IbCity Info got the opportunity to sit down with young entrepreneur and CEO of Y-North wears, Mr Bamiro Babalola Oluwaseun. Bamiro, who initially started the business against all odds, at the moment has over 25 branches all over Nigeria and he remains one of the biggest advocates for Made in Nigeria products today. The young entrepreneur whose goal was to never write a CV talks to us on how he started and other sundry matters…

What’s your full name and how did you come to start this collection?

My name is Bamiro Babalola Oluwaseun. I didn’t learn any shoe-making. I studied Computer Science at the Lagos State Polytechnic. Back in 2010 my girlfriend got me a pair of slippers as a gift and some of my friends who saw the footwear fell in love with it. So I decided to strike a deal with the shoemaker and that was how I started selling. Back then in order for the shoes to seem more fashionable, he would put foreign stickers on them until I challenged him. I decided to name the brand Y-North and that was how it begun.

When did you start Y-North? What have been your challenges and how have you been able to overcome them?

We launched Y-North in September 2010. When we started then, we had a lot of challenges most especially when it comes to dealing with the ‘made in naija’ mentality. Our products were good but when the name was not generic, it was hard to convince Nigerians.

How has Ibadan been business-wise?

Unlike some other places in Nigeria, growing a business in Ibadan is easier and also cheaper. The community here is friendly which has allowed us to grow into other states. We now have 25 branches all over Nigeria in places such as Ogbomosho, Akure, Abeokuta, Oyo, etc.

What has been your best experience running Y-North?

It has helped me meet a lot of people and I’ve also been able to advice the younger generation which actually motivates me because if you’re not doing well, nobody will call you and it’s something I’m very proud of.

What is your advice to the next generation?

Focus. They should focus because it is very important and after attaining some of their goals, marriage is also very important as it helps them focus on their goals and achievements. I got married early because I learnt in entrepreneurship that getting married helps you stay aligned to you objectives.

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