mags delight © I am Benue 2022

The Big Interview With Margaret Bertie Of Mags Delight

Business, Stories 11/02/2022 by Akaafele

I am Benue caught up with Margaret Bertie of Mags Delight for her birthday, to get a deeper look into her incredible wholesale business. 

We discussed fashion, why Mags Delight is considered one of the best shops to buy electrical goods, and her honest opinion on the difficulties of running a business in Nigeria whilst living in the UK.

Q. Tell us about yourself and your background. Who is Margaret Bertie?

My name is Margaret Iveren Bertie. I am an entrepreneurial woman with an Academic background in Linguistics. I am married to David Bertie and we have four beautiful, adorable children.

Q. As an entrepreneurial woman, what businesses are you into?

I own a business called Mags Delight Nigeria Limited or Mags Delight for short. We deal in UK (United Kingdom) quality items like fashion, accessories, electrical goods and electronics at wholesale prices. Our items are of the quality and standard that you would expect, giving you value for money.

Q. Beautiful. Hearing about Mags Delight shows that you are investing in Nigeria. Why so, as someone who is settled in the UK?

Thank you for this wonderful question. I am investing in Nigeria no doubt about that. The major reason why I thought of investing back home, was that when I moved to the UK, I realised that most of the items sold here were of very good quality and we do not have enough of that back home. 

You and I know that 90% of the goods sold to people in Nigeria are not worth the money. I had the idea to source items from the shops here in the UK for cheap and send them back home so that even with a little amount of money, people would be able to afford them. They can get good stuff to wear or to use for their daily activities. Items that they can feel proud of.

Some people are not able to travel, or they don’t have the time or the resources to travel to the UK, America or anywhere else in search of great quality items, so at least they can always shop at Mags Delight.

For me the major challenge living in the UK and doing business back in Nigeria is management. Having someone to assist or even work for you is very, very difficult.

Q. So tell us, why fashion, accessories, electrical goods, and electronics?

Why fashion? Whenever I would come across Vogue magazine, I would admire all the beautifully dressed ladies. As a child, I dreamt of becoming a model and an actress. Unfortunately, I never got the opportunity to as I had an early marriage and started raising a family.

Today I feel blessed. I am fortunate enough to have been able to use my business to do fashion. I like it when I buy great stuff and sell it to men and women. The fashion items I sell are extremely beautiful. Whenever I see a shoe, for example, or a dress that I don’t really like, I don’t buy to sell because whatever I feel will look good on me, is what I believe will also look good on my customers. So far so good. My customers have been very happy with their shopping.

About accessories, it’s the same as fashion. I just want to see people appear good, appear beautiful. When we are talking about appearing good, beautiful, sometimes it doesn’t have to do with who has money or who doesn’t have money. Look at yourself, try to understand what will suit you and go for it! With a little amount of money, you can look very good or you can come out looking very applicable. All you need to do is to know what to wear on each occasion, and how to accessorise it.

Talking of electrical goods and electronics, I had a property in Abuja and while we were getting that built, my husband was fortunate to get all the electricals that needed to be fitted in the house, such as sockets and bulbs, from the UK. They are working very fine to date. We had neighbours that were always complaining that they had light issues, then their bulb went dead. It was a bulb that they had gotten from the market. So I said to myself, ‘How about you sell this as well? This way you might help people and they can cut costs.’ If you fit in a quality socket it will last for 10-15 years rather than getting a socket that would last 3 months then blow up when there is an electrical issue, then you have to spend money again. With the global economic situation people need to be saving, and besides, safety-wise which is more important? That is how I added the electrical goods and electronics appliances to Mags Delight.

Q. Can anyone in Nigeria reach out to you in the UK to place orders or ask you to buy particular items for them?

Yes, of course. I started Mags Delight as a personal shopper and I am still shopping for people today. It all depends on what the customer wants to buy. First of all, I have to research and know that the item is here in the UK and give them a pictorial update. Then I charge based on the agreement we had – It may be a daily fee or I may charge based on the quantity the customer wants to order. It’s flexible.

Most of the things that I sell my customers have helped me to discover because of their requests. Even when it’s pricey, most of the people with personal requests insist that they still want it. When I get it for them I also advertise to other customers. Some people do get interested in the items and make an order.

I thank the Almighty for the strength, for how far he has brought me. I am happy to be able to have the zeal to do all these things, so I give all the glory to God.

I am happy and opportune because my experience as a personal shopper has really gone well. I haven’t disappointed any of my customers. This is very important to me. They are always excited and pleased with what I get for them. Business is not just about the money, the profit and all that. It is your passion, you are doing well in it, clients are happy with you. Getting assurance and positive feedback from 99% of my customers has kept me and the business going.

Regarding payment, customers do have to make a partial payment or pay the full amount for their items before I commence shopping for them. Once the shopping is done, I package the items and confirm the overall total and they must pay the remaining balance if applicable, plus shipping costs.

Q. What would you say are your challenges, living in the UK and running a business in Nigeria?

Very interesting question. For me the major challenge living in the UK and doing business back in Nigeria is management. Having someone to assist or even work for you is very, very difficult. Sometimes you’re not asking for too much. You want 70 – 80% commitment from the people working for you but it’s very difficult finding someone to manage the business for you. In my case, I have to travel back and forth to Nigeria two or three times a year.

I have been very lucky to have support from a friend who has been doing very well. I also have loyal customers who are making a decent profit reselling products they buy from Mags Delight.

You’ve got to appreciate your customers for buying from you but some accumulate a sense of entitlement. They think you have to be at their feet because they are spending their money with you. This can be a bit challenging.

The last challenge is that we have some customers that like buying on credit. I source out the products in the UK, pay for them in full, then ship them to Nigeria. Some people will come to Mags Delight and ask to buy items on credit when really they are not willing to or even concerned about the fact that they have to pay back the money. It is a shame that this mostly happens with people you refer to as family and when you refuse, automatically you become an enemy to that person.

If we all decide to be more positive and fairer in business transactions, I think the world or to be specific, Nigeria, would become a bit better for people to be able to do business together.

Q. What is your advice to those in the diaspora that want to start a business in Nigeria?

To my fellow people living in the UK that want to do business in Nigeria, my advice would be to prepare yourself to face the challenges. It’s definitely not going to be an easy one. To me, life itself is not fair. Whatever you are doing in life has its negative and positive sides. The challenging parts are what make it a success for you at the end of the day, so give it a try because if you don’t try, you will not learn; If you don’t try you, will not know. You cannot give up on your dreams because of these challenges.

Looking at it as a whole, you can see that the world itself is not straightforward these days. I’m talking about Covid 19, Omicron. We don’t know what is going to come tomorrow or next year. It hasn’t been easy for me. It’s a daily fight and I only look at the positive side of it. Sometimes it hurts going through all the bad experiences but when you are able to at least gain a little out of it, you appreciate it and use the little you get to encourage yourself, to encourage the people around you, and to be able to move forward.

Q. You mentioned that you are married and have young children. How do you balance family with a business in the UK and Nigeria?

Thank you very much, this is another interesting question. Yeah, you are absolutely right it is not easy at all, having to combine business, children and family here in the UK and Nigeria. You have to multitask which comes with its own challenges as well, but what can I do? It is my passion, it’s what I want to do, it’s what I love doing! One has to just pull the strength and carry on otherwise you won’t achieve anything.

I am blessed to have a good husband Dave, who is always there and he tries his best to support the children, especially when I have to travel for business. He makes the sacrifice of taking days off from work to take care of the children until I return. That is the reason why I said I feel blessed to have a supportive husband.

I thank the Almighty for the strength, for how far he has brought me. I am happy to be able to have the zeal to do all these things, so I give all the glory to God.

Q. Where does one shop with Mags Delight and do you deliver worldwide?

For now, our major branch is in Makurdi, Benue State at No. 8368 Akpehe Market, Logo II.

You can also find us on Facebook, Instagram and IamBenue’s directory. Customers can contact me on my WhatsApp number: +447707307174 between 9 am to 6 pm UK’s time or email me at: magsdelight1@gmail.com 

We are ready and willing to deliver to other countries. For now, we deliver nationwide in Nigeria. For Mags Delight customers in Abuja, I will be informing you of a Mags Delight Abuja branch soon.

Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to comment and don’t forget to follow us on all our social media platforms. Thank you.

One thought on “The Big Interview With Margaret Bertie Of Mags Delight

  1. Chekwa Sir Ralph

    Quite interesting. This is commendable, it is not easy doing business this way, there really has to be trusted hands to make it work. God bless your hustle.

    Reply

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