Amanda’s was a subsidiary of Sylvester Investments, with a registered office in Festac Town where the family-owned business commenced operations in 1992.Amanda’s sprung from a trading business run by Mrs Amanda Jibola Bamkole. She purchased ladies’ clothing and handbags from the Far East and sold them from her home to friends and associates by invitation.
They wanted a name that was easy to pronounce and remember, reflected the nature of the business (ladies’ clothing) but which could be extended to apply to other items. It was also important that it have an international image due to the trend towards globalisation.
Amanda’s practised uniformity in pricing its products across its shops. The aim was to operate around 15% above the competition’s prices in the Balogun Market area, but well below boutique prices. Maintaining this pricing structure was proving to be a major challenge to the decision to open outlets in Victoria Island and Ikoyi due to the high rent structures and the competitive nature of the market in those areas. To maintain the same margins, outlets in Victoria Island and Ikoyi would have to sell at three times the prices at Broad Street
Amanda joined the Nigerian Business Women’s Forum in 2000 for networking opportunities and the chance to share her own experiences and learn from others. Amanda’s products were featured at two trade fairs organised by the Forum in 2000, and at Fantasyland and the Lagoon Restaurant in 2002. Amanda had also enrolled in the Grow Your Business Programme at the Lagos Business School. One of the modules happened to be in marketing, and included a talk by a member of the NBWF on the impact of advertising on her business.
By May 2003, Amanda estimated that 1000 block pads, 15,000 pens, 5000 address books,100 high-quality pens, 300 towels and 100,000 carrier bags had been branded and used to promote Amanda’s. This was at an estimated cost of N2,000,000.