The Day Nigerian Greats Honoured Gbenga Artsmith Jewelry in Abuja, Nigeria.

With the wife of the Vice President of Nigeria, H.E Dolapo Osinbajo, the wife of former Nigerian Head of State, Mrs. Ajoke Murtala Mohammed and honourable Minister of Mineral And steel, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who are seen in these pictures admiring my jewelry pieces.

Started from the bottom now we’re here: The Gbenga Artsmith Story.

Story-story? (Story…)

Once upon a time? (Time-time!)

There was once a place that used to be Gbenga Artsmith’s workshop (the picture above was taken in 2015 in the said workshop). I started Gbenga Artsmith in 2008 and for 7 years the veranda of my father’s villa was my workshop. As my business grew, my dad was magnanimous enough to relocate his Prado Jeep from his car porch to the side of our garden so I could extend my use of the veranda to his car porch. Almost everywhere in the house was my storage room- my dad’s wine cellar, the lobby, the courtyard, my room and at some point I even started ‘competing’ for space with my sister teethreads who had converted my dad’s private study room to her workshop (power of supportive parents).

Three years after, I run two jewelry studios in highbrow areas of Lagos- Opebi and Lekki phase 1 to be specific. Not just that, I am now touted as West Africa’s most renowned male jeweller. All from a small beginning..
What I had was enough to take me to where I wanted to be. Brethren, stop waiting for perfect conditions; start with what you have where you are. What you have is enough to take you to where you are going!

Dear Entrepreneur, be versatile.

An Instagram follower messaged me asking for the contact of the person who does my product photography. I gave her the fellow’s number. She called and discovered it was me.

Next day, she asked for the phone number of my graphics artist. I gave it to her without restraint. It was my number still.

Chuckling, “Ahan, Mr. Gbenga why are you whining me na. I am serious, I really need someone to help me with my product photography and to design graphics for me.”

“I am not joking now. I do them myself.”

“Wow! So you mean you do all the designing, writing press releases, sales page, proposal letters, photography, graphics…”

I cut in, “…yes o. Na me.”

She was stunned. I went ahead to teach her how to save her money (and even stress) by giving an online tutorial on product photography, photo editing and creatively using Canva for her graphics.

Dear entrepreneur, downsize your recurrent expenditure. Protect your income. Learn to do some tasks yourself. Be versatile…

Vanguard Allure Honour: Movers and Shakers of 2018 List

GbengArtSmith vanguard feature

I’m on the cover of today’s edition of Vanguardalluremagazine (the pull-out magazine of Vanguard Newspapers). I was listed as one of the movers and shakers of 2018.
This is such a proud moment for myself and all my contemporaries in the Nigerian jewelry industry. In a society that celebrates majorly the mainstream players, it feels good that my industry (hitherto sidelined) is been put in the spotlight by recognising my contributions to Nigerian fashion. Thank you for the honour Vanguard Allure ❤❤❤. If you’re a Nigerian jewelry designer say, “Ayyye!”

Grateful or Great Fool

Gbenga Dada with a disturbed face
Gbenga Dada with a disturbed face
Gbenga Dada while reviewing the year 2018

In my over 10 years of running the Gbenga Artsmith brand and over 17 years of doing business, I have never felt like giving up as much as I did in 2018. Many times my case was that of working like an elephant and eating like an ant. The concerted efforts of myself and my team was synonymous with pouring water into a leaking basket. We ceaselessly asked ourselves, “What is going on?”

In the picture above is me after the gruelling task of rolling silver in the mill (See second picture) while I was creating pieces for gbengaartsmith_luxury‘s “THE MADAME COLLECTION” which took months…So you can imagine my shock and frustration when the reception to the collection was very unimpressive. Handcrafted fine jewelry pieces and not costume o. Ah, it pained me! 😢 If not for a couple of our offline, God-sent clients who made all the labour worthwhile with their patronage.

I particularly thank God for Pastor Pkennyfolarin‘s sermon last week Sunday on “GRATITUDE.” I realized my folly and I have come out publicly to apologize to God for griping about what went wrong and forgetting all the things that worked out right. This year, God blessed me with some of the most compassionate, selfless and dedicated workers that I have ever had! This year, I “miraculously” opened our 2nd outlet in Lekki within three weeks! This year, I launched our best and biggest jewelry campaign ever- the cerebral Palsy awareness project in March. This year, we released our highest grossing collection till date. Yes, I lost many things this year, but God is the reason I didn’t lose everything! What I thought I did not gain materially, i gained in things money can never buy. Dear God, I am sooo grateful for an eventful year! What are you grateful for?