The Interview with the founder of fresh strawberry.
Fresh Strawberry Group is a vibrant, innovative UK based Creative Management Company which provides great quality services and products to creative professionals, audiences and consumers, to empower, entertain and educate.
Their services include:
FS Styling Team
Today, I’m with the brains behind Fresh Strawberry, the young and dynamic Sade Salami (CEO and founder of Fresh Strawberry Group)
How are you doing today Sade?
I’m great thanks!
Sade, I’m going to be very honest with you, when I saw your company’s name, I though you guys were actually making fresh strawberries? So how did the name come about?
When was Fresh Strawberry born?
I know its gets everyone thinking which is what I love about it. The name was actually developed in two parts. I was working part time at a jewellery concession when I was looking for a name for the company and my boss and I were in love with this diamante encrusted strawberry broach. She held it up and simply said ‘What about Strawberry’ and I was like yep that’s it. However when I came to actually register the company, I found there was already a company with that name so I added Fresh to it. Thus the company name was born.
I know a lot of you are wondering who is Sade Salami; Sade, can you give us some background information about yourself? You know how old are you? Where are you from etc?
I’m 27 and I’m a British born Nigerian. My background was quite unsettled but in a nutshell I grew up with my dad and step mother, (I did not meet my mother until I was 21), I left home when I was 16 and went into the hostel system. My dad passed away when I was 17 and stayed in the hostel system till I was 20. I went on to study Media Arts with Music and Sound and Recording and started this company when I was 25.
As you can imagine I dealt with some tough stuff when I was younger but I have always been very open about it, as I believe it shows that even though you may have to deal with adversity in youth you can still persevere. I still work with Centrepoint (Homeless Charity) who ran the hostels that I used to live in, and help them raise awareness about the cause.
So when was Fresh Strawberry born? What made you decide to go into business?
Fresh Strawberry started in 2006, at that time I had a business partner whose idea it was to start a model management company, we both dabbled in the model industry at the time and didn’t like the way women were being treated. I was working 9-5 as well and hated every minute of it. So the idea appealed to me very much.
After about 3 months my business partner left the country so I had to hold the fort which was challenging but without it I would not be where I am today.
A lot of people get lost by the name of the company, can you just give me a quick description of what your company is about, and you know what Fresh Strawberry is about?
Fresh Strawberry Group is a management company which provides services for the fashion and entertainment industries.
How many staff do you have so far? How do you manage them?
At the moment I have a team of 4. I am very hands on naturally but I allow my staff team to work on using their own initiative and to develop in their chosen departments.
I am very blessed to have such a great team and really do give a lot of consideration when making decisions about the kind of people that I work with. I am currently expanding and I am looking for interns but I only want the best.
What do you think is your strongest attribute and also your weakest?
I don’t think I can pinpoint one single attribute as I work on having multiple strengths every day. I am a natural motivator, I like to see plans all the way to the end, I always intend to deliver, I’m a realist and I am very very passionate about what I do.
In terms of weaknesses I do tend to work quite a bit although to me it doesn’t feel like work, I suspect that the majority of my nearest and dearest would like me to switch of more.
What are your thoughts about delegation in businesses?
It is essential and evitable in order for your business to grow.
However when you do delegate, as a manager you must ensure that your staff have the necessary tools (including training) in order to complete each task no matter how big or small with efficiently and flair.
What do you think sets you apart from other company in the same industry as you?
What sets us aside is that we are not afraid to invest our time and energy into new and fresh talent, we will represent the poorly represented and reach a niche market or demographic. Our bespoke service approach is designed to suit our clients’ needs and helps them see a much clearer return on investment. Most importantly We listen, We create and We deliver.
What do you think has kept you going this far?
Sheer determination, self belief and confidence; that voice at the back of my head that tells me very day that I am succeeding.
I love success, I celebrate it and enjoy it, I’m an optimist and I seriously have something to look forward to everyday single day
Have you encountered any experience that put doubts in your minds about your business, how did you deal with it?
I’ve been very lucky to date I haven’t and hope not to ever!
Sade, you’ve been in business for quite some time now, what do you think has been the best advice you’ve ever been given? What advice would you give others especially young entrepreneurs out there?
The best advice I’ve ever been given is to just go for it! I would say the same to any young entrepreneur.
You said your aim is to provide a bespoke service tailored to each individual client through an exciting, creative and innovative approach which is both accessible and relevant to today's creative professional and industries, how do you manage to live up to these words?
By staying on top of our game! Ultimately it’s about our clients’ needs, having people who can think outside the box and I’m a fan of lifelong learning.
How do you reach across your target audience?
Word of mouth, online and networking.
What are your thoughts about youths looking to start business during this recession period?
Now is a perfect time, the so called recession is a necessary part the cycle it gives room for new ideas, services and businesses, so go for it.
What are your advises for young entrepreneurs out there, trying to come out?
Believe in yourself, stick at it and learn to adapt when the time is right. Also time management and having positive people round you is very important.
Who is your role model/influence? What book or audio tape that you feel as helped you, would you recommend for young entrepreneurs out there?
I love Oprah that woman is simply serious and is not given enough credit for her achievements. I share my birthday with the wealthiest man in Nigeria Alhaji Aliko Dangote so I like to think we have something other than our birthdays in common.
I also love Richard Branson and his books great. I do love to read, I liked the Rich Dad Poor Dad series. But I believe that the book ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill single handedling changed my life.
Do you think there is an age limit on when you can start a business? I know people have issues such as: experience, maturity, trust etc, what do you think?
No, not all, My 7 year old nephew received a pack of 12 fairy cakes from his grandma and he started selling them for a £1 each. Can you imagine what he’ll be in 20 years if he develops this initiative?
Age is a perception, but business is more about experience, it’s a learning curve, if you start your first business at 14 and keep at it you will have a wealth of experience by the time your 28
What do you think the key to success in business is?
Determination and self belief
I mean you must be so busy, how do you cope with work and everything else, the other day one of my friends advised me to get a blackberry? What do you do when you’re less busy?
I plan, I write lists all the time and I don’t know if I could live without my ‘crackberry’!!!
When I can I spend time with friends, just chill, go cinema, spa -the usual stuff.
So what should we be expecting in upcoming months from you and Fresh Strawberry?
Over the next few months we’ll be in involved in a number of events, increase development and exposure of our clients, developing our media relationships and we’ll be having a couple of launches by the end of the year, but I don’t want to give away too much.
Thank you for your time Sade.
That’s it, you’ve heard it all from the mouth of the most talented and inspirational Sade Salami.
If you’re an hardworking, ambitious journalist, writer, graphic designers, photographer, fashion designer, stylists, visual artists, make-up artist, hair stylist, model, promoter or breathe with creativity, then you need to sign up yourself with this team.
If you also think you got what it takes as an intern at the highest level, then the Fresh Strawberry Group is for you.
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