Meet Chef Imoteda, the founder of Heels in the Kitchen, a cooking show with a fashion and style edge that gives you an interactive experience on how to plan and create amazing meals. A self described creative’s creative, Imoteda brings a unique understanding of being a working mother in Lagos who, after a long day of working in heels, must go into the kitchen to cater for her family.
Heels in the Kitchen is a cooking show with a fashion and style edge. An interactive experience during which viewers will learn how to plan, create and plate amazing meals while looking fabulous. The show will pull in content from current events, inviting celebrities and public personalities to come share a meal and their opinions. This show promises to have something of interest for all types of viewers. (Read more about Heels in the Kitchen HERE)
A Cordon Bleu trained chef who enjoys spending time in the kitchen creating amazing and easy meals for family and friends, Imoteda’s long-term goal is to one day be featured on Food Network. Imoteda holds a degree in liberal arts and a minor in women’s studies with a focus on violence against women.
Before starting Heels in the Kitchen, Imoteda worked as a freelance makeup artist for five years and then full time in television and film production. She loves everything artsy, reads a whole lot, and finds it difficult to focus without music — right now, her listening obsession is Ciara’s new album, Jackie.
“It’s easy to not notice how much you’re growing when you’re involved in the progess. Each time the progress I have has made kept me going.” ~ Tomi Aladekomo
Why did you decide to start Heels in the Kitchen and what was the first thing you did when you decided?
I knew as soon as I conceived the idea of the show that it wasn’t something I wanted to hand to someone else to create. I didn’t want to risk the vision being diluted or something made that wasn’t up to the standard I wanted. Starting Heels In The Kitchen was the only choice. First thing I did was talk to my older brother. He’s my sounding board and the one person I can trust to offer me completely honest advice. When he was thrilled with the idea I knew I was on the right track.
Did you get any resistance from family and friends?
I was really lucky in that my family and friends all immediately loved the idea and jumped on board. There were a few reservations about me switching careers but those were easily assuaged when they tasted my cooking!
Was there any point when you felt like giving up on your business?
Ha! I wish it was only one point. Every startup is a huge learning experience and it’s never easy. Being a mother I have a lot of financial obligations and sometimes the idea of getting a salaried job with steady pay appealed to me but every time that happened I stopped and looked back at where I was two months before that point. It’s easy to not notice how much you’re growing when you’re involved in the process. Each time the progress I had made kept me going. Thankfully those days are far behind me. It’s been a long while since I thought about giving up. Now all I can think about it growing the business even faster.
Knowing what you know now, what would you tell yourself when you just started your company?
Find a business and finances savvy partner ASAP! I’m more focused on the creative aspect of things so at several points the business almost died out because it wasn’t being properly managed. I almost lost even the company name because I didn’t do the registration on time. Such a little detail but I overlooked it in my pursuit of culinary excellence. The upside though is that I have been forced to become more business savvy.
What does success mean to you, both in business and personally?
Can I say a ton of money in the bank? That sounds like success. lol
Honestly for the most part success in business for me is creating a brand that people want to use and enjoy being a part of. Personally success is simply living the happiest life that I can. Turning my dreams into reality makes me happy, spending time with my family makes me happy. Being able to combine both is success to me so, personally I’m feeling pretty successful already.
If you win the She Leads Africa competition, what’s the first thing you’d do?
Throw a dance party with my offspring and a nice five course dinner with my friends and family. I already have my menu planned. I’m an optimistic person.
Any amount of money is great for a business. It would probably go into buying supplies and equipment for the business.
If you could give one piece of advice/encouragement to a large group of aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Ignore the yes men, listen to you naysayers. You’ll always have people in your corner and while you need to always be appreciative of them, it’s the people who have something negative to say that will push you to grow. You should work so hard that they run out of negative things to say. No matter how petty the negative is, fix it immediately.
To learn more about Heels in the Kitchen, visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To see Imoteda pitch live on stage, reserve a ticket to the She Leads Africa 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase HERE.
Every day this week, we will be profiling the six finalists of the She Leads Africa 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase. Follow the series HERE.