Emerging Entrepreneurs Interview with Rotimi Badiru, Founder of The Star and The Maple

Emerging Entrepreneurs Interview with Rotimi Badiru, Founder of The Star and The Maple

I present to you the elegant and super sophisticated Rotimi Badiru of The Star and The Maple.

I met Rotimi many years ago when we were eager recent high school graduates just getting started with university. Our paths took us in different directions but entrepreneurship has put us in contact again.

It’s always a joy to see new posts on The Star and The Maple’s Instagram account. The quality of Rotimi's work speaks volumes about her and why she is great at what she does.

Read, be inspired and then take action.

Can you please tell us about yourself, what your business is about and the products or services that you provide to your target market?

My name is Rotimi Badiru. I work with one of the Big Four Accounting firms from 9 to 5 and run The Star and The Maple from 6 to 10. I’m a wife, mum, daughter, sister, friend, cousin, niece, sister in law and unicorn lover.

The Star and The Maple helps create beautiful unforgettable memories by planning all or some aspects of your special events.

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur and what was your defining moment?

I had been trying to climb a tree for a very long time. I read, studied hard, strategized and analyzed, but I just couldn’t get myself up that tree.

Then one day while preparing for my daughter’s 5th birthday party I bought these bird cages to use as part of the décor. Prior to the party I was put in charge of setting up for a colleagues’ baby shower so I put the bird cages to good use.  The end result was amazing.

Then it all came together, the reason I couldn’t get up that tree was because I was a fish out of water. I eventually found my way to water and I have been swimming ever since.

 
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid
— Albert Einstein
 

 

What’s one unique thing about your business and what makes you stand out from others in your niche?

I’m driven by passion. There’s only one of me which makes my work one of a kind. I take the time to get to know my clients, making the event as much about them as possible. From the color’s chosen and the favors to be given out.

I put a lot of thought into every single aspect of what I deliver.

How did you get started as an entrepreneur? When did you launch your business?

After my daughter’s birthday party, I offered to plan a few events for free which were hugely successful. The Star and The Maple was unofficially launched in October 2015.

What productivity tools or apps to help with productivity on a daily basis?

My creativity runs around in my head and I put my thoughts to paper, in words and in drawings.

So my note books and pens make up some of my productivity tools. In preparation for client meetings I put mood boards together using Adobe Creative Cloud. I also use Zoho.

How do you balance being an entrepreneur, being a wife, a mum and everything else in between?

My family is my support system. The support I get from them is invaluable. My girls get excited when “mummy has a job” and even help with the preparations

My husband is my rock. He sacrifices his weekends to drive me to some far away vendor to pick products that I can’t source online. He researches and helps me get the best deals online. He is also my “manager”, making sure I’m on top of my finances and not working at a loss.

There’s also the help and encouragement from friends and extended family.

 
 

Can you share your greatest accomplishment in your business so far and why you are proud of it?

Starting The Star and The Maple has been my greatest accomplishment. Not letting fear hold me back. Fear of failure. The first 4 months were a dry spell. I started to doubt myself, afraid that the investment and sacrifices made by my family would go to waste. I kept pushing on, taking notes and lessons learnt from each job, no matter how small to better myself. It has become easy because I’m still driven by passion.

Can you share a challenge you faced during your journey, starting out as an entrepreneur and how you were able to overcome it?

My eagerness often got the best of me and I would talk business first and money later much, much later. It’s important to know where to draw the line between running a business and pursuing a hobby. I’m learning to be upfront about finances and the end result is that I’m able to manage expectations for myself and my clients.

Tell us about a mistake you made starting out as an entrepreneur and the lesson you learned from it?

Putting yourself and your business out there can sometimes be daunting. For a long time, I shied away from putting myself on social media. I hoped that I’d meet someone in the event business one day and they’d let me do some work for them, then my light would shine. But if I was asked to show my work, what I had done, I had nothing. So I decided to start something. I refused to limit myself and I continue to learn every day.

You don’t need anyone to validate you. As long as you are not a fish trying to climb a tree.

How have you been able to network and connect with other entrepreneurs, both new and established ones in the online space?

I have met other entrepreneurs by attending business conferences and seminars, most advertised on social media.

I have gotten to know a few of them on a personal level and they are all amazing, driven by their passion to succeed and they are good at what they do.

We continue to support and encourage each other on our entrepreneurial journey.     

What’s the next step for your business?

I’m constantly thinking of ways to improve and grow myself and my business. I sign up for lots of free webinars as well.

I have been blessed to collaborate with some amazing talents and we are hoping to accomplish bigger things in the near future.

Please share parting words for emerging entrepreneurs out there or those that are still trying to decide whether to launch into entrepreneurship.

Just do it. Better to try than not have tried at all. There will be lessons learnt, some good and bad, give it your all. Whether it’s your 9 to 5, your 6 to 9 or both. Keep on keeping on.

Checkout The Star and The Maple on Instagram