In this month’s featured interview, I had the chance to chat with Miss Regina Giwa and ask her questions about her career path and life as an entrepreneur. She also talked about her enthusiasm for fitness and the effect it has on her life.
Here’s how the interview went.
Tell me a bit about yourself. Who is Regina Giwa?
I am from Edo state. The firstborn of four girls. I studied law at the University of Benin. I am a practicing lawyer in the oil & gas sector and also the founder of the RBW luxury company.
What’s a regular day like for you?
I wake up in the morning, say my prayers, go through my phone (emails, texts, WhatsApp & Instagram), drink coconut water, and get ready for work. At work, I get to carry out the tasks that are within my area of expertise. When I get done from work, I go home and relax with 1 or 2 glasses of red wine. Sometimes the whole bottle (laughs).
You mentioned that you studied law at the University of Benin. What inspired your career choice?
I wanted to be an accountant like my dad but I didn’t know maths (laughs). I also wanted to be an actress but my parents convinced me that anyone can act and it was best to have a profession then I could change my career later.
The best decision was law. I was already arguing with everyone by the way (laughs).
What are some of the perks that come with practicing as a lawyer in the oil and gas sector?
(Laughs). The money is good. You get industry knowledge and there’s the confidence that comes along with that. Nigeria still depends on oil, so you get a feel of what is happening in the country.
Do you still intend to follow your dreams to be an actress or practicing is something you see yourself doing for as long as possible?
I actually acted back in the university (laughs). Van Vicker was in that movie (good luck finding the movie). I was a maid who poisoned the king so I could be with the prince (laughs). When my mom found out, I got the beating of my life. I will always have a thing for entertainment but let’s leave acting alone for now (laughs).
You are a certified fitness trainer right?
Yes, I am.
What moved you to take fitness seriously? How did it all begin?
When I started working in Lagos, I worked with a top tier law firm and life was pretty sedentary. There really was no work-life balance. So I started fitness to have control over my life. I would go to the gym at 5 am to put in the work before going to the office. It was a huge sacrifice but it helped me mentally and physically.
How has fitness influenced other aspects of your life?
Fitness is all about dedication and consistency. It brings clarity of the mind and a different type of joy that you have to feel to understand. My fitness journey has helped me mentally. Just like everything else, if you are not consistent, you won’t see the results or changes that you desire. Taking that lesson to my personal life, I am able to give a hundred percent to see a change in my career and business.
That’s incredible! For how long have you been a fitness trainer and what do you love the most about it?
I started my fitness journey in 2013. The thing is at the moment, I won’t even call myself a fitness trainer. I have done that and I have moved on to just personal training. I am still very much into fitness and I have made the transition into the business side of it. That’s how I birthed the RBW luxury company. If you recall, I used to do Regina’s Bootyworkout (RBW) which was targeted at building the lower body. It was a wonderful experience.
However, I had to think long term. I know I could not train forever. I needed a legacy, a stamp in the industry so people could say “Regina was here.” So I transitioned and transformed Regina’s Bootyworkout (RBW) to Regina’s Body Work (RBW). RBW Active is my company’s line for active/gym wears.
Since it’s inception in 2018, RBW Active has made over 1000 sales. More like sold over 1000 products. The same thing.
RBW has partnered with great organizations and has been showcased on platforms like Miss Nigeria in 2018 and Big Brother Naija in 2019.
That’s amazing! But I’m sure you had your fair share of challenges in the business. As they say, good things take time. What were some of the challenges you faced?
As with every other growing business, we are still facing challenges. At the moment, the devaluation of the naira and the cost of importation are the major issues. We really can’t boast of having a manufacturing industry in Nigeria. This causes a lot of problems for growing businesses like mine. Almost everything is outsourced. You buy in USD and sell in Naira, which in itself is a big problem (laughs).
I’m sure there were lessons learned along the way. What advice would you give anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur?
Just like everything else, it takes time. So patience is key. Do your research and plan. You need to have a target market and you have to appeal to that market. Do not be ashamed to ask for help when you need it. The journey can get very confusing. Sometimes I don’t know what the hell I am doing (laughs). You need to have a mentor who will help guide you. Take a break when you have to. Don’t stop pushing and be kind to yourself.
Wise words. I’ll do well to put it in a frame
(Laughs) Thank you.
How do you find a balance between managing a growing business, practicing as a lawyer, and making out time for personal training? What’s your secret?
Time management. I can’t do it all by myself. For my business, I have staff. It’s a pretty scalable business, so I don’t have to be there for it to run. Personal training comes with the routine lifestyle so it’s infused into my daily schedule. I go to work just like everyone else….. 9-5.
You’ve come a long way over the years. From a law graduate and fitness enthusiast to managing a growing business. Looking back, what advice would you give your younger self?
The advice to my younger self would be to stay focused. Every step I have taken has led me here.
What brings you the most happiness in your life?
Contentment. I am grateful for who I am and what I have. This doesn’t stop me from wanting more but the key for me is to cherish every moment. Even the bad times.
How would you describe yourself?
I am vivacious, resourceful, and ambitious.
And finally, what will you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered as an honorable person.
Thank you so much for giving me a bit of your time for this interview
You are welcome and thank you for doing this.
RBW offers a wide range of products to men and women from fitness to lifestyle. For your affordable active/gym wears, check out www.rbwactive.com. For your office and casual wears, check out www.rbwlifestyle.com. You can also follow Regina Giwa on IG: @regina_drs