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A Teen Entrepreneur from the UK Proves That Age Is Nothing but a Number

9 min read

Studies say that the average entrepreneur is 40 years old. But rules are made to be broken, right? Some people start their business long before they finish schooling, and we say, more power to them!

A case in point is Tami Oyelakin, a UK-based teenage entrepreneur that launched Tlúwa LOUNGE, a marketing and design business. Keep reading to learn about Tami’s journey to monetizing her talent for graphic design, and how she successfully manages her studies while running an online business.

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What Inspired Tlúwa LOUNGE

The key to finding a ready market is to identify a problem and offer a solution — and Tami did exactly that.

Tami noticed that marketing and design services in the UK sometimes cost way more than entrepreneurs just starting out in business could afford. At the same time, new businesses often need help marketing their products more than anyone else. That’s how the idea of affordable design services targeted at new and aspiring entrepreneurs came to Tami.

“One very annoying part of the graphic design and marketing world are the incredibly high prices. Why should someone have to pay £500  £1000 for marketing advice and graphics to improve their businesses?

So I decided to change this by making ‘Tlúwa LOUNGE’. We wanted our prices to be as low as possible, that’s why our whole site ranges from £2  £5. With this business, we hope to help all female entrepreneurs ‘boss up’ not only their businesses but themselves.”

Being a teen entrepreneur herself, Tami understands the importance of helping people who are just starting out in business. She is passionate about setting an example and supporting other female business owners in the UK, who represent a great part of her customer base.

“We mainly cater to female entrepreneurs, specifically female teen entrepreneurs. We feel as though the business world is severely overpopulated by men. Women are seen as the ‘underdogs’ and incapable of being as good as men. So we wanted to get rid of this toxic narrative and help young females grow their businesses.”

Looking for more cool female-run businesses? Check it out: 16 Awesome Female-Owned Businesses Powered by Ecwid E-commerce

Tami offers various types of graphic designs for small businesses such as logos, business cards, thank you cards, branding templates, and images for social media. Her other products include a marketing and branding e-booklet and lists of vendors from different niches that UK-based sellers can use to source products.

Business logo designs created by Tami

From DMs to a Professional Website

Like many newcomers, Tami managed her first orders through direct messages on social media. However, it soon became clear that she needed a more efficient and professional solution.

“Before I had a website I was taking orders through Instagram DMs. I slowly started to realize that running my business like this was incredibly unprofessional, and made my business look like a scam. So I decided to get a website and upgrade my business.”

Tami started researching her options: she needed an easy-to-use but robust solution which she could manage on her teen entrepreneur’s budget, and which didn’t demand coding skills.

“I was a good year into my business before I finally got a website, and Ecwid made this so easy for me. It was so quick and easy to make my website, there were no extra details or hard coding, and on top of that—it was all free! By using Ecwid E-commerce, I’ve realised that the branding and presentation of my business has improved so much.”

A product page on the Tlúwa LOUNGE website created with Ecwid E-commerce

Learn more: How to Build an E-Commerce Website: The Easiest Way That Requires No Experience

Running a Business While Studying

Tami creates designs, runs an online store, and promotes her business all by herself. As she put it: “Tlúwa LOUNGE is run by me and me only.”

The teen entrepreneur admits that running a business while still being in school is not an easy task. She has to put her organizing skills to work to manage her store without compromising her studies, and vice versa.

“It is extremely hard to keep up with both school and my business, but I make it happen. This means I have to be extremely organised, planning my days and weeks out perfectly, and being strict with my schedule.

I make sure that all school work and revision is done during the week so that I have the whole weekend free to make content and focus solely on my business.”

An example of branding template Tami creates for her customers

Getting Results and Making Big Plans

Apart from improving her business process, Tami has been focusing on opportunities for store promotion. Knowing that UK-based customers would be more active online during the holiday season in 2020 because of the pandemic, she chose that moment to run her first sale.

Her Black Friday offer was a 50% discount on all products, including her new product — marketing e-booklet.

“Black Friday 2020 was extremely successful for Tlúwa LOUNGE. We got so many orders that we didn’t expect, and our new marketing e-booklet was a success! This was very encouraging for us and I’m so grateful to God that I got that blessing.”

A post promoting Tlúwa LOUNGE Black Friday sale

Running sales isn’t the only method Tami uses to get the word out about her business. As a true Gen Z-er, Tami actively uses social media to promote her store and says it works wonders for her business.

“Social media is at its peak, now more than ever. Everyone is using social media and it’s free! The best social media platform that I have noticed gives the best results is TikTok. The way TikTok’s algorithm works makes it so easy and accessible for many people to reach your content — up to millions!”

Learn more: How to Make Money on TikTok: a 2021 Guide for Business Owners

To continue growing her store, Tami plans to work on her product range, quality, pricing strategy, as well as re-launching in-demand items to make them even more appealing to customers.

“I want Tlúwa LOUNGE to reach new heights. This means even better quality graphics, better (and maybe even cheaper) vendor lists, and way more marketing e-booklets that go more in-depth than the current marketing e-booklet that we have in our website.”

Also: 18 Digital Product Ideas For Almost Every Small Business

Advice for Young Entrepreneurs

Tami knows that starting a business when you’re very young often means having to do it all by yourself, being extra organized, and sticking to a small budget. However, there is an extremely important factor here often goes unnoticed, not just for businesses run by young people, but for all fledging brands:

“Consistency! Everyone says that consistency is key, but it really is. I realise that whenever I am consistent in promoting my business, I get the most results.”

Want to learn more? Tami shares her experience of becoming a teen entrepreneur in this video:

Check out Tami’s website for inspiration, and feel free to drop a few lines about your own e-commerce journey in the comments below! Or else you can share your ideas, plans, or ask questions about Ecwid E-commerce — we’re happy to help any and all entrepreneurs start their own business journey.

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About the author

Anastasia Prokofieva is a content writer at Ecwid. She writes about online marketing and promotion to make entrepreneurs’ daily routine easier and more rewarding. She also has a soft spot for cats, chocolate, and making kombucha at home.

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