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Why I chose to be a Carpenter – Jamila Abdul

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By Victoria Onehi

A female Carpenter, Haruna Jamila Abdul is a graduate of Textile and Interior Design from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Her passion for the magic that happens with the hammer and nail drove her into the profession after graduation.

However, she honed her skill at Dazzle Carpentry Training Limited Abuja and today she is the CEO of UrbanHaus Nigeria Limited currently located in Abuja.

Her furniture works are unique and artistically crafted for modern homes and this has drawn her clientele from around the FCT and across the country. She tells us more about her venture into the world of Furniture making.

Why did you venture into carpentry?

To start with, my passion for carpentry drove me into it. Beholding the magic that happens with the hammer and the nail is enthralling. The zeal has been there coupled with the fact that I read Textile and Interior Design at the University.

I can remember my final year project being a collapsible chair which I made.

Also, I got trained at Dazzle Carpentry Training Limited in Abuja about five years ago. I remember then I just got admission into the famous Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for my second degree and then the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) went on a long strike. Incidentally, it was the same period the advert for the carpentry school was published. So, I told myself, what other blessing would one ask for? So, I keyed in and got trained at Dazzle Carpentry in Abuja. Since then, my life never remained the same. I further had advanced training in Furniture work and also expounded my horizon to Interior Design.

I’m currently running a second training at Maven School of Interior Design here in Abuja. It’s not an easy road but we thank God for everything.

Aside from being an art, it’s a lucrative skill. Being good at it allows me to make a living out of it.

How has it been since you started? How has the patronage been?

It began quite slow but has picked up over the years. Like every other business, we have experienced lean and fat seasons. On the whole, the patronage is not quite exponential yet, but we are making good progress.

Who are your major clients? Men or Women?

I would say both. Men and women patronise me. Though I often have more male patrons than female.

How do you feel going into a field that is seen as a profession dominated by men?

I am quite glad about it. The grind teaches me commitment. It is tough and I’m comfortable with it. This is one good thing about something one is passionate about. Once you’re passionate about something, every challenge that comes with it pales in comparison to the overwhelming energy that drives you to work.

You are a graduate of Textile and Interior Design. Would you say the course you studied is helping you now in your Carpentry work?

Sure. There are a lot of things I have leveraged from my area of study which has helped my growth in the business. I am currently doing my Masters’s degree in the same course at ABU Zaria.

Do you have an apprentice or staff working with you now?

Yes, I have four guys on my team.

Where is your business located? What challenges do you face in the Business? Would you like people to invest in your business?

UrbanHaus Nigeria Limited is currently located in Abuja. Mainly, our challenge is funding. There are great ideas that can transform the way we do what we do if we had more funding and investors.

There are many opportunities for prospective investors and I would like people who are looking for businesses to invest in, to invest in our carpentry company. The Return on Investment (ROI) is unique and mouthwatering.

Would you say the carpentry business is profitable? Where do you see your business in the next few years?

Yes, it is very profitable. Given our plans and metrics, I believe that in the next few years, we will play big in the national market. Our furniture package for modern homes of all kinds is unique and promises to lead the trend in house furniture in no distant time.

How do you cope with family and business as a woman?

I seek balance in every aspect of my life so I can attain the needed optimal performance. 

Well, one must always find a way. As a single lady, it is not easy. One of the things I have done is this: I manage my time as effectively as I can. 

What is your advice to other graduates who are seeking White-Collar jobs?

When it comes to business and white-collar jobs, I think the baseline is vision and passion. Whatever a person chooses is fine. Whether in the private or public sector, what matters is finding fulfilment that comes from doing what you love doing.

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