Rhoda Olu: The Afrostylist and Youtuber
We recently had a chat with Rhoda who is a recent graduate and founder of an online pop-up store. We talked about her business journey, sales strategy (she always sells out) as well as tips for christians on campus.
Can you introduce yourself to us?
My name is Rhoda Olu. My surname is longer but we will leave it as just Olu *laughs*. I am a 21-year-old Nigerian, born in London but partially raised in Manchester. I recently graduated from the University of Sheffield with a psychology degree and I’m now working full time.
What is the story behind your business, The Afro Stylist?
A lot of people used to compliment me and say they loved my style and my accessories. So one day instead of revising, I thought to myself ‘why not make a website and sell things that I wear’ and BAM ! I was honestly surprised when it initially sold out.
To be honest, I am still very surprised as to how things sold out.
Where did the name ‘The Afrostylist’ come from?
I told some of my friends about my idea of creating a business and the concept behind it; I wanted to create a brand that fuses both the African and British culture. And we came up with ‘TheAfroStylist‘. Quite catchy, isn’t it?
What has been the highlight of your business so far?
The highlight has honestly been when customers email me to say that they love their item or when they ask when an item will be back in stock. It really makes me happy that people want to buy from my store.
What are some of your sales secrets because you seem to always sell out
One tip I have is to always know what my customers want. This is possible because I understand my customers and do intensive research. Researching my supply and estimating the demand is one of the first things I do. Apart from that, God really does come through for me all the time. I pray over The AfroStylist. We shouldn’t only be praying about our well-being, but also for God to bless everything that is affiliated with us. This includes our education, our business, our home and family etc.
I sell out because I do intensive research and always listen to my customers.
What has been your biggest challenge as a young entrepreneur?
Trying to juggle a full time job and a business is really hard. My business is still at the humble beginnings stage, so I can’t stop having a full-time job. Also, I don’t want to let go of my business to just focus on my full time job.
How has your relationship with God influenced your work ethic?
A lot! The motivation I have to continue with all my ventures is because I know that God has got my back. There is a season for everything, my season to blow is soon coming *wink*. I just need to remain patient and put in the work. God has helped me to stop comparing and to remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Apart from your business, you are also a youtuber. For people who do not know what your channel is about, can you introduce it to us please?
I have a YouTube channel called ‘hercrowninglory‘. My channel is about everything and anything from natural hair to Christian talks and general chit chats. I recently started vlogging as well.
Where did the name ‘Her crowning glory ‘ come from?
Initially, my YouTube channel was solely about natural hair. So the name was derived from 1 Corinthians 11:15 , where it states that a woman’s hair is Her Crowning Glory . However, I soon realised that I had more than just ‘how to put natural hair in a bun’ to tell the world. But now it could be read as ‘ Her Crown In Glory’ rather than ‘Her Crowning Glory’. Which I believe still goes quite well with what I want my YouTube to be about; I want Christ to be the centre of it and one day I will be crowned in His glory.
You recently graduated from university, what was the highlight of your experience?
My highlights were the amazing friends I met and those I had the privilege to take the journey with; my Radical Youth Family, the PGT girls, just to name a few. University is an experience that I will never ever forget and one that I will cherish but one I will also never want to relive again. Third year nearly tampered with my psychological wellbeing. *laughs*. I think my major highlight was my graduation day. I was like wow, I have made my mother proud and that’s all I want to keep on doing.
Apart from your business and your YouTube channel, what have you been up to since you graduated?
At first, I was just happy that God saw me through and I had graduated, so I stayed at home for a month or two. I soon realised that student finance doesn’t extend to people who have graduated. So I got a job, I am currently working with a company that helps creates awareness regarding modern day slavery.
I soon realised that student finance doesn’t extend to people who have graduated.
How did you balance managing your business and studying?
Organisation is key. Anyone who knows me, knows that anywhere I go, my diary also goes. It was hard, because at the same time I was juggling 3 jobs and trying to keep up with my extracurricular activities. But organisation is really key.
What advice would you give to young people struggling with their faith in University?
Surround yourself with people who are genuinely trying to reach for God’s presence. Not people who act like they want to or people who just talk about it a lot, but people who are actually making the effort to. Don’t be afraid to cut off some friends who are leading you astray.
Also, remember to ask questions if you are uncertain about things. There is nothing wrong with asking questions, what’s wrong is not trying to find answers to those questions. Ask the right people (or get a Christian mentor), but always remember to look at what the bible says.
Most importantly, don’t forget to speak to God. Tell Him you are struggling and ask for His Grace. This Christian journey is not easy, so don’t do it alone.
We shouldn’t only be praying about our well-being but also for God to bless everything that is affiliated with us.
In one of your videos, you talked about whether Christians should go clubbing. For those who haven’t seen the video, what is your opinion?
I think Christians should be more willing to be in the world but not of the world. We should be ready to stand out and not blend in. A person should interact with you and not have to second guess if you are a Christian or not. If they do, then you might be doing something wrong. We need to read our bible more. Spend more time with God, talk to Him and listen to Him. We need to ask questions when we are uncertain about things and actively find answers from pastors, the bible and spiritual mentors. I hope that answers the question *laughs*, if not, go watch the video on YouTube and search ‘Hercrowninglory’.
Since I have known you, you always come across as a very confident person that radiates beauty from within. I would really like to know how you achieve this.
Wow! I am truly taken aback, thank you so much for that comment. Honestly speaking, I surround myself with like minded people and I am fortunate enough to have family and friends who encourage me all the way. Now, I’ve had my fair share of feeling sad and defeated. But I’ve always got to remember that I’m not on this earth for me, materialistic things don’t even matter . It’s Jesus that I need to look to and I need to remember I am on earth to do His will, not mine but His. It is extremely hard at times, especially when social media is involved. But like I always say, if life gives you lemons, make Maltina, because not all of us like lemonade *laughs*. Basically, just make all situations work for you and trust in God.
Thank you so much for your time Rhoda.
Our Inspire page highlights and celebrates the positive and excellent things young people are doing for themselves, their community and on their campus. If you would like to share your story with us, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org