‘My greatest inspiration is God. He being a creative being has made me love and respect art. Just Imagine you are a piece of clay…..now stop imagining….How does that sound? That’s where my inspiration comes from, ‘says Dan Oduor Robert C.E.O and Founder Oak trends. He started Oak Trends back in 2008 though it was just like a hobby and he did not take it seriously. The idea of the company came to him when people started asking him to make wristbands for them from which he started earning some cash.
He went on ahead to name the company Oak Trends representing all the crafts that he designs i.e. wristbands, necklaces, belts and many more but with one daring attribute that is all customized and personalized to the customer’s needs. At the moment the business is still growing he says he is working mostly with well-wishers whom he confesses have contributed greatly to his success. In terms of outsourcing clients he has learnt to use the art of recommendation and also close friends having known them for a while thus the element of trust that borders his business.
Oak Trends has been on notable success but not to the level Dan would want it to be. His main failure has been lack of aggressiveness he says, ‘For instance I find myself giving out products to customers on credit and some of them end up in bad debts which in turn affect my business financially. In all this I have learned to adopt a pay on delivery system. I would rather keep the product until the client pays me.’
Dan who finds his motivation from His mom, Bishop and close friends doesn’t believe in giving up on an idea in as much as some ideas need big money when he feels it will bring breakthrough, the only thing he can do is postpone the implementation. That’s why for college students eyeing to start their own business out there first and foremost Dan advises to put God first in order for their plans to work as they desire. Secondly he says they have to work very hard in school because business without education can be a big mess.
Lastly they have to be very passionate about what they do otherwise they will not feel the urge to put in extra hours of work. Mr. Robert works (70-84 hours) a week and believes, ‘Most successful people always talk of success as a result of hard work, being focused and ambitious and I think this is the formula.’ Brilliant marketing skills also contribute to business success Dan adds on to say that he uses the internet as a major marketing platform for his business, he has a Facebook page and also an Instagram account where he posts pictures and information about his latest products.
Mr. Robert is also a Gospel musician stage name Jay Plus International thus spends some time writing and recording music. He has an album out known as ‘Raindrops’ produced by Righflow Music available on www.mdundo.com and is set to soon release a single Pendo La Pekee Jay Plus ft. G_Classy YGA produced by Righflow Music & Napol Music. Aside from the music he takes pride in cracking jokes and loves watching movies/series. He agrees that it is important to have some time off business with family and friends in as much as he is not good at it since he gets so held up with his business.
Five key elements for starting and running a successful business for Mr. Robert would be: a good idea that is workable, capital, good advisors, market for your products and/or services and competitors so as not to be in a comfort zone. Mr. Robert loves the idea of being an entrepreneur since he gets to live his dream unlike employees who help the employer achieve his/her dream. ‘My fear is growing old. I really fear old age, I want to accomplish all my plans and enjoy them while am still young. I manage this by being happy all the time no matter what. I also make sure I stay fit.’ Dan favorites ‘Blessed Hands’ by Ben Carson, a book he says has encouraged him that, ‘No matter where you come from you can make it if you believe in yourself and God.’
Excluding his company Dan admires Brookside Dairies and in the next 10-20years he is hopeful to have his own factory and employ as many people as his can to help him run his business.
Get interactive with Mr. Dan Oduor Robert C.E.O and founder Oak Trends and your own personalized merchandise through the following avenues:
Facebook- OakTrends Kenya
Instagram and Twitter: @Rhyminister
On the question of if he was the one conducting this interview what would he ask? He asked, ‘How do you get funds to start a business?’ www.thefounder.co.ke is the best avenue for such a question because we help young people start businesses. The Founder It Begins with an idea.