Folasayo Williams demonstrates that if you can think it, you can do it. She is a mother to two energetic and curious boys, a business analyst by day and an entrepreneur by night
Even though Folasayo never considered herself a writer, she had stories she wanted to use to inspire empathy and kindness in children and did so by publishing her own book.
“You want your kids to grow up knowing and talking about their origins. And you want them to see themselves in the games they play and the stories they read. But mostly, you want them to be happy, confident and kind and to have fun playing games with each other and with you!”
When her older son was approaching toddlerhood, she realized the puzzles, books and toys in general in the marketplace did nothing to provide representation and connection to her Nigerian heritage and she learned. She could do something about changing that.
Folashayo probably underestimated what it took to run a business, but she has learned how to become a graphic designer, marketer, website designer, content creator, social media manager, copywriter, stock manager, operations and logistics manager. This has been done in conjunction with working a full-time job being a mother and wife. There are times when she feels isolated and overwhelmed but she made mistakes and found ways to recover. There were many sacrifices, but it was worth the success.
When she saw the joy on her son’s face when he viewed an illustration of a black mum and dad and baby boy on one of the puzzle sets, she realized that at 3 years old, this was the first time he was seeing an illustration of a family unit that looked just like his. Falashayo said he was so excited!
The positive reviews, retail and wholesale sales, media features and awards won make a difference and are encouraging. People of all ages enjoy the products and Falashayo states that even parents and grandparents wish they had toys like these while growing up.
“The importance of preserving and sharing culture today cannot be over-emphasized. Thanks to air travel and technology, we are basically living in a global village. We are sure to come across people from various walks of life, ethnic, cultural and social backgrounds whether as children or adults…and it’s important that we learn to treat everyone with respect and understanding and also to embrace and celebrate these differences.”
In order to balance work and family life, Folashayo sets boundaries. She believes that work time is work – and play time is play. She uses alarms to either start or stop a task. She can focus on the activity and then take a break – whether it’s drafting emails, creating social media posts, playing with her kids or even getting some alone time with Netflix or a book like The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Even during holidays, she unplugs, recharges and gets refreshed. You can find her on Instagram as @sheniandteri; check her products and story on the website www.sheniandteri.com or email her at email@example.com