Samuel Koimene born 27 years ago in Monrovia, Liberia, raised in Ivory Coast and Ghana but later travelled to the United States in 2003 to join his parents after 12 years. As a youth he wanted to be a professional football (soccer) player because a football stars was all that he was exposed to!
Living in the United States for the pass 16 years, Samuel has been inspire to start two businesses (Yeshuas Jewelry lunched in 2013) & (Luxury men’s suits “Koimene Brothers in 2019) plus set up one foundation (Kingdom Athletes in 2019).
Check out my interview with him below:
Hey Sam! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Sure, I am Samuel Koimene, 27, I am from Liberia in West Africa. Owner of Yeshua’s Jewelery and co-owner of Koimene Brothers.
Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
My days are always busy. An average Monday – Saturday for me starts with an early 6-8am raise, and acknowledgement to God for all his blessings and grace on my life. After I create about 4-5 marketing posts for all of my social media pages, I’m onto my home office to work through customer orders, until leaving for the gym, or my part time job where I counsel juvenile young.
What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
I attended KeyStone Bible Institute from 2012 – 2014, and received a certificate in leadership and communication. I also went to Lancaster Bible College for biblical studies and graduated in May 2018.
You still hold the High School record of 10.50 metres in the 100 metres. Do you think the record will ever be broken?
Yes, the record is actually tied. I do believe the record can be broken, but to break it, someone will need to dedicate hard work and sacrifice.
When did you first realise you wanted to pursue a career in the jewelry/accessories industry?
After noticing much interest in the first piece I had made, I decided to pursue manufacturing to meet the needs of customers inquiring about it. That piece was a Key Cross, symbolizing that one must believe in Christ to make it into heaven.
Tell us more about “Yeshua Jewelry”, and what are you guys involved in?
Yeshua Jewelry started from a biblical foundation and we used to implement products that only had biblical meaning behind them. The more I grew in my religion I realized the importance of meeting the needs of others, so I started creating products based upon customer requests. We do it all.
You recently started a luxury men’s suits business with two of your brothers “Koimene Brothers”, how is that working out and how can our reader order for it?
Yes, working with my brothers has been an exciting experience, customers can find our products on Instagram, and Facebook for now. The website should be completed by the end of next month.
Considering the fierce competition in today’s business world, how would you highlight your company’s competitive advantages? What makes it stand out of the crowd?
I am very good at understanding the needs of others, this is why I got into business in the first place, for example, with jewelry; There are not many African jewelers that we know of, because of this reason I have an audience to serve, so we create products that highlight the luxury in Africa, and symbolize African roots.
How’s the Jewelry industry in the United States?
The jewelry industry is extremely competitive price wise, but is also lacking in product quality. This is because most customers don’t understand the importance of product quality, and larger chains are more focused on selling brand name opposed to a quality products.
Who have been your biggest mentors in this industry and what is the best advice they have ever given you?
I have had many mentors who’ve all helped me reach a successful position, for the jewelry industry it’ll have to be my mentor Jamies. I was an apprentice at his jewelry store for two years. The best advice wasn’t a specific thing he’d told me, but my observations of his practices as a jeweler/salesmen. He was very consistent with customers, and cared more about them than the sale. He’d always ask if a purchase was personal, or a gift before continuing.
You have had various trips to Africa and now you have massive deal/collaborations coming up, is that right?
I had some contracts in play that I can’t talk about, but it didn’t end up that way I expected it to. My most recent trip to Africa was more business oriented. My last trip inspired me to start a foundation with the Liberian youth called Kingdom Athletes: Libria, it’s a non-profit organization established with the goal of helping Athletes develop minds of positivity through, sports, religious leadership skills, entrepreneur, volunteerism, and Youth Empowerment in Liberia.
You are a young entrepreneurial minded guy. How do you balance your personal and professional life?
Hahaha, there is no balance because I am always trying to meet the demands of others. On a serious note, spirituality and my fiance help a lot.
How often do you go to the gym and how many hours do you spend while you there?
I usually go to the gym three days a week, with two or three hours of working out. Recently I’ve been sprinting a lot, five days a week.
What’s your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to being an entrepreneur?
Exhaust business ideas by,
- Figuring out who’s the best in the field
- Studying their pros and cons.
- I also try to find a potential customer in my circle
- Brainstorm a business name.
- Buy the domain off the market as soon as possible.
- Do not get discouraged if someone is using the idea.
- Don’t buy into people who don’t understand your vision.
- Do not procrastinate on acting upon your idea.
- Don’t be cheap about investing into your idea.
- Don’t allow your progress to plateau.
What would you say is the main misconception the people have about Africans businesses and investing on the continent?
Most people believe that Africa doesn’t have a market to invest in because of the negatively connotated marketing done on Africa, but realistically any idea can work in Africa because it’s a new market. My advice to any African into business is to invest in your country, you can hope to the youth.
What aspect surprised you the most once you started as a Jeweler?
I was surprised that my customer base is majority women, and the amount that people are willing to invest into products.
Which brands, clients, models, Jewelers have you worked with?
African celebrities, my countries president, and vice president, most importantly my friends, the sale means much more coming from someone close to me. Most of my friends buy their engagement rings from me, and I feel that makes me apart of something special.
What has been one of the most memorable jobs to work on?
One of the most memorable jobs for me has been my friend Chris’ engagement ring. It was an experience trying to find the right ring, most people don’t understand how hard it is to find the perfect one, it takes a while. Designing the watch for my countries president was also a memorable experience for me.
Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
I’ve worked with a lot of people that I’ve wanted to. At this stage, I’m really excited to have customers give me the option of being apart of giving their best gift. I’ve learned that it’s not about the status of the person. Each sale gives me the opportunity to get to know someone. It would be cool to design Davido’s engagement ring though.
Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
I’m much more of a what you see is what you get kind of a person; An open book. I try to be transparent.
What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
My biggest professional success so far I feel, has been launching a foundation because, I am able to give hope to the youth back home. I always told myself that when I do go back home, it wouldn’t be with an empty hand, but with something to give my people. At Kingdom Athlete: Liberia, my foundation,we teach leadership skills, pay for students school fees, and invest in local businesses.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge now is rebranding myself, from being known just a jeweler, because I’m involved in so many other things.
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
It plays a big part because social media is what most companies use as marketing platforms. The more people you can reach with social media, easier to start a trend.
What are your must visit travel destinations?
Tokyo, and Liberia all the time! If I had the option to live in Liberia now, I would pack my things, and be out.
How would you describe your style?
Professional; in a word, or business casual.
Name your five must have accessories/essentials?
I don’t have five but, It’s always good to have a good watch, it shows people how much you value your time. I like to keep my watch, wallet and phone close.
What is your favourite dish?
My favourite dish is dried rice, and fried fish.
What songs are currently on your playlist?
Bucky Raw, I’m always listening to Bucky Raw, a song called Temptation.
Apart from business, what other projects are you currently working on?
As for right now, my foundation is what keeps me going and keeps me motivated.
Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
I’d tell people to stay true to themselves, to figure out the things that make them happy with what they do, and to figure out ways to bring that to others.
Any specific plans for the future?
For me it’s always legacy, I mean, being able to find ways to make sure the people around me have the right tools financially. If it was up to me I would help people start their own businesses.
Any final words?
Nothing else, I appreciate your time.
Where can we follow you online and on social media?