There is a lot that no one tells you about life after graduating that your plans may not be picture perfect. Delays and disappointments are a part of life. However, this does not mean that you can't pursue your dreams or fulfil your purpose. Just like Ndingoho Reedani, an IIE graduate from Rosebank College, the universe might have a different plan for you. Ndingoho tells us more about how she faced and embraced life after graduating and her blossoming business ventures.
Tell us about yourself?
I am a 24-year-old entrepreneur from Venda. Those who know me well will tell you that I am easy-going, I love laughing and meeting people. This ability to network and collaborate has been a significant advantage in growing my business.
What did you study at IIE Rosebank College and why?
I studied the IIE Diploma in Journalism at IIE Rosebank College. While growing up, I didn't know that my love for radio and the news would lead me to this qualification. My journalism journey started in high school while researching tertiary studies; that's how I discovered Journalism.
Looking back at what you studied at IIE Rosebank College, did it play a role in grooming you into the young creative businesswoman you are today?
Yes, my qualification played a significant role in grooming me for my business ventures. The different modules that I did in college sparked other interests in me. In my second year, there was a module called Introduction to Publishing, and it was my absolute favourite. Design was a core focus for this module; I took the opportunity to learn as much as possible to perfect my skills. These skills came in handy when I registered my company NdeeDesigns, in 2020.
When did you decide to start your own business?
I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I thought it would happen later in my life and not at 22. After getting my qualification at IIE Rosebank College, I planned to work for a radio station or broadcasting channel; however, fate had other plans. It was challenging finding work. To avoid depression, I started watching make-up videos on YouTube – and learnt how to do my make-up. I was not going to give up, I couldn't find a job, so I created a job. The more I watched, the more my interest grew. I decided to create an opportunity for myself and registered a beauty company, Miss Ndee Beauty.
I am also a realist and thrive when faced with challenges. One thing the pandemic has taught me is the value of diversification and different revenue streams. I saw the effects of the pandemic on many small businesses, and I wanted to use my love for design to help revive them. In 2020 I started designing social media posts for small businesses. Being a small business myself, I charged an affordable fee as I understand the resource challenges of small businesses. On the day I announced the new venture - Ndee Designs, I got five clients. I am in awe of how blessed I have been, but it has not been without hard work and many challenges.
What risks have you taken to build your brand, and do you have regrets?
I used my savings to buy equipment for my business. For months I was not making money and running at a loss. I do not have any regrets because I would not be where I am today if I had not taken the risk. I am proud of myself for not giving up.
We have looked at your social media profile, and your work is fantastic. Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from many sources; I get inspired by other creatives. I love what I do and sharing content with my followers and customers inspires and keeps me going.
What are your aspirations, where do you want to see your brand?
Anything is possible. That's the motto I live by. I am the village girl who never conforms or believes that the sky is the limit. I want to build an international beauty brand. I dream of Miss Ndee Beauty being a global beauty brand with various products and make-up artists. I want to grow Ndee Designs into an agency that gives young industry professionals the platform to grow their brands.
Where and how do you market your business?
I mainly depend on social media advertising and referrals from previous clients. To survive in business, customer service and a solid digital presence are essential.
What advice would you give to an aspiring young entrepreneur who is building their brand?
Never doubt yourself. You are your number one cheerleader and critique. Treat all your clients as you would want to be treated. There is no right formula to running a business. The key is to learn from your mistakes and do better.
Issued by: IIE Rosebank College, a brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE).
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