Ann Nwogu is a savvy entrepreneur whose love for candy lured her into the world of entrepreneurship. Dealing in all shapes and sizes of candies and parties, ranging from one year old birthdays to corporate gigs, Ann followed her heart (and her taste buds) and took the leap from a 9-5 with steady income to creating CANDYBYTE and living her dreams of making the world a sweeter place, in her own way.
CandyByte was born out of my obsession with sweets!- Ann Nwogu
Who is Ann Nwogu (What is your full name, background etc)?
My full name is Ann Udodirim Nwogu, my middle name means ‘Peace be unto me’ because I guess my parents knew I had a peaceful heart. Corny right? I’m from Imo state but spent most of my youth in Lagos so I can say I’m a proud citizen of Lagos. School wise, I studied political science at the University of Abuja. I really thought I could make a difference in Nigerian politics. Life has taken a different course as it usually does, but maybe someday I’ll do my bit for my country. I’m now a business woman living and working in my dear Lagos and looking to spread happiness through sweets and candy.
What inspired the decision to leave the security of a steady job to the uncertainty of entrepreneurship?
I loved working at the radio station. My job at Cool, Wazobia & Nigeria info FM was one of the best decisions I have ever made. My role was the PA for the Chief Operating Director, where I learnt so much. She was a full on boss with her head in the game so it was very interesting watching her do her thing for her company and my support played a big part in her ability to manage her time and day. I was in that role for Six (6) years. Two years ago I began doing CandyByte part time, my boss eventually found out and insisted that as long as it didn’t affect my job with the company it was okay.
My inspiration? Financial independence, watching successful women do big things, and the love of candy. I left my job knowing Nigeria was heading into a recession. Scary? Yes. But I have a great team of friends around me and that’s important, if you want to not only dream big, but do big.
What inspired the creation of Candybyte?
I’ve always been a party girl, I love music and dancing so naturally I’m drawn to fun and colours. My love for colours, beautiful aesthetics and putting things together to create something spectacular was enough for me to know that I had to get into the creative world. I also have a sweet tooth and love candy. All sorts. I know the history of candy, it’s that bad. CandyByte was born out of my obsession with sweets.
What are you passionate about and why?
I’m passionate about my work. I live and breathe my work. It’s still in it’s early years and like a young baby, it needs full attention all the time. I’m passionate about every little aspect, and all the components about the business that make it tick. That passion goes into every project I take on. Each project and event feels like the only one I’m doing, because I give my all to achieve success for my customers. I love being creative and get a rush when I can make something new out of something basic.
If you were not building an empire with Candy Bytes what would you be doing?
I’d probably be a stylist or some other creative job in fashion. I love fashion
What is one bad habit you are committed to changing?
I am easily distracted. I’d like to be able to keep intense focus for longer periods but the internet is so vast, it drags you to places you never knew existed, and in my job it never ends. I’m researching colours and see combinations that have nothing to do with the project at hand but are so deliciously pretty, I look at the time and realise I’ve spent an hour doing that. Doing my own business means I get to do a lot of things, so texting someone while I’m in the middle of something, answering a call etc, it’s distracting. Re-focusing is something i have to do too often.
Any Role Model(s)? (If yes who and why)
Yes, Dylan Lauren. She’s a candy entrepreneur and being in the same line of business, it’s only natural she inspires me
What is the most important lesson being an entrepreneur has taught you so far?
Simple – There is never really a good time to start a business.
Which is your take on “women supporting women”?
It’s about time. Women have been known to pull each other down so this movement is refreshing and makes us realise that we run our own race. Your good fortune does not reduce or take away from mine and vice versa. More women are working together and realising that we need to work together.
What is your favourite Quote?
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
Time travel or Teleportation?
Teleportation. Into candy land??
If you could have two female billionaires (Living or dead) to dinner, who would they be?
Oprah – She is admired worldwide for a good reason. I’d like to have for dinner as I’m sure she would inspire me so much, I’d come out of that dinner feeling like I could conquer the world. Not a lot of billionaires can do that. The second person would be J.K Rowling, because we need quality entertainment over a good food.
What would you like to be remembered for?
The young woman who followed her dream and made the most out of it
Connect with Ann Online via:
Facebook: Candybyte Nigeria