Freelance Model | Entrepreneur | Paralegal | Freelance Broadcast Journalist
I’m not a big fan of putting labels on anything. I believe you should just let people be exactly who they are. Over the past several decades, the role of a model has completely transformed, this is largely thanks to social media.
My name is Nana Adjoa Asiamah Faustina, I’m known as Daakye Hemaa Baakope or That Petite Model. I am the owner of an online fashion shop called: “That Petite Trends”, a Paralegal, Freelance Broadcast Journalist, Software Engineer, Brand Influencer, A Model, Catwalk Trainer. What ignited the spark in me to start a business was denial of job opportunities. Few of the opportunities I felt I could fit in so well but due to the selfish and corrupt nature of some HRs or CEOs, my frustration of being jobless was something I had to live with. I have had some bad experiences looking for a job or working for someone. It’s quite unfortunate, getting a genuine job is very difficult in my country (Ghana). It’s either through whom you may know - “connection” or mostly what some would say “using what you have to get what you want”. I don’t know why I’ll have to go to bed with an employer for a job, after investing time and money towards my education. That infuriates me; therefore, I often ask myself why did I even go to school if I knew getting my dream is through sexual favor? Promotions at work should be given due to merit, hard work and skill, certainly not for sexual favors. This highly inappropriate suggestion by any executive, supervisor or manager is not only wrong but also illegal. But not in Ghana. Some may agree or disagree. If your boss has asked for a sexual favor in return for a promotion or other work-related advancement, he or she can be sued for sexual harassment in some countries. I felt I had something in me that I could do for fun and make money as well – why not start a business. Yes, I had that fear in me in the beginning because I lacked what it takes to run a business.
How did the idea for your business come about?
Moving forward, my idea manifested through my interest I developed in modeling. Someone may ask how I do this through modeling? I love fashion and I love taking pictures. I love to look good always and I get asked “are you a model” - questions from random people. They often look so surprised when my answer is “No” and then the follow up compliments are: “you look like a model, and you have a gorgeous figure”. From my stereotyping imagination, I always thought one needs to be tall to be a qualified Model. Later I tracked back to read about modeling, and I realized I do fit in despite my height. I had already developed some interests that go in line with modeling, so it was much easier to become a photo model. I saw this as a motivation, and I decided to use what I have to get what I want in a positive way.
For starters, I went ahead to enroll in a modeling school to get professional training and I took it from there. I became a freelance photo model and a catwalk trainer though I don’t have the height to do Runways. From a model perspective, your body is your company. Therefore, taking care of your body should be your number priority. I took the bull by the horn, and I branded myself as “That Petite Model” because “Petite” is one of the types of models and that’s where I fit in, so I chose to use it as a brand name. My content delivery and portfolio got me a lot of followers on social media especially on Facebook. I was so surprised how I became so influential to prominent brands through photography. In 2015, I had a photoshoot for a client who deals in sneakers, looking at how successful the result was and how sales went up. I therefore decided to partner up with them. Later in 2018, I started my own online fashion shop called “That Petite Trends” and so far, so good.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Fraudulent online business was my biggest hurdle. I see posts from victims online. That worries me. I believe in myself and my brand. I do all my selling through my personal Facebook page; therefore, I make sure my page is very active and interesting. I make real-life related posts, and I make sure I reply to every comment I get under my posts as well, once a while I do come live and interact with my friends. That is how I get to win their trust.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I’m currently reading these two books “Questions and Damn Questions by Frederick W. Awudey
“How To Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie;
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
I would say No. My family and few friends have been great and supportive. They believe in me. Anytime, I post a selling item. I see them also sharing it via their pages, that makes me feel so grateful.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
I would say, I’m grateful to all the social media platforms out there. Especially Facebook, Messenger, and WhatsApp. I don’t have to go on radio/tv to advertise my business, I started all these at the comfort of my home.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
The power of SELF CONFIDENCE. If I had known this some years back, I wouldn’t have wasted time. I would have started this a long time ago. However, I’m still so proud of myself for how I didn’t give up and kept believing in myself.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Don’t wait; whatever you want to do, start it now – with baby steps. Believe in yourself and take advantage of every opportunity that will come your way but let your values be at the forefront during decision making. Make good use of social media. See the good in anything that comes your way. It’s not easy, but you will get there with time.