From Twitter Friends To Business Partners

From Twitter Friends To Business Partners 

Twitter is where strangers can become best friends, lovers, or even business partners. Despite being a platform where people often get dragged for their opinions, many beautiful things happen on the timeline. So you should reconsider if you don't use the app.

Read the story of how Temidayo (Tijo) and Habib (Bibs) went from being complete strangers to building Tijo & Bibs as business partners in less than a year.

About Tijo & Bibs

Tijo & Bibs is a fashion brand based in Lagos, founded by Habib Lateef (Bibs) and Temidayo Akanmode (Tijo). They specialize in designing and producing fashion pieces from shoes to clothing, bags, accessories, etc.

How did the whole Tijo & Bibs brand come about?

Tijo: Habib and I were running separate businesses, but we were in the same industry. He used to run his own shoe business. So I put it out to him that we should become business partners.

He's a good marketing genius. I'm not trying to flatter him. We decided to break the business into two: one person handles the part related to marketing. We handle everything else: the production, the nitty-gritty, of everything together. So far, so good. We are running a smooth business; we started as friends on Twitter; we're just friends.

You guys met on Twitter?

Tijo: Yes, on Twitter.  When you meet somebody on the timeline, and you like how the person tweets, he used to tweet all this marketing stuff and he had a shoe brand.

So I thought about it; I would rather have this person work with me side by side than have him be my competitor. He was the perfect fit for what I wanted as a partner.

That's nice. How long have you guys known each other?

Tijo: It's less than a year.

That's such a huge risk to take. So how has the experience been so far?

Tijo: I tell people I took a wild card guess. You stay on the person's TL and see what they tweet, and then you have many friends who are mutual with them. So you know they won't associate themselves with people who are not good.

It has been great. But there are fights, and you have to know how to handle things. Because the bigger picture is to see what we're building grow into something fantastic. So that has kept us going for the past six months of running our business.

What do you like most about running your business? What's your favourite part?

Tijo: The reviews and the fact that I have a business partner. Also, when the shoes are made, everybody likes the finished product.

Bibs: For me, the idea of making things I wear myself is fascinating. That's one thing about the business; it gives you the will to implement your creative idea. And the joy of people wearing your stuff and the remarks are thrilling.

What is your least favourite part of running your business?

Tijo: The stressful client and the delivery aspect. Deliveries can be very hectic, especially when shipping outside of Nigeria or Lagos, and you have to keep monitoring the progress. So your clients can become very uneasy, which sometimes makes your business look like a scam—and you also have to look out for mistakes in the finished products constantly.

Bibs: Sometimes, we have to skip deliveries because we cannot meet up with some addresses where they're supposed to be delivered. Communicating ideas with the production team sometimes takes a lot of work. There isn't anything in particular that I'm not enjoying about the business so far. We are juggling it.

So how do you guys share your profits?

Bibs: Most of our earnings go back to the business while we pay ourselves salary at the end of the month. We also came up with a very creative way of rewarding ourselves when we come up with unique pieces. We get royalties on each of those items. Most of the profits go to the cost of running the business and having a reserve at the end of the day.

How do you guys finance the business? Is it a 50/50 thing?

Tijo: When we first started, we put in our money 50/50. The business has grown to a stage where there is no need for that. We have a reservoir of money that must be retained. We use an app to record transactions and monitor our cash flow. Our salary structure is very effective. Aside from the royalty, and the salary, we earn at least 20% of what we make every month. That's what we take home.

How do you guys decide on a creative direction for your products?

Bibs: So we recently started production of a collection of work bags. And how we came about them was looking at what we have in the markets presently, then we put our twist to it. As much as they will be minimal products, they should also be very functional. We also built on the designs from our previous businesses.

Tijo: We look at what everybody wants to have. My partner has excellent taste in picking minimal stuff. So we decide to keep our products simple and direct.

If you were to describe your business in three words, what would it be?

Tijo: Exciting, Intriguing, and Brain-tasking.

Bibs: Timeless, Unique, and Creative

What is your signature style?

Tijo: Our signature style is making timeless pieces for people that love timeless pieces. It is perfection and making our products as natural as possible. This is where our product pictures come in. They have a very natural feel to them.

Where do you see your business in the next couple of years?

Bibs: I always feel some way when I get asked this question. We are very experimental & dynamic. We are hoping to become a known name in the fashion industry.

Tijo: I see us growing to a position where If you walk into stores all over the world, you will always see a Tijo & Bibs store there, and if you ever want to wear a Tijo & Bibs shoe, you are very confident that you're wearing something that is of good quality. One thing I can promise you is that we are still going to be in business together.

What advice will you give to friends who want to run a business together?

Bibs: You have to take the risk. You'll only know what will work out once you do it. Business partnerships work better when both of you have shared values.

Tijo: If you want to partner with someone, just do it as Nike says; people saying otherwise may speak from their experience, but your experience may differ. So just do it.

What are your favourite apps to use to run your business?

Tijo & Bibs: Sabi, Twitter, & Instagram.

Check out their social media pages

#TijoandBibs | Custom Made Shoe Brand🇳🇬 (@tijoandbibs) • Instagram photos and videos
930 Followers, 512 Following, 315 Posts - See Instagram photos and videos from #TijoandBibs | Custom Made Shoe Brand🇳🇬 (@tijoandbibs)

Oyindamola Ogunlana

Oyindamola Ogunlana