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Brief Profile

Mary Aba Buckman is an ambitious and hardworking Ghanaian businessowner. She’s the Founder & Creative Leadat Creatrix Studios, a 3D Signage Consultant and a Graphic Designer with over six years of workingexperience. She completed her tertiary education at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with a bachelors’ degree in Communication Design. Throughout her career, she’s remiained focused on providing thoughtprovoking and innovative branding ideas for many growing businesses to challenge the advertising and 3D design industry. Her desire for ultimate freedom in expressing her creative prowess without restrictions led her down the path of entrepreneurship. She’s the founder of Creatrix Studios; 3D signage production company.

What inspired your entrepreneurship journey?

I wanted the freedom to pursue my passion and also to explore diverse opportunities as a Creative. I worked with an advertising agency for about three and a half years. I wanted the freedom to express my creativity with little to no restrictions to my creative prowess. Entrepreneurship was the way forward!

During covid 19 period, I seized an opportunity to intern with a 3D Signage company for a year. I explored design on a whole new level than what I had been practicing at the ad agency. The thrill of actually meeting the clients, site meetings, visualizing concepts, purchasing and choosing materials, the fabrication and installation process; to seeing how this improved our Client’s Brand identity, awareness, Generation of sales, or even boosted brand Equity was not only exciting but also very fulfilling.

I developed a business model and mastered my craft to perfection. I started a business truly on Social Capital, one thing led to another, word got around, referrals here and there, and boom! A business was blown into full existence.

Who is your target market?

Our target audience at Creatrix Studios 3D, is primarily business owners between the ages of 25 and 45 who are interested in improving the aesthetic or visual appeal of their business, products, brand communication, or overall brand identity. They understand how crucial visual branding assets are to them and the value they bring overall.

Tell us about your early ordeal as a business woman in Ghana.

Despite efforts toward gender equality in the workforce, some industries remain male-dominated. For instance, jobs in finance, technology, or fabrication and manufacturing (3D signages) have traditionally been associated with men leading the way. While women have made tremendous advances in these and other male-dominated industries.

Personally, Hiring bias has been my main concern. Some Clients may be more likely to hire men than women for the job. It had to take a lot to prove my ability to produce the best work or prove that I equally qualify. I believe they just trust a man to do a man’s job better…if you know what I mean lol.

Some societal expectations and beliefs in our part of the world have made it easy to question a woman’s leadership and managerial ability. Which led me to overwork myself to “prove” myself as credible for the job and may eventually lead to early burn-out, stress, or anxiety. Lack of mentorship and career development opportunities by other females excelling in these maledominated industries. It is important to gain mentorship in these sectors because it serves as a blueprint for us the young ones rising to improve and navigate our way!

Whom do you look up to in the entrepreneurship space & why?

Founder and Executive Director of Reroy Cables Limited and an audacious industrialist like Mrs. Kate Quartey-Papafio is every woman’s ideal super woman. Her NGO, the Boamah Foundation, is one of the ways she offers assistance to the aged in our community. Besides her busy life, Mrs Quartey-Papafio uses her expertise to offer guidance and assistance to young women students and entrepreneurs alike to take up leadership, governance and entrepreneurial positions for greater representation of women in these sectors.

Tabitha Mukami Muigai Karanja is a Kenyan businesswoman, entrepreneur, industrialist and Nakuru County Senator. She is the founder and current Chief Executive Officer of Keroche Breweries, the first large brewery in Kenya owned by a non-multinational company. I admire her resilience and fortitude.

What challenge is your business solving?

Any smart business owner knows that it takes more than just a great product or model to operate a
successful company. The true driver of success is sales, and sales stem from good advertising and branding. Focusing on these core competencies is a fundamental way to drive business which in turn results in success.

A great piece of office, studio, or store signage is important for so many reasons, mainly because of Increased Visibility and Brand Awareness. Signages set the tone for your office or storefront, create a brand association, attract attention, and serve as an informative tool. There’s an immense amount of importance placed on your business signage.

Signage allows businesses to showcase their products or services in a visually appealing and attention-grabbing way. By displaying signage in prominent locations. This is especially true for outdoor signages, such as Facias or Pylons which can attract the attention of passersby and potential customers even from a few meters away.

Signs attract half of a start-up business’ new customers! 35% of passersby wouldn’t know your business was there without a sign. An On-premise sign attracts 17% more customers than word of mouth and over 40% more customers than newspapers, Yellow Pages, TV, and Radio. Studies show that adding or changing a sign directly improves sales revenue.

What did your first failure in business look like and how did you surmount it?

Running a business in Ghana is not for the faint-hearted. In recent years, the ridiculous level of inflation made things worse when I started business especially since it was during the post covid era. Most raw materials and tools used in the production of signages are imported into the market, and as the Ghana Cedi weakens against the tide of inflation every aspect of my business felt the strain. This made it very difficult when it came to buying materials, paying the skilled artisans who rightly deserve a high remuneration for their expertise, and also delivering products to our customers whiles trying to maintain a very high standard of work and finishing. I managed to surmount it by taking a look at our cash flow statement, I followed it up with creating cost-cutting adjustments in hopes of doing better the next month.

By Reducing our expenses I managed to negotiate better deals with our suppliers because I had developed a trusting relationship with them for some time. Secondly, by Selling a few assets we were no longer using. In all, We maintained the same quality of work and became excellent at our finishing game. Yes, I made a few losses here and there, but you see those were selective losses. A few brands began to notice our quality of work and top-notch finishing technique, soon we were back on our Feet! These clients understood the value-for-money concept and were willing to pay to get the desired results from us. Working with some of these high-end brands paid off eventually and helped to increase our sales.

In the next 5 years, to what extend do you envisage your business growth?

Creatrix would delve into the digital signage space. Our Clients and prospective customers brands will be able to update comms easily and quickly at any time with the latest content. This allows their businesses to keep up with changing trends and customer needs without the need to invest in costly redesigns or campaigns.

Secondly we are looking at expanding to Guerrilla Advertising, this is a marketing tactic whereby we create unconventional interactions with clients products or services in order to promote the product or service. This form of marketing relies on unconventional and inventive displays. It is effective for driving publicity.

Guerrilla marketing is different from traditional marketing in that it often relies on personal interaction. This is more engaging with consumers, creates buzz and drives sales! You barley notice gureilla ads in Ghana and thats is something we at Creatrix studios look forward to establishing.

What cautionary nuggets would you give to other emerging female entrepreneurs?

  1. Yes, you’ve got the idea, you’re innovative and hardworking
  2. Acquire knowledge and technical skills as well as effective communication skills.
  3. Master your craft and creativity.
  4. Network and build good social capital portfolio.
  5. Build up yourself with leadership qualities
  6. You must be mentally and highly selfmotivated ( or have a mentor)
  7. Practice basic ethics and integrity
  8. Be willing to fail and take risks
  9. Learn to adapt
  10. Entrepreneurs must be able to sell their products or services

The UNVEIL

The UNVEIL is an entrepreneurial initiative designed to validate the respective stories and amplify the voices of active female participants in the labor market, engrossed in providing sustainable solutions to Africa’s diverse challenges through enterprising. An initiative powered by WESTLIONCO.

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