Onyinye Ubah

Building a handmade jewelry business is not a walk in a park. It’s hard but it’s not impossible. I used to work in a bank but wanted to own my time. Time is a treasure and should be seen as an investment that yields profit after a while. I started exploring what I could do aside my regular job. In the process, I realised I had a flair for designing jewellery. After some deep thoughts, I decided to resign from my banking job and do this full time.

At that time, I remember a colleague of mine expressing her concerns at my decision. The dicey side of that decision was that I had even just been promoted and was pregnant with my second child. A lot of people felt it was strange that I was deciding to resign and start this handmade jewellery business. Somewhat weird, right?

My decision garnered diverse opinions. It was quite unusual to leave a successful career to start that kind of business. For most people, they didn’t think it was a great idea.

That of course was over 14 years ago. In retrospect, I think I made the right decision. I’ve never dusted my resume to go back to a 9-5 job. Notwithstanding, building a jewelry business comes with its own sets of challenges but I can be quite single minded and give no space for giving up. Though being human, I would feel frustrated and stuck when things were not going well but giving up is never an option. In line with that, whatever curve ball life throws at me, I would be forced to think of how to fix it.


From the beginning, I thought to myself that if I was leaving my secure career to start this venture, I had to do it with a difference. In making a difference, I needed to learn new things and stay in touch with the trend, while still  remaining timeless too. Learning is a continuous learning process. When I started, I knew that I was in it for the long haul and needed continuous upgrade in terms of knowledge. Making the decision to take the leap from secure paid employment to an uncertain business venture wasn’t a casual decision, hence the need for standout.

Then, in terms of design and finish of Cornucopia jewellery, it has always been at the core of what we do to create jewellery pieces that are global standard. A lot of times, people find it hard to believe our pieces are made right here in Lagos!

Just like for most entrepreneurs, it can be quite difficult to access financing to grow a business. I crossed that hurdle too. Fortunately, that’s changing now as there are now some low interest loans that once can access like the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) loan.

Another hurdle I cross seamlessly is building relationships. You need people, you cannot do it all by yourself. The amazing people I have met along the journey as well customers have become my friends. And the overall experience has been very interesting with a touch of stress.

Despite the stress, it is refreshing to see newbies plunging into the jewelry business and breaking new grounds. My advice to them is that creativity is great and it is a must-have to start but it’s not enough in itself. One needs to grow the mind, keep pushing, gain knowledge, be excellent. 

Just like in Cornucopia adorn, we have a mantra to stay true to our essence of creating timeless, versatile jewelry for women who are confident and elegant. We continue to stay true to that and to ensure that we satisfy them at every point in time.

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