Selorm Amudzi...the young lawyer turned interior decorator
At age 24, she already has a first degree in English and a second, in Law, and is currently at the Ghana Law School hoping to get her licence. Call that intelligence and you won’t be wrong. But the part of her that gave her a space in the award-winning ‘Inspiring Start-ups’ page of the B&FT, is not related to the aforementioned. Rather, it is her entrepreneurial prospects. Her works have earned her a name and reputation as “a lady of colour”. Read on as she narrates how it all started.
Crystal Selorm Amudzi, born in Dzorwulu, a suburb of Accra, is the brain behind Serenti Interior Designs. She is also a proud alumnus of the Achimota Senior High School, and graduate from the University of Ghana, Legon where she had her first degree in English. She went back to the same university for a second degree in Law, and is currently at the Ghana Law School studying to be licenced to practice as a lawyer.
Naturally a pretty lady, she is easily attracted to nature and its beauty too. So during her early life, she had a small garden at home where she nurtured flowers and other plants. Little did she know that one day, that passion for beauty will lead to a great business opportunity.
As Steve Jobs, the Founder of Apple Inc., once said: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow know what you truly want to become”, so did Selorm see truth in that saying and followed her intuitions to begin the journey of Serenti Interior Designs.
Serenti starts operations
Selorm was a national service person at the University of Ghana and doubled as a Personal Assistant with Bullion Securities Ltd. when she conceived the idea to start a decoration business.
The whole idea stemmed from what she observed from a lot of beautiful mansions and houses.
“I realized the advent of the real estate properties all over the place, there were so many beautiful houses springing up. But most of these houses had a wonderful exterior but the interior had nothing to write home about. So, I just wanted to find a solution to that and that was what inspired me to start Serenti.”
She chose the name Serenti from the English word ‘serenity’. The idea behind her choice of name came from the fact that she wanted the rooms she will decorate to reflect a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
As any other business, your first customers are always people who are closer to you. Selorm’s first customer was her boss. He asked her to decorate his kids’ room. After doing a marvelous work, she earned the praise of her boss and all who saw the décor. That boosted her confidence to take it seriously.
Since then, she gets several contracts every other week and has had to sometimes turn down others due to time constraints and other factors.
Her main marketing medium has been social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram.
The most daunting challenge, Selorm says, is combining her job with school. According to her, Law is one of the demanding programmes to ever study, as it requires a lot of time and commitment, but she has devised an interesting philosophy that does not make her see this too much of a challenge that she cannot surmount.
“I don’t put anything down and classify it as a challenge, I see it as it being dependent on me; I need to improve, I need to do better. If I’m without a job for a month, then, it means I’m not marketing myself enough, and I’m not putting myself out there. So, I think of ways to make my work known, and be more appealing to clients and potential ones.”
How education has helped
For Selorm, without education she wouldn’t have been able to achieve this feat. She explains that education has been a central part of her business because it has helped her gain more knowledge to improve her designing skills. It has also helped her to couch her path in the business world as well as to manage her finances.
Currently, she has also enrolled in an online interior design course so she can have a professional certificate to back her business.
Just as it is the dream of every small business, Selorm wants to grow big. She wants her works to be all over the place and be the preferred choice of every house owner or business looking for a quality interior décor.
How can government create the enabling environment?
One problem Selorm mentioned needed serious intervention by government is the unstable exchange rate in the country as it makes things quite expensive.
Selorm is also not immune to the main problems of budding entrepreneurs in Ghana— capital. She is imploring government to set up structures that will make capital acquisition easily accessible to young people with entrepreneurial prospects, as she believes a lack of that holds young entrepreneurs from pursuing their vision.
She is advising the youth not to enclose themselves in one circle alone, but to transform any passion they have into businesses.
“If you have any passion or anything you are good at, just go for it. There is no right time than now. I for example, was thinking of completing my national service before I begin this business. But I had a change of mind and started right away. So the youth should not hold up their dreams and passion for a long time before they do something with it. They should transform it to businesses now.”