My family is a bit diverse. I won’t say too much but I grew up in an environment that was a bit like the School of Hard Knocks. My mom’s side is made up of SPGs with families in almost every continent.
Primary school was interesting; my family was poorest then. My mom was very thrifty and would always buy clothes I could grow into. I was mocked when I was in Primary One because my school pinafore reached the ground. By the time I was in Primary Six, everyone was still making fun of me because my pinafore was too short.
I learnt how to use a penknife to cut my Bata shoes to create friction so I could use them for a longer time. Being thrifty made me more creative.
It’s always been in me to want to make money but the truth is, I was really comfortable in Ogilvy where I used to work. I had a really good job and I had a lot of respect for my fellow peers who were really working with the best mindset you can find in the industry. I was really comfortable and wasn’t at that age where I liked unpredictability.
I tendered my resignation two weeks after my dad was diagnosed with brain tumor. I watched him lose his motoring skills. I drove him to the hospital thinking it was a stroke. It was quite an experience: The doctor was going to send him back home, saying that it was normal for old men to lose their motoring skills; but I told him, “Are you telling me that I have more common sense watching House than you who’s been in medical school for five years?” I insisted on a scan and true enough, it was brain tumor.
Goodstuph was two weeks old when a representative from Nike came forward and said, “Come, Pat. I will give you business.” I didn’t even pitch anything. The lady had not worked with me before but she knew I was hungry.
It’s amazing how things come together. It helps that I’m a bit shameless too. I think it’s really important when you want to start a business to know what you’re good at and what you’re not.
You can start a business in two ways: You can either take a bank loan or receive government funding. But I didn’t want any of that. I wanted to stay in the black. I didn’t want to be in the red.
My biggest pet peeve is people who put a price to their integrity. Starting my own business allows me to see everything upfront, including the dirty side of things.
I’m the sort of friend who would bail on you for a movie but would be the first to be there if you’re about to jump off a building. The problem is there are more people who want to watch a movie then jump off buildings.
As a woman, you have to work harder to prove yourself. It’s also important not to overcompensate. To work in a fast paced environment, you need to be emotionally detached. Time management is key; something’s got to give. If your career matters most to you, you can’t complain about not having a social life. You have to up your game.