The path to success is never a straight line. Start anywhere and keep moving forward towards your goals.

We’re back with episode 2 of the Start Anywhere series! Today, we are taking a deep dive into Shadrack the Shoemaker’s story. Get ready to be super inspired.

Back in 2013, Shadrack Ovakpo moved to Lagos from Warri in hopes of getting in on the Lagos hustle and finding work. Unfortunately, the job prospect he initially moved back for fell through. He still had to hustle and make money though, so how was he going to go about that?

He decided not to wallow in this hiccup and like a true hustler, went on to find the next thing he could do. He met someone along the way, a shoemaker, and decided to learn the trade. He made his own first pair and posted the shoes online, and the feedback he received from his friends and followers was just the encouragement he needed to keep going. And so, Sheddi Shoes Nigeria was born.

It was not easy at first – the best stories usually aren’t. However, he persevered, and back in the early/mid-2010s, Nigerians were mostly averse to buying “made in Nigeria” items, including shoes. People feared the quality of these items, they didn’t see the value in them and would rather buy them from abroad (even though these were almost always more expensive). However, as the years went by and the economic situation got worse, buyers began to look within Nigeria for alternatives. There was even the popular “Buy Nigerian to Grow the Naira” campaign, which helped to push this.

Entrepreneurs, business owners and the like saw this opportunity and tapped into it, honing their crafts to ensure they made quality items that Nigerians would be proud to wear. Shadrack followed this path, and now Sheddi Shoes are all around.

“My shoes have gone far and I’d say that I’m far better today than I was yesterday”.

Shadrack Ovakpo, Founder and CEO of Sheddi Nigeria

Thanks to Nigerians’ love for travelling, Sheddi’s shoes have seen places! People have ordered from all over the world, so he can truly say that he has gone international. But he is not stopping there. The grind continues.

When making his shoes, he focuses mainly on quality and durability. Measuring success looks like customers observing in 3-4 years’ time that the shoes are still in good condition and worth the money that was paid for them. Quality over quantity, always.

What lessons has he learned along the way?

Well, Shadrack wishes that he had learnt about and utilised online selling much earlier. Using the Flutterwave Store and payment platform has helped his business a lot because it eliminates the barrier of customers insisting on seeing the product before they pay. With an online platform like Flutterwave Store, customers can be assured that their payment is secure so will be comfortable buying online.

“With Flutterwave Store, you can start in your corner and get access to the whole world.”

Not just our words! Take it from Shadrack; create a Flutterwave Store today and start selling securely!

All in all, Shadrack’s story takes us through the journey of Sheddi Nigeria, and a man who is just striving, wringing water out of stone and doing what it takes to succeed. It reinforces the message that you can truly Start Anywhere and watch your life take off. 

Watch his inspiring story here. And whilst you’re at it, visit his Flutterwave Store Sheddi Nigeria and buy some awesome shoes!

Published by Segilola Kola-Daisi

Product Marketer