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?


Gbenga Dada Suprised

Do you people remember the gist I gave you some days ago about the potential buyer asking for “last promo price” of a product on promo? 🙄 The subtle insensitivity of that thing really pissed me off. But one woman came today to prove that there are still people who value and support the dignity in labour. This woman messaged me, sending me pictures of five Gbenga Artsmith jewelry pieces with a caveat, “How much are these? I don’t want discount please. Your prices as it is are too low for the quality and beauty of your jewelry, not to talk of now reducing it further with discounts. What is your gain? But i understand sha, Nigerians like awoof too much.”

“Oh wow…so so kind of you ma. God bless you!”

“No need to thank me dear. I bought from you three years ago and I am still rocking It! E enter chart anytime any day!”

I gave her quotations for the jewelry pieces she sent.

“Great! What other set can I add to round it up to 100k?”

“You can take two necklaces from our babe-on-a-budget line for #3,500 each.”

“Oh, I love those ones too. But they don’t come with earrings. If I want earrings, how much extra?”

“#1200 per pair ma.”

“Okay, that is #2400 for the two. I will transfer 3k.”

Brethren, this whole transaction still dey do me like feem trick. May God send us customers who place a premium on the works of our hands. Ise owo wa o ni ja sasan.

Same Cast, Different Script.

Cerebral Palsy Enlightenment video

“Same Cast, Different Script” shines the spotlight on cerebral palsy in Nigeria. It is an initiative of Nigerian jewelry brand, Gbenga Artsmith, as part of the release of their 2018 collection. The documentary chronicles the challenges as well as the victories of cerebral Palsy warriors (as we choose to call people living with the condition) and their loved ones. It shows different perspectives of the Cerebral Palsy story and the characters in it. This eye-opening feature is as enlightening as it is inspiring!

My Mom does not wear jewelry

gbenga dada Sun newspaper

I granted an interview with THE SUN Newspapers for a column of theirs which celebrates the roles played by parents in the success of their accomplished child. As I began to recount how growing up was under my parents and all the things they did in shaping me into who I am today, I have never felt so grateful for having my parents like I did yesterday.

Many times, we do not place a premium on our blessings until we begin to count them. Thank God it was not up to me to make the choice of parents, I couldn’t have made such a perfect choice- as per the fallible human that I am. God truly knows best. He gave me parents tailor-made for my destiny. .

Thank you so much Ayo Dada and Abimbola Dada for all you have done for me and all that you are doing. Especially my one-man army of a mother who has been holding the fort alone since my daddy went to be with the Lord.