La' Heiress Blog


Vendor Of The Month

Ebenezer Ruth is an exceptional stationer! A super creative stationery company. Their creativity with paper and designs stand them out from the crowd. Their attention to detail is second to none, week in week out, we bombard their desk with lots of orders which require a lot of detailing and they deliver every single time. For these reasons and many more is why Ebenezer Ruth is our Vendor of the Month!
Let’s meet the creative genius behind Ebenezer Ruth…
1. Introduce yourself and your brand

My name is Shile Shonoiki. I run the wedding stationery firm, Ebenezer Ruth. We pride ourselves as being one of the pioneer stationers in the wedding industry, and we have been a source of inspiration to many budding crafters in the industry. Ebenezer Ruth was started 3 years ago in Lagos, Nigeria, by my wife and me. People have always wondered what the name stood for: my Christian name is Ebenezer; my wife’s is Ruth. We coined the business name using our names.
Our products are used every weekend in weddings all over the country and we have been fortunate to receive patronage from other countries like South Africa, the United Kingdom,  the USA, Germany and many others. We believe in strict adherence to quality and paying attention to the tiniest details.

2.How has been the entrepreneurial journey so far?

Well, entrepreneurship has been a jolly good ride so far. As a multi-talented person, my 20s were an adventure. I dabbled into different interests, gathering skills along the way as my nomadic career path was forged. I have a degree in Computer Science and I was a programmer, graphics artist and web developer for a period of 10years. I also had particular interests in brand design and development. During this period, I also worked full time as the Editor for Wow Magazine. One of my hobbies was photography and I explored that as well, with particular interest in nature and product photography. In 2016, all these skills converged to birth Ebenezer Ruth. When we entered the industry, people were amazed at the different way we did things. Our designs were stunning and we created things people could only imagine at that time. I remember a popular wedding planner say to me over the phone, “Where have you been all my life?!!!” It was an exhilarating period. To find such appeal and acceptance of your work was humbling. My background also helped a great deal: my photography skills made it possible to represent my work in the best light; my work as an Editor helped with coming up with the right words and also recognizing good quality print; my background with design and branding easily set my work apart from what other people were doing.
So, it has been an interesting journey so far, but it wasn’t an easy one. In the beginning, I practically did everything myself, with some assistance from my partner, of course. But she had to run her business as well, so the bulk of the work still fell on me. Designs done, I’d rush to the press to run the prints. Prints done, I’d rush back home to do the finishing and crafting. That done, I’d drive in the middle of the night to make deliveries. I can recall a three-day period I worked straight with no sleep. I’d rather not sleep than disappoint my clients; that has always been my mantra. I have “disappointed” only once in my life and that day, I cried like a child. It wasn’t a disappointment as such; I couldn’t finish the order on Friday evening as promised and the wedding was the next day. I had spoken to the clients  and assured them  I’d bring the items to the them first thing on Saturday morning. I worked all night, and decided to take a little rest for like 30minutes and wake up to finish the remainder of the work. Believe me, I slept off! Till morning! I woke up at 8am with a jolt and lost my mind. I called my wife on the phone and started crying. She calmed me down and told me to get back to work immediately. Thank God the items were needed for the reception. First I drove down to Lekki to deliver the items for Olive Luxury Events. I got back home in under an hour and 3hours later I was done and driving fast and furiously to the next event centre. I made it in good time. Thank you, Mosmerize Events, for being so understanding that day.
The journey so far? Hahaha, it has been such a journey indeed! Now the business is more structured; we have an office and staff to do all the different aspects of the work. Gone are the days of the one-man team.
3. What challenges do you face as a wedding vendor?

The challenges are numerous, but another one of my mantras is: “If the going gets tough, find an easier way.” There are so many things we want to execute, but the means and equipment aren’t available yet. Things as simple as supplies have to be imported some times. It’s generally a tough country to operate in, but we move…
The second main challenge has being structuring the business. If you read what I’ve written above, you’d find that most of my energy is actually focused on getting the job done. As a result, communication with clients and prospective ones has been quite bad. Most of the time, I’m not just available to answer the phone or return messages on time. Some clients have gotten offended by this and I can only keep apologizing to them. It was really really tough juggling all the work and answering phone calls. Most of the time, the phone would be put on silent mode. But we have that sorted now; with the new office, there’s always someone to attend to calls and messages.
4. What are your reservations about wedding/event planners?

We love planners! Planners help us quite a lot; we get a lot of jobs and referrals  from them and we are most grateful! They also help by being the buffer between clients and us. Most times, clients may find it hard to articulate what they really want, but planners can be the bridge. They also help us make sure our payments are made. However, some planners (especially new ones) can be quite bossy and impolite. Civility takes nothing away from you. A little “please”, a little “thank you”, can go a long way in fostering better relationships and even get you nice offers. I personally just think the planners should have an association that regulates their activities and make sure its members are professional. Because, believe me, a few unprofessional ones are actually spoiling the business for the ones that are true to their trade.
5. What is your message to planners generally?

And yes, dear planners, we know your clients are on your neck, but please don’t call us at 11pm in the night or 6am in the morning! We work hard during the day and we need to rest and spend time with our families as well.

Add a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.