new season without going through a test - Before you become a lawyer, doctor, teacher, etc you have to take boards that aren't easy, labour and delivery before a child, etc. Trials come before transition and elevation to prepare you for what is to come, at least that is my experience. During this season. I learned so much and made so many changes in those short months. I learned to discern better with my clients. Not every client is your client. You don't need to work with every planner - you just might not be compatible. i learned to work smarter, create more checks and balances, create timelines that will give even more time to edit and manage emergencies. most of all, I learned to rely on God. When you truly end up in yucky uncomfortable places, you rely on God whose wisdom has truly brought me through and will continue to in the coming years.
Finally, don't interfere with your fire. Let it do it's job. My prayer during this season was to see my challenges through God's eyes. My prayer is that we ask God to help us see our obstacles and challenges through him...and then we will result to thanksgiving.
LESSON 4: Don't Give up!
Finally, I would like to talk a bit about resilience. As an individual, I am strong willed and I have serious tunnel vision. I write the vision and make it plain. I protect my ideas by padding them up with prayer, working tirelessly to achieve them and let the results do the talking. it is never a straight road but you have to be determined. choose to always take the next step. You don't have to sprint or run. You don't even have to be able to see or know what is next. Simply take the next step. :) And to God be the Glory on the 11th month of 2017, By Dami Studios Lagos happened. All because I took one step at a time.
Before I get into the actual launch, I just want to take time to celebrate and thank Adeola of Made Beautiful Events, she held me accountable and helped me see this showroom to fruition. Adeola knows me and understands my vision to a T. Thanks for your excellence...that sums you up nicely. I am so excited to share more about adeola and the amazingness she has been up to. Especially the wonders and miracle she is performing with our Lagos team to ensure excellence in service.
And then to the launch :). We are housed at the Wedding Mall Lagos (1b Bashorun Okusanya) in Lekki phase one. It was so nice to see so many of our friends. I would like to send a special thank you to Made Beautiful events who planned and ensured a smooth and amazing launch. Adela's flowers, our new floral crush in Lagos. She killed our greenery arch and the smell of eucalyptus still welcomes you many weeks later! The cakes were a showstopper. Thanks Livvy's Twist not only for your talent but for your awesome customer service. I did not get a chance to taste one mac from Sokolad. It was devoured before I could even blink. That is because she has the best macs in Lagos. And I honestly mean that. Sara O, what an absolute blessing..THANK YOU! I had an emergency crisis. I reached out to her and she made it happen in a day's notice and she BLESSED us and would not accept payment. Our photographers, Shina and Femi; True rockstars, and super grateful for our dear friend Segun who recommended them. To the Wedding Mall/Wedding Guru team thanks for all the yummy eats and you did an amazing job with the launch of the entire mall. Yes, the wedding mall is now in Lagos!!
So what's next? We are excited to welcome guests to check out our work and visit when you can. I will be splitting my time between my NY studio and the Lagos Showroom. When I moved away from Lagos almost 20 years ago I always said I would come back and work in education (did you know I have a masters in education leadership and taught for 5 years before retiring). And while we have been on ground the last two months we have been working on just that. I always thought I'd be an actual teacher in Lagos but there is a greater calling.
As we prepare for 2018 in Lagos I am excited to walk into my purpose. Have you heard the term, your passion will help drive your purpose? that is what this year will be about for us. My calling in life has always been to teach, it is where I feel the most at home and the most valuable. By Dami Studios Lagos, was beyond opening up a GORGEOUS studio, it is about being in Lagos with rolled up sleeves and changing the lives of our kids and educational system one child at a time. We've partnered with 2 organizations doing real hard and good work and we are joining our hands to make Nigeria a better place. More on this to come.
Dear Lagos, We are glad to be here and you WILL FEEL OUR presence. Get Ready! Thank you for all the congratulatory messages. I am truly humbled.
I dedicate the blog post to my daddy. Who never wavered when i changed from being a lawyer to a doctor and ultimately a teacher (my dream job). Whom I know was concerned on how I would contribute to my family when I decided to do this paper thing full time and who was beaming with pride at our Lagos launch and now gets to convince people when he overhears them talking about parchment by dami that "Dami" is indeed his daughter!(true story) Oh Daddy, the best is yet to come!
Have a blessed 2018!