PGI's May Girl- Banke (Businesswoman, Easy Peasy)
Banke and I have talked about many things from flowers, to jobs, to school, to business to marriage, to husbands who like to cook, and to food-processor-made pounded yam. We talk about hair and the care of it. She taught me to have a pair of scissors for my hair; a girl can't use the same pair of scissors to cut up Christmas craft and then trim her hair an hour later, with the same pair. My hair deserved its own pair of scissors, she said. It did? (Don't judge me lol!) She always had these really useful tips on her Instagram page and I knew she knew hair. Of course, she had to do something with this passion and skill she had, so we talked some more about dreams and possibilities. Then one day Banke stopped the talking and did something. On this day, I was scrolling through Instagram and on Banke's page was displayed a jar that read "Butter by Banke". She had done it! Just like that! She had launched a hair-care product line- a brand, she was suddenly an entrepreneur! The day that jar popped up on my timeline, I was so excited. She did it! She birthed a dream just like that. Without drama, or drumroll or cymbals. Her story is so simple and inspiring, she'll make you want to start that thing you think is a big deal in a snap!
Here she is, making business look too easy since 2016...
What's your full name?
Oluwabamike Olaoluwakitan Adewale (nee Ogundairo)
Bankymoon; Kilolo, short for Bankilolo
Least cute nickname
My fave quirk about me...
So not sure this is a quirk or normal but most mornings for breakfast I have bagel slathered with crunchy peanut butter and then a dollop of jam to add some sweetness ... a salad for lunch for "a neutralizing effect". I'm too sure I'm not the only one that does this
How long have you had your natural hair?
About 4 years
I'm thinking about leaving the "naturalista" life soon. What parting words do you have for me?
Do you ever think about leaving too?
Do you feel the pressure to stay natural?
Not at all! I love my hair and it’s actually the reason I started Butter by Banke.
I love that name, Butter by Banke. It has this softness to it. I feel like I'm a getting a massage. Lol! How long did it take you to come up with that name?
Not very long. I thought it was cheesy at first but ran it by a few people who liked it, so it stuck. We have one product line for now, expansion is definitely in the works. It's called Shea Deliciousness, it's an organic hair and body butter and it’s for men too!
I assume Shea Deliciousness is the secret to your beautiful hair? What's your hair night time routine?
Yes and it's so easy to use, I wet my hair first, add the butter and style. I also use it to steam my hair after every wash. Night time routine: If I have my hair done (crochet braids or box braids) I simply wear a static net satin night cap. When I rock my hair in a puff, I scarf it down to have the front flat. In the morning, I apply Butter by Banke, re-scarf for a bit and I’m good to go! I get compliments all the time.
How did it all start?
While planning my wedding, I wanted to give out wedding favours and found an idea on Pinterest- lip balms! I also wanted to make and hand out jars of body butter, so I ordered the containers. I made the lip balms but I never got around to making the body butter in all the frenzy. After the wedding, I made it and gave out jars of the butter to friends and family. Then it happened. They would call me up and say, "Banke, I've run out of butter. Make more!" I had the jars so I kept making more. I had most of the ingredients and the jars too, so I kept at it and my husband, Yinka convinced me to start selling. Voila!
What challenges did you face starting this business?
My main concern was whether people would be interested in my product in such a saturated market. I started to overthink everything. My husband was there. He encouraged me and affirmed the validity of the idea. He encouraged me to focus on using and investing what I had already (jars, knowledge and skill).
What would you say to someone facing the same challenge in their business?
If someone were to ask, I'd say what he told me "Only invest what you can bear to lose. Don’t focus on the profit, focus on the value you’re giving to people."
What principles guide your business?
I have a three-point set of principles:
Simple. Natural. Effective
Simple: Our product is simple to use. Using Shea Deliciousness eliminates having to mix 9 products yourself. Simplicity is genius.
Natural: Only natural ingredients are used, which is undoubtedly helpful to hair and skin
Effective: It works. I’ve seen it work for me and others and we believe in the product.
Does your husband secretly use Shea Deliciousness?
He uses it unashamedly! He even complains when I finish it! *laughs* He makes me make more!
What would you say to anyone who is reading this and is full of self-doubt about their brand?
First, you have to believe in your brand. Believe in it, people will see the passion and believe in it too. Start small and invest resources you don't mind losing. If it doesn't work, you know you tried and there was some collateral lost, but not too much. Don’t let fear keep you down. Try.
The first day you filled your first jar of Butter by Banke, how did you feel?
Excited! When I put the stickers on the jar is best feeling!
How do you strike a balance between your day job with running Butter by Banke?
I am a Communications and Marketing strategist in a financial institution by day.
I run Butter by Banke on the weekends and evenings.
Morning person/Night person?
Morning person. My mum is a morning person and raised us that way.
What's the best thing about having 9 older sisters?
The support system. It’s a good conversation starter. It stops everyone in their tracks.
How many hours can you wear heels for before your first "oowww"?
First, 4 inch heels are best I can do. I can stand in them for about 2 to 4 hours. I don't try to take the heels off in between and wear again, it makes the pain worse. I just sit down often and have flats ready in the bag.
Who is your hugest style influence?
Clothes: I don't have one fashion style because I had a lot of hand me downs.
Though I'd say Sister number 7 ("Tomato") has some influence on me. We all go to her for style advice.
The one meal you know you kill every time?
Pancakes (I don’t like to cook!)
One item you beg people to buy for you from Nigeria?
One place I have visit when I go to Nigeria
Terra Kulture. I love Nigerian theatre. The play I’m really looking forward to is the Secret life of Baba Segi’s wives. I loved the book.
Last 3 items bought
Stickers with the Butter by Banke logo
Thank you, Banke for being our May PGI girl!
4 Things I learnt...
1. Stop talking about it and do it!
2. Focus on the value you provide, not on profit
3. You have the jars. Don't stop pouring in and creating.
4. She loves pancakes, I love pancakes. I guess that about seals this friendship
Thank you so much, Banke, for being PGI's May girl! I can't wait to see the wonderful things Butter by Banke rolls out soon. Love you loads!!
Get your Shea Delicious hair and body butter. I can feel it on my fingertips already.
Contact: Instagram @butterbybanke