#MommyMogul – Bukky Karibi-Whyte : Founder, Bobby Taylor Company
Our #MommyMogul for this week is Bukky Karibi-Whyte, Founder and CEO of Bobby Taylor Company.
Bukky studied African American History at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and spent her years in college on the Deans List and the ALANA Honors Society. Bukky worked in the educational sector for about 7 years before starting up her own Public Relations agency. She is currently owns two agencies in Nigeria and his happily married with 3 children.
What was the first business you ever started?
My first business was The Bobby Taylor Company, a Lifestyle PR Agency. Starting my own agency taught me a lot about Human Resources, Financial Management, Business Management, Customer Service etc. The Bobby Taylor Company was founded in 2007 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The agency now operates out of Nigeria.
What was your inspiration to start BTC?
My mother was a Public Relations Expert and it’s a field that I grew up around and enjoyed tremendously. I started The BTC because I felt there was a void between brands, their message and the public in Nigeria.
What are some of the primary challenges you face running your business, and have you been able to overcome them if at all?
Capital is always a challenge in running a business. I was able to use a lot of strategy to get my company running with little or no capital.
Did you have to convince your friends about your business working ?
When my friends and family heard about their business, I think they all knew that I was living my dream. Anyone that has known me knows that I was born to do what I do.
Why do you think most people quit their business dreams?
I think most people quit their business dreams because they have no real passion for it. When you have a passion for something, you go for it against all odds.
Have you ever been on the verge of quitting, and how did you get out of it?
I have been on the verge of quitting and diving into something else. It was such a hard time for me. Nigeria can be tough and it can get frustrating when nothing seems to go your way. I came out of it fairly quickly after my family gave me encouragement and I have never thought of quitting again. I don’t think I ever will.
If you had to start all over again, would you do anything different, what and why?
I don’t believe I would do anything different. Everything that has worked or not worked in my business is meant to work or not work. I believe things happen as they are meant to be. I am grateful for every experience, blessing and lesson.
What excites you the most about your business?
The success of my clients is the biggest thrill I can ever get.
Tell me about 2 interesting projects you’ve worked on, the best thing about working on them.
Fela on Braodway – Being selected as the PR agency in Nigeria to handle such a huge production was truly rewarding. The best thing about working on this project was being part of Fela’s history.
Hospital for Humanity “1k1m” is a campaign we will just be starting where we raise money for 200 children to have open-heart surgeries for free. The best thing about working on this project (hopefully) is the fact that lives will be saved.What are your thoughts about the Nigerian PR Industry as it is right now, and what do you see changing in the next 2-3 years?
I see more independent agencies springing up. Its such an exciting field with a lot to do and a lot to learn. I envision more integration of marketing and social media as part of discipline.
What is your biggest advice to businesses in terms of their brand positioning?
I do a lot of collaborations working with other agencies and/or publicists. I believe in collabrations! Why not?!
We know youre a mommy Mogul. How do you balance business, speaking engagements, and Mommy Hood ?
Luckily for me my kids are grown and understand my passion for my business. My family comes first in all that I do and so I make sure that I make time for them. I cook and clean and do school runs and do soccer events etc. If it means staying up late to get work done or getting up extra early, I do what I have to do to make it all work.
What’s your typical day?
I get up in the morning and I am with my kids, I try to get the work out thing done (I fail at this all the time), we say our prayers, and its school runs and the office. I forget to eat breakfast 90% of the time.
What is your vision for your business in the next 5 years ?
In the next five years, I am looking at building a media group which will house my two agencies and other businesses. My plan is to continue to grow and re-invent myself.
What are your biggest strengths?
My relationships are my biggest strengths and my ability to strategize an think outside of the box.
Are you happy ? What does Happiness mean to you ?
What are some of the things you do to ‘de-stress’?
I socialize or listen to music to de-stress. There is something very calming for me when I hear loud music and I see people in their element.
If I checked out your playlist, tell me 3 songs that have the most Plays, and is there a reason why ?
You will find
- Zara Larson & MNEK – Never Forget You
- P.M Dawn – Set Adrift on Memory Bliss
- Bryson Tiller – Exchange
I can relate or have related with the wordings on these tracks at some point in my life. They take me somewhere and each one, somewhere unique.
Tell me 3 things that people don’t necessarily know about you
I am secretly a rap artist. I write rhymes and I have remixes for almost every song that comes out. I also have a name that I go by, my stage name is “PHANTOM” (don’t laugh).
I won a beauty pageant in 2002.
I used to sing alongside Banky W when I was 15 years old at the famous “JAZZ 38”.
Have you had any ‘Turning point’ in your life ?
The Turning point in my life was when I decided to move to Nigeria. A personal decision that changed everything. Sometimes when you know you are destined to be great, you have no choice to make certain moves, no matter how uncertain they may be and TRUST God to point you in the right direction. I have no regrets moving to Nigeria. It was part of a bigger calling.
Do you watch any TV series ? What’s your favorite one, and why ?
Scandal – to state the obvious….
Mention 3 people that inspire you and why?
My Husband – He goes after what he wants until he gets it.
Ethel Hedgeman Lyle – Founder of Alpha Kappa Alpha. She started an organization for black college trained women at a time where there were no organizations of the sort. She had vision and had the right team and today, that organization has produced some of the finest women around the world. Ethel was a Visionary.
My Mom – A lot of my tenacity and drive to be successful comes from her. She is one of the hardest working women I know.
Give us one of your favorite quotes and what it means to you.
“One Life, One Chance”… Simply means that we have only once life and one chance to be the best and do the things that we want to do. There are no second chances in life, so GO FOR IT! Go for whatever it is that you want. Don’t be afraid to fail. You will never know if you don’t try.
You can follow Bukky’s Journey @bukkykaribiwhyte