A young Lady identified as Jennifer Chinonye Umeh has turned her pain into millions as she uses her bully’s name in school as Brand Name that now makes her millions.
“If you look at me very well, you will notice that I blink frequently and that was what people used to taunt and mock me at school.
“Initially, I did not realize I was the one people were referring to as blinky until a classmate drew my attention to it. It was devastating for me because I never knew that the mumblings and murmurings were all meant for me.
“The bullying was so severe that I would skip class for weeks and that caused me to fail woefully in one semester.
“A lot of thoughts ran through my mind. Sometimes, immediately I entered the school gate, the bullying would start and I would run back home.
“They made several suggestions. Some said the name is very good and suitable for business, especially in fashion. Some called it Blinky Smart, Blinky this, Blinky that.
That was when she gathered up courage and went to a market at Ilorin, the Kwara State capital in Nigeria, to buy a T-shirt and gave it to a shirt designer to print Blinky on it.
But Jenny couldn’t get to boldly wear it at school. She would put a cardigan over it until one of her coursemates noticed and took the cardigan off. She was mortified and thought the bullying would increase, but to her shock, that shirt ended everything.
The bullying stopped and other people came to ask her to make similar Tees for them and she would charge them a token. Like wildfire, Blinky gained popularity in her school, this time as a brand name even winning her a campaign contract at school to design shirts.
Jennifer decided to learn how to do screen printing from the guy who designed her first tee back in school.
That birthed the brightest business idea she has today. Jennifer makes t-shirts for political campaigns, individuals, and for corporate bodies. She also branded the recently ended Big Brother Naija Season 6 (Africa’s Largest Reality Show).
According to Jenifer, she gets orders from outside the country from people she knows nothing about whom she met only on social media.
The former campus correspondent of The Nation Newspapers said she has never been idle even as an undergraduate.
In her words: “I have always been busy, using my smartphone to make money. Sometimes, I will manage social media accounts of some companies or individuals.”
At a point, she was a campus newspaper publisher and tried her hands on several things.
“I have always been a hustler,” she said in one of her Facebook posts. My greatest fear post-university have been how to find a job. I once got a job in a beauty salon, after my youth service, where I was not even allowed to pick my calls. When they told me to stop coming, I thought that was the end of the world,” .
But her spiritedness made her weather that storm. She concentrated on building Blinky Collections brand even when she was ejected from an apartment she shared with a family.
Jennifer advised undergraduates not to be idle and hope for non-existent jobs when they leave school.
According to her, she leveraged the power of social media in a positive way to make a success of her brand.
She said: “Don’t underestimate the power of the internet. Rather than stay idle, youths should scour the internet for what they can do and legitimately make money from.”
“Social media has helped me as a person and as an entrepreneur. The success I am seeing in my business today is because of the power of social media. It is a great tool.”
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