Chief “Everything” Officer at Trinidad Mogulista (trinidadmogulista.com), Ameniki Omotola, says her life’s current resting point has been an accumulation of all the challenges, obstacles, and learnt skills she has taken on during the course of her life. Looking back, she says now she understands the age-old adage “everything happens for a reason”.
Before starting Trinidad Mogulista, many questions and ideas plagued Ameniki: questions of personal legacy, living her best life, and fulfilling her life’s true purpose all swirled in the months leading up to her concrete launch of the Mogulista brand.
“The inner voice was saying ‘you are not doing enough, this is not what I placed you here for’ but I continued to ignore it,” she shares of the rumblings of unease that were present in her life at the time.
“Until one day I looked at my daughter and saw that she deserved a legacy of greatness attached to her name; that the Omotola name will be known as a mogul. And here we are, living not in expectation but in expectancy,” she says of the final push that saw her taking the leap to become a “mumpreneur” (a mummy entrepreneur) and attaching her name to a movement that can last for years to come.
Trinidad Mogulista is a movement of creatives always on the hunt for the “next big thing”; creatives mastering their crafts while nurturing it. “Trinidad Mogulista is about helping creatives stand out and pushing them forward to their MOGUL legacy by using platforms to catapult them into their own form of success,” Ameniki says on the company’s website.
Armed with her enthusiastic, go-getter approach, Ameniki offers Mogulista clients with services and advice that covers all aspects of online small business development, from corporate brand development and identity to attracting more leads and conversations on social media pages. The Mogulista brand is determined to help small creative business owners overcome their obstacles and come up with solutions concerning such online creative business strategies, she adds.
“Being a woman and a black entrepreneur in TT has to be the most exhilarating experience,” she says of the most fulfilling part of spearheading a brand that keeps women and mothers as their priority clients. “The movement that is Trinidad Mogulista is such that women know they have support, they have a safe place that they can call their own, a place where they can be guided and empowered to make their dreams come true,” she says of the sisterhood that is a cornerstone of the brand’s mission.
As for the company’s expansion since its launch a year and a half ago, Ameniki describes it as “phenomenal”, commenting that she has grown from a one-woman team to having several workers and helpers who all share her vision for nurturing a cadre of female entrepreneurs for future generations.
“‘Ladypreneurs’ cannot be treated like everyone else,” she says firmly of the reasoning behind her company’s focus on women in business. “They have a certain way of doing things and a skillset that is usually phenomenal.”
She also knows that oftentimes, businesswomen may feel overwhelmed, anxious, and frustrated when it comes to their business and marketing strategies, especially if they are single mothers or women who are going the road of entrepreneurship alone.
“I know Trinidad Mogulista is breaking the status quo when it comes to evolving small business owned by women; there is very little being done locally via social media to empower these women, to give them words of encouragement daily which enables them to continue,” she says of the niche that her company is proud and eager to fill.
The brand also hosts networking events where clients and interested parties can come together and share stories of business strategy, ideas, and offer support to each other – another strengthening link in the culture the brand hopes to foster.
Their final event for 2017 will be titled “Mogulista Mamas in Business”, and will focus on the niche market of “mumpreneurs” on December 29 at Auzonville Mall, Tunapuna.
“The event has been developed to ensure mums who have a business get the assistance they need at an affordable price; not just ‘fluff’ but action steps that will allow them to flourish in 2018,” Ameniki describes the networking event. She also highlights that this is a “women and children” event, for mothers who take their children with them everywhere whether by choice or necessity. “I want mums to know they can put down the superhero cape and save themselves at times.”
Ameniki knows a thing or two about being her own personal hero. For the last 13 years, she has had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue, which can affect skin, joints, kidneys, and other organs.
“I am not lupus. Lupus has not stopped me from accomplishing my goals. It has definitely made it a zillion times harder but I guess that is what makes the victories sweeter,” she says of overcoming her diagnosis and learning to live with the chronic illness. While she may appear healthy and full of zeal, she shares that physical exhaustion is a permanent fixture in her life because of lupus. “Tiredness follows me around and beats at me; people do not understand that part, the part where I say I’m tired. They think a nap will help.”
To fellow “lupies”, she shares, “Take your meds, get your rest, and know it isn’t a life sentence. I see it as a gift, a way of finding a solution. Lupus has given me the ability to be insanely organised because of my disease and I’m grateful,” she says of the ways she has turned her diagnosis on its head.
Another of her many superhuman roles is her career as a school Guidance Officer, a MPhil/PhD student at the UWI, and mother – the best role of all, according to her. But she says she has her flaws, like all others. “I believe my ability to show others that I crack, my authenticity, has given me the voice for people to hear,” she says of her openness to embracing her human shortcomings.
In the future, she hopes to help more clients, mumpreneurs, and businesswomen through Trinidad Mogulista. The most heartening experiences thus far have been strangers reaching out to her through online platforms to commend her work and express their love for her brand. “That is a shock to me!” she gushes of being showered with such praises by the very public her company serves.
“When I have down days, I think of them. I think of the future I have planned. I say I am in process. It has never rained 365 days, so I will get through this.”
(Photo of woman and Daughter hugging)
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