Hello, I am Mercy Oseyi. I am the Founder & Manager of Metals By Olga.
I’m a graduate with a degree in English language & Literature. I never knew what and how that course would be useful till I dabbled in Public Relations & Communications at an early age. In my early 20’s, I got to work in a media firm where I learnt about content creation, communication etc. My passion and commitment at work accorded me the opportunity of winning an award as the best staff (exciting times it was).
I’m Nigerian, and was raised by a strong African woman. My mother taught me about being strong and independent, and she introduced me to business. With past work experience as a PR, Marketing & Sales Strategist in several companies in tech, lifestyle and e-commerce, I’m now a serial entrepreneur.
On the days when I am not bothered about figures, I just want to “chill” with my friends or catch up on my favorite soaps.
Company Name: Metals By Olga
Location: Lagos, Nigeria
Operating since: 2017
Instagram & Twitter: @Metalsbyolga (IG), @Metals_olga (Twitter)
What product does your company offer?
My company, Metals By Olga, is a retail company that provides beautifully crafted jewelry and accessories at affordable prices.
How did you get the idea or concept for your company? What was your mission at the outset?
When I was little, I would wear my mother’s jewelry and carry her purse, of course she would scream, go and keep it! But I didn’t care. I was fascinated and intrigued by how beautiful they were and how [accessories] made every outfit different. When I became an adult, I would tell my friends, “one day I’ll own a jewelry shop”, but I didn’t know how to go about it. A few years ago, I resigned from the firm I worked with. My employer owed me months of salary and I was devastated. I had no idea what to do, then it hit me, I ought to pursue this dream. So I begun - with just $10 dollars.
Our mission is to promote African gems to the international market by creating artistic jewelry designs therefore debunking the notion that Africa is solely a consumer market. To attain this, we’ve begun the first phase of our 10 year plan, which is to, first, source trendy jewelry pieces and retail online.
How have your past experiences helped you to run your company?
When I think about my life, I don’t regret all the losses I’ve made because it prepared me for this moment. Working for my mom at an early age, I learnt about procurement, book-keeping etc, and I’m applying these skills to my business. During my summer holidays while in university, I had a temp job that required me to market several items from place to place. Although my company is majorly online, the skills I learnt then are being utilized. For example, rehashing a product and creating the fear of loss, these are sales strategies that have helped us greatly.
What is the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome? I’ve had several losses in life. From losing my dearest mom, being fired twice (LOL), to feeling incompetent. Each day presents its battles but the most profound has been accepting that my mother would never come back and I have to carry on. I never prepared for it - no one does. I went into depression at age 21 and two years later decided to get over it by accepting my reality. I believe when we accept these experiences, we truly become powerful and live.
What's your definition of success? Do you consider yourself a success? If not, when will you?
Success, for me, is making an impact in my generation and to the world. This year I turn 29 and I do feel scared about turning 30, the reason being I have a long list of things I had hoped to achieve. I’m not a success (yet), boy I haven’t even started yet but I’ve begun!. The point where people (girls or boys) would say, “Mercy Oseyi did this and it changed my life”, that’s when I’ll know I’m truly successful. It’s my dream to be an influence to my generation, to influence politics, and build solutions that provide a better life for people in Africa and beyond.
Have the women around you helped you to rise? How?
Interestingly, I’m from a family of five strong women (excluding my aunties, my neighbors and my mom’s friends). My biggest inspiration in life comes from these women, my sisters. They had nothing to navigate through life with and yet they’ve made something out of their lives. We became orphans at a tender age, and these women, took it upon themselves to provide and care for me (they still do LOL). The first investment I had was $20 dollars and it was my elder sister, same as the second and third which came from two different women (Ono Bello and Lady Golfer). Besides them, my two best friends - who I call my accountability sisters (Faith and Belinda); these two listen to my ideas, help promote my business, pray with me and patronize [my business] too. I owe it to them to be successful.
What advice would you give to a woman starting out in your industry?
“If you don’t have a passion to serve, then don’t”. My company is a service-driven company fueled with the passion to make people happy by providing affordable pieces. We don’t just sell jewelry - we sell what people need, so service is key here because you’ve got to listen to people’s needs, understand their personalities, and provide what suits each of them.
Describe yourself in ONE word. Fighter
"To be a girl or woman today is..." to be brave.