In this interview with The News Chronicle (TNC), Thandie Williams, the CEO of The Rainbowme Store talks about her business, motivation, challenges, future plans …and many other issues
TNC: First, let me congratulate you for The Rainbowme Store. We all know it is not easy to set up a business and run it successfully. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your company: what does it do? Why did you venture into that line of business? How has it been so far? Tell us about the company’s growth trajectory, including the number of employees.
TW: Thank you so much. Oh well….my name is Thandie Williams, I’m the founder-CEO of Therainbowme. I was born in the late 80s…haha, don’t want to feel too old right now…in Pretoria, South Africa. Had my education in South Africa before moving on to study medicine at the University of California.
I have also volunteered for humanitarian organizations such as the MSF, The Red Cross…etc. I still do when I have the time to and when the opportunity comes.
I would describe myself as an introvert and an extrovert at the same time. I would say that because even as much as I love to be in good company, you’re more likely to find me by myself most of the time. I’m one person who doesn’t just set out goals but strive to achieve them. I enjoy reading, cooking and trying new recipes and the outdoors and a typical weekend would find me in front of the TV watching cartoons…haha.
I would say I’m a trendsetter because I tend to look for opportunities in places no one else is looking, take for example, Therainbowme as a business.
Therainbowme, just like a lot of other businesses were born as an idea; coming back to Africa, I realized sex is and has always been a topic a lot of people shy away from, even in marriages. In the churches, a lot of couples or intending couples don’t get the right counseling or any counseling at all concerning sex.
I felt if it became an open topic or given the much needed attention, it will not only educate but also prevent a lot of unwanted pregnancies and help curb the incessant spread of STDs and STIs alike.
Therainbowme provides sex therapy for people above the age of 18, and counseling services for those below the age of 18. We also sell adult toys, novelties and other sex enhancement products.
Like I said earlier, I have a penchant to beer into uncharted territories. That was and still is my greatest motivation. I ventured into this line of business because I feel it’s not getting the much needed attention.
Uhm…so far, it’s been quite challenging but the best is yet to come.
It’s been quite a hurdle getting people to open up about the ‘out of bounds’ section of their lives.
As we speak, Therainbowme now has a presence in 3 states of the country with more than 20 employees so far, so I would say we’re gathering momentum. I truly look forward to having our presence in all the states of the country, if possible.
We also have a strong online presence; we have our products listed on Konga, Nigeria’s largest online marketing platform.
TNC: Please tell us about what keeps you motivated and focused on the business – despite the inevitable odds that anyone or any business faces along the way. What are the peculiar challenges you face you in your line of business? What are some of the glorious moments of the business?
TW: My motivation comes from within actually. I spur myself to keep on. I also do have friends and family who motivate me a lot. Uhm…only a few businessmen/women wouldn’t list finances as one of its challenges, so, yes, finances, is one of the challenge(s) I’m facing as a business owner. Especially because it’s an ‘upcoming business’ if I may.
Since its establishment as a business entity in 2017, there have been a few challenges here and there. And I must not forget to mention how challenging it was to get our products across to those living in other states of the country. Now, that has been sorted out as one can purchase our products online from the comfort of their homes, pay with a credit/debit card and have it delivered to them.
One of my glorious moments is and has always been knowing that I can now reach more clients and that I’m getting positive feedback from my clients. You see, in business, customers come first.
My satisfaction in business comes from knowing that my customers are satisfied with goods or services rendered.
TNC: The government says it has put in place a number of incentives to help businesses such as encouraging the banks to lend to them at favorable interest rates. Are there any government incentives you have tried to tap to grow your business? How do you generally raise the funds to sustain and grow your business? How would you want the government to assist businesses like yours?
TW: Yes, I’m aware of a few incentives here and there put together by the government and I must truly applaud them for that as that will indeed go a long way in helping most small and medium scale businesses like mine see the light of day and thrive.
However, I haven’t tried to get loans or any other assistance from the banks or other financial institutions.
I think the government can assist businesses like mine by providing the enabling environment. A lot of businesses depend on power supply for their day to day activities for example. If these and other factors are put in place, I’m pretty sure most businesses would thrive.
TNC: Please tell us of a typical day in your life as a business owner: the time you wake up, get to your office, the challenges you typically face, including with clients and employees, what puts smiles on your face on a typical day to the time you retire to your bed for the day.
TW: Haha….a typical day in my life is not an enviable one at all. My day usually starts as early as 3:00 am sometimes, especially with clients in other parts of the world (considering the difference in time), I find a way to drag myself to the office after sessions like those I have at 3:00 am and other awkward hours.
Work starts at 9:00 am and I close at 5:00 pm. However, I also get appointments after closing hours.
I go to bed sometimes as early as 7:00 pm, especially if I have a scheduled online session at 3:00 am so I don’t look disheveled on the other side of the computer.
So, you see, my time is just in a haphazard manner. I totally enjoy every bit of it.
Don’t get it wrong though, I unwind when my body calls for it, I take a break when I see the need and just pamper myself…. (One of the many perks of being an entrepreneur)… I’m a workaholic as I am a ‘restaholic’.
TNC: Where do you think that your company will be in the next five years? What advice can you offer aspiring entrepreneurs?
TW: 5 years from now, I see Therainbowme store in almost every state in Nigeria as well as other African countries. I say African countries because sex therapy offices/shops are something we see sprawling across almost every cities in the western world. In 5 years, I see Therainbowme breaking new grounds, taking sex therapy to heights in Africa no one thought was ever possible and beyond.
I would say hold on to that dream. It might not be easy at first, but I assure you it gets better. Being an entrepreneur is no doubt one of the best decisions you would’ve taken in the 21st century as it also gives you time and the leverage to do one or more business (es) at the same time.
Therainbowme Store can be reached via:
Therainbowme on Facebook
Officialrainbowmestore on Instagram.
Vale Mall Abuja
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