Inspirational Woman: Samantha Jayne Agbontaen | Founder, House Designer

Samantha JayneI’m from an entrepreneurial background; My Mother had a fashion business and a couple of family members own a business or two. Growing up around this inspired me to have my own business.

I previously owned a women’s wear brand for several years. The brand was featured in publications such as Vogue, Glamour, graced catwalks in various city and stocked in over 30 outlets worldwide. I found the industry to be very hard and got out just in time before fast fashion took over.

I went back to school to study interior design. I was under the impression that this would be a walk in the park. After all, it’s all about cushions and colour schemes. It turned out I was so wrong. It was a lot more in-depth and technical than I imagined. Nonetheless, I enjoy it and naturally started a business.

House Designer was born in January 2020. It’s a perfect balance of tech and professional services.

Did you ever sit down to plan your career?

I never for once did. I have always been under the mindset that everything will work out itself as long as I put in the determination and work, which is something I continue to do each day.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

This isn’t my first business. I have faced many challenges in the past which I am grateful for as they are all lessons which have turned out to help me greatly in this current business.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Achievement could mean different things to different people. There has been several standout moments. However, I would like to highlight the fact that I was able to build a platform all by myself as an experiment, with no financial backing; it’s a story of a one-woman band. I did the branding, content, SEO (search engine optimisation), marketing, etc., and within the first year in business I achieved financial success, grow a team, win an award all whilst the world faced a global pandemic. This has given me so much confident in my entrepreneurial ability as well as my tech skills.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I believe I possess a fierce blend of tenacity, persistence, and hard work.

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How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I mentor my friends who are trying to be an entrepreneur or starting a business. I give them advice as well as continued support not to give up. This is what many of us lack. I didn’t have any support when starting my business, so I want to be able to give this to those who need it.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Diversity & Inclusion, what would it be?

Inequality and unconscious biases in the society and workplaces to have a more regulated, equitable society and workplace.

Find more senior (in terms of authority/influence), white, male alies.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

You can achieve anything. Believe in yourself and your ability. Dream big. You will do it.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

As we celebrate two years in business this month. I am looking to scale up House Designer platform and brand. As a business, we are growing. We are adding 4 new designers to the team and expanding on the services we offer. We have already achieved a lot in this short time.

Also, I have just launched my second brand Office Designer and I am very optimistic and excited for the future.

The best is yet to come.

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