|Abmbola Balogun [photo: BBC]|
Six years ago Nigeria's Abmbola Balogun - affectionately called Bimbo - was a frustrated graduate, trained in petroleum marketing but coming to the sad realisation that it was going to be very difficult for her to get a job in the oil industry.
So at 29 she went out on a bead stringing course. She says that she just wanted something that kept her busy until "the real thing came" and she found a proper job.
"Now the beading has overshadowed the real thing," Mrs Balogun told the BBC series African Dream. And she exploded with laughter. She has, indeed, many reasons to be happy.
I knew I had to be different from every other beaded jewellery designer so I went online”
She started her business with an investment of just 400 naira ($2.5, £1.6) which bought her enough beads to make two necklaces.
She sold them for 5,000 naira - more than 1,100% profit - reinvested the money and never looked back.
In a country where there are so many people in the beading business she separated herself from the pack by making high-end products with special gems. And for inspiration she started looking at design websites.
"I knew I had to be different from every other beaded jewellery designer so I went online," she told the BBC Africa's Victor Okhai.
Now Mrs Balogun runs two outlets in Lagos, has a weekly television show about jewellery and trains other beaders. Her company, Bimbeads Concept, is now worth around five million naira and has five employees.
Pride in African colours
Mrs Balogun is aware that in Nigeria, like in many other parts of Africa, women are becoming increasingly proud of their local cultures.
Good quality colourful beads - including precious and semi-precious stones - that match their outfit are preferred by many of them to expensive gold or pearls. To a great extent that is probably why her range has had such an appeal.