Ijeoma Igbaji is the Founder and CEO of a dynamic gifts and surprises company, White Rabbit Favours, which creates and delivers unique gift packages and beautiful surprises for any celebration to wow the celebrant, make their day extra special and give them unforgettable memories. She tells Bennett Oghifo how it works and what nudged her in that direction
How did you get around to delivering gifts?
After graduation, I dreamed of the security of paid employment, but God had greater plans for me. Fresh out of National Youth Service with no dream job in sight, I chose to develop the skills I had to create the type of job I wanted. So, I delved into entrepreneurship and White Rabbit Concept was born. I ran a events management firm for a while, operated an upscale lounge in Abuja called Code Lounge, Published an Abuja lifestyle magazine called City Crawler Magazine. However, I shut all of them down to focus on White Rabbit Favours in 2013.
Tell Us about White Rabbit Favours and how the idea to surprise people came about?
White Rabbit Favours was launched in 2013 and since then we have carried out over 1,000 deliveries to Surprise and Delight our clients. I was running an event management company when I got the idea to start this business. My Sister who works in a bank always asked me to help her deliver cakes, or gifts to her husband or friends or colleagues on their birthdays or anniversary and I thought why not turn it into a service and charge for it. Little did I know that it would morph into something so fantastic. We package and deliver cakes, fresh flowers, balloons, chocolates, jewelry, wine, champagne, cars, Spa vouchers, shopping vouchers, gift certificates etc for every occasion and celebration. We also include the WR Saxophone or violin serenade for our classic birthday surprise. We recently added the talking drum to the classic surprise and it’s been so great. People call us the Joy Vendors; we are all about Joy and happiness.
A business of surprises, what has the response been like?
The response has been amazing. Since we started in 2013 we have carried out almost 1000 deliveries and surprises. The truth is every human being has a need for love, according to Maslow Hierarchy of Needs. When people call White Rabbit favours to surprise someone they are not only showing love, appreciating or celebrating the recipient, but they also get it back in return. The Pleasure goes to both the sender and receiver. The unexpected always feels good. It meets their desire for more, so instead of mediocre celebration they get the wow experience which is unforgettable. The novelty of it all leaves a memorable feeling and causes joy and happiness.
How did you get the background and skill to run this Business?
Beyond my University degree, which is Theatre Arts, I attended the Enterprise Development Center of Pan African University. And from childhood I have always been great at decorations and gift wrapping and I give the best gifts to friends and family. I have focused on business and self-development so I could innovate and always give my clients something new. I have clients who come to us every year, every birthday and anniversary and they get something new.
How many employees do you have?
I currently have a team of five. But some surprises require more people, for example flash mobs or orchestra or Christmas day secret Santa or Valentine’s day deliveries, so we have adhoc staff on standby, which could run up to about 35 people.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
We want to be where to go for Surprises in Nigeria. When anybody thinks of doing something special, they will think of us, both corporate and individual. We have launched our Boat Wow Experience, The Carriage Ride and The Hot Air Balloons. We have our roadmap for achieving this; however you know that business is about embracing adaptability and flexibility because it shifts radically every year.
What is your favourite part of running this business?
Meeting people; sharing in their joy, being a part of their love stories and their celebrations; watching people’s faces light up as they receive their gifts or surprises, and seeing the smiles. The impact is priceless. All our clients gain a high level of detailed service. Everything we deliver is personalised to fit the recipient and we work with beautiful and quality materials and the very best vendors for cakes and fresh flowers orders. All our surprises are beautiful and well packaged and the satisfaction that comes from touching and impacting lives is priceless.