Life At Heroshe: Inside The Beautiful Mind Of Our Visual Chef
Heroshe isn't just a logistics company; it is a place where creativity and innovation thrive. I have spent two years here, and one thing is clear: its true superpower lies in its people! Every team member plays a key role in bringing our unique and audacious vision to life. This is why we are starting the Life at Heroshe series to spotlight individuals who make Heroshe a remarkable workplace.
At Heroshe, we believe in more than just logistics; we believe in cultivating an environment where creativity and innovation flourish. Our people are the true superheroes, each contributing uniquely to bring our audacious vision to life. This edition focuses on Shalom Olatunji, our self-acclaimed "Visual Chef", with plenty of evidence. He is the creative mind behind the stunning designs you see on our social media, blog, email, and soon, our new website!
Over the course of two remarkable years at Heroshe, Shalom has become an integral part of the product marketing team. His story is not just about design but reliability, dedication, and a passion for pushing boundaries. In this article, I'll take you through Shalom's experiences at Heroshe, highlighting his growth, challenges, and aspirations.
Can you tell us about your journey at Heroshe so far?
Okay, my journey so far at Heroshe... Well, I think I saw the designer vacancy on LinkedIn or Indeed. I first saw it on Indeed and later on LinkedIn. I applied for the job, and from the job description, I could tell that this was a very good company to be at. For some reason, I was convinced I would get the job. You know now. You know as e dey go.
So, I applied and got invited to take a test. I put my heart into that test. My design was simple and straightforward, but I needed to make a statement. It seems like I did. I got into an interview with Wunmi, Silas, and Michelle. I don't think Wunmi was feeling me then, but I was able to connect with Silas.
I received my appointment letter shortly after, and I was like, “Ha! Sometimes you just know something meant for you, you know?" So far, my stay at Heroshe has been good. I am always hyping this company to my friends. In fact, I have set it as a standard for where I want people I love to work. It could be better; it could be much, much better, but it should always be the least. Like, I pray for my friends. If you allow me, I'll pack all my family to come and work in this place.
What key challenges did your role face when you first joined Heroshe, and how did you address them?
Reflecting on my journey at Heroshe, one challenge that stands out is my initial dislike for the brand's logo. While I do not necessarily dislike the logo itself, I struggled to connect with the chosen brand colors, and this struggle persists to some extent even now. If I had designed the entire brand from the start, I might have opted for different colors. Despite their uniqueness, I sometimes struggle with using them in my designs.
But, this challenge has turned out to be a positive experience for me. Working with something I initially disliked has pushed me to become a better designer. Whether or not I like the colors, my responsibility is to make them work – to ensure the brand stands out and my designs pop. Over time, I've grown to appreciate the logo's simplicity and have introduced new colors to enhance the overall brand aesthetic.
Early on, I also faced another common challenge – finding my design style within the company. Even now, I am in the process of refining my preferences for colors and fonts. I have made adjustments along the way, like steering away from Rubik (which I DO NOT LIKE!), and I am pleased to see some of these changes becoming integral to the company's brand. The fonts and new colors I have introduced are gradually becoming part of the company's design culture. Despite these early challenges, I am navigating my role as a designer at Heroshe with a sense of growth and accomplishment.
What is your favorite project that you worked on?
At this moment, my favorite project is actually product-based, not even marketing. The sheer satisfaction comes from designing an entire website. Even though the design hasn't gone live and may never do so, the fact that I accomplished most of it with little or no assistance in terms of designing makes me happy.
The reality is that even if it goes live, the engineers might not implement it exactly as I designed it. Most of what they have executed so far doesn't align precisely with my initial vision, but it’s all good. However, just looking at the aesthetics of what I created is a source of happiness.
Whenever I see Heroshe sponsored posts, I find myself scrolling and attempting to sign up just to experience the marketing landing pages. It has become a project at Heroshe that I am actually very, very proud of. Do you get it?
How do you measure the success of your design efforts?
In measuring the success of my design efforts, I don't use specific metrics per se. Maybe some things like gathering feedback from people—both random individuals and colleagues, both within and outside Heroshe. This includes insights from design colleagues and tech colleagues.
I recall someone sending me a screenshot of a group chat where someone was looking for a referral for a social media page with excellent graphic designs, on-brand graphics specifically. Someone mentioned Heroshe, and my friend in the group said, “Yesss! My friend designs for this company!” then she took the screenshot and sent it to me. Instances like these serve as informal indicators of the impact of my design efforts.
Another way I gauge my progress is by looking through throwbacks. I sometimes go back to when I started at Heroshe, examine the designs from then, and compare them to where I am now. Sometimes, I come across older designs and think, "Ah, this is my style. I want to try and reintroduce that style for a new design," and so on. Through these reflections, I can assess how well things are going.
Personally, I don't rely much on likes and similar metrics because I find them less informative. Instead, I value compliments and reviews from important individuals as more meaningful indicators of the impact of my design work.
Since you work mostly remotely, how do you collaborate with everyone so you are all aligned on deliverables?
When it comes to collaboration and meeting deliverables at Heroshe, the process is refreshingly straightforward. The company has cultivated a fantastic culture where everyone knows their responsibilities and how to execute them. Rarely does anyone feel clueless, and even if they do, someone is always ready to guide them in the right direction. So, working remotely has never, even for one day, seemed like a barrier. As I mentioned, everybody knows what to do, and we manage to get things done, making our remote setup seamless.
For me, one of my priorities is always being accessible and reliable. Regardless of the fact that I work remotely, I understand that many things depend on my availability. Therefore, I always make myself available, even if it is inconvenient. I recognize that being paid to be available means I have to stay committed to that. Working remotely with people at Heroshe is not a problem since our environment encourages effective collaboration and result delivery.
What is life like at Heroshe?
Life at Heroshe is good. Very, very good. Although I must admit, I am unhappy about this period where I must attend daily meetings. I once joined a company that had meetings every day from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, which was a deal-breaker for me. 😂 As soon as I found out, I ran! I sent them my resignation letter the next day. It wasn't just the meetings; there were other issues, like the product not seeming stable and some things that didn't feel right. Some shady practices also made me uncomfortable. So, yeah, their culture and the whole meeting routine made me think, "Omo, I don't have the strength for this." I was out in a snap. So, when I came across Heroshe, it felt like a breath of fresh air.
Life at Heroshe, on the other hand, has been fantastic. As I mentioned, I feel Heroshe has become the standard for anyone I love. I wouldn't join a company whose culture is anything less than what it is at Heroshe. Heroshe goes above and beyond – they sent me a birthday cake last year and this year. They even flew me into Lagos for team bonding. It is the kind of extra stuff that makes a big difference. Fola, you know these things, even if you don't ask me what life is like at Heroshe. You can even cheat and use your life at Heroshe as an example because we all know what it's like.
Work-life balance is perfect, everything is smooth, and we are treated right. Sometimes, you can't even tell who the boss is because everyone calls each other "boss." Even the CEO (Oga at the top) is super chill, approachable, and doesn't give off a rigid company structure vibe. You know how some CEOs go, "We are yet to make money on sales, 😤" and all that. So yea, life at Heroshe is good.
Are there any memorable experiences that stand out to you during your time at the company?
A memorable moment for me was last year when all the Heroshe staff in Nigeria were invited for a get-together. It happened shortly after I joined Heroshe, maybe that same month or the next. The company brought all of us down to Lagos for some team bonding, which was so cool. I love creating content, so I documented everything during my entire stay in Lagos. I feel really good about the extent to which Heroshe goes for its team.
I sometimes wonder how much money Heroshe spends on these events. It feels like Heroshe is spoiling us, man. After our team bonding, they even took us to a restaurant to eat and play games. Heroshe is doing a great job. Overall, my experience at Heroshe has been good. There are many memories, but because I mostly work from Port Harcourt, I miss out on some of the office experiences in Lagos. If I were in Lagos, we could have more chances to meet, and I'd have even more memories to enjoy.
How does Heroshe support professional growth and development?
Heroshe has supported my growth and development by consistently pushing me outside my comfort zone. True professional or personal growth happens when you go outside your familiar tasks. You can't do the same things over and over again and expect different results. Instead, you grow when you get to do and try new things. (Editor’s note: put that on a T-shirt!)
Heroshe doesn't force you to step out of your comfort zone; instead, they encourage it. Sometimes, they gently nudge you towards something new. If you push back and express your reservations, they respect that. However, I don't approach life with a mindset of resistance. Unlike other companies I have worked for, where attempting certain tasks would be unthinkable, Heroshe's culture encourages exploration. When they ask you to step out of your comfort zone, you do it willingly because you know the company cares about you and your development.
This kind of openness to change and growth is what makes Heroshe unique. They don't just talk about it; they create an environment where stepping out of your comfort zone is okay and valued. This willingness to step out of comfort zones is not just my perception but a culture shared by many in the company. That is the Heroshe way, which sets them apart in fostering continuous learning and development.
Unfortunately, in some companies, employees can work for a decade without learning anything new. Heroshe actively supports professional growth and development. When I joined, Silas often spoke about poaching me for the product team. If I were inclined towards product-related work, I would have transitioned by now, earning a higher salary. Who knows? 💀
What advice would you give to aspiring designers looking to make an impact in their organizations as you have at Heroshe?
If someone is an aspiring designer, one of my core tenets has always been reliability. One thing I make sure those I work for notice about me is that I am consistently reliable. I may not be as talented as many designers out there, as the design field is filled with incredibly skilled individuals. However, I strive to distinguish myself by being dependable.
Designs are often time-bound, especially when there is an ongoing campaign with specific deadlines. If designs are delayed, they can lose their relevance. For instance, if Adeola needs a design by 12 pm, I ensure it is ready on time. Even if I have to work late or wake up in the middle of the night, the design must be ready when needed.
For aspiring designers looking to make an impact in their organizations, my advice is to identify a unique characteristic that sets you apart. It's not just about being a talented designer; good work ethics are equally important. In the design field, reliability is key. If you can't think of any other characteristic to make yourself stand out, focus on becoming a reliable professional. If something needs to be done, find a way to get it done. That's all I would say.
What are your future goals and aspirations within Heroshe, and how do you see the company evolving in the coming years?
Looking into the future, I see Heroshe becoming a big deal, like those oil companies. I brag to my friends all the time about how cool Heroshe is. Personally, I picture myself growing alongside Heroshe. While I can't predict God's plan for me, from my current perspective, I see myself spending several years at Heroshe as I explore future opportunities. I believe in the potential of Heroshe to expand its reach and become as big as AliExpress or even bigger, like Amazon. I imagine Heroshe becoming a prominent name that people discuss before even mentioning other companies like GIG.
Heroshe stands out in the way we deliver our services. Even though we may offer similar services to others, our approach is unique. The company's culture emphasizes what we do and how we do it. It is like some other companies I admire, like Moneypoint. While I may not know the details of their internal operations, I like how they present themselves. I hope that Heroshe, as a company, can convey a similar sense of excellence in our operations, creating an impression that extends beyond our services.
In my vision for the future, I also see Heroshe's employees becoming ambassadors, spreading the word about how awesome the company is. Almost everyone around me knows about Heroshe. When they sent me a birthday cake, everyone saw it on my WhatsApp and IG. I look forward to continued growth for both Heroshe and me. I am hopeful that, with God's grace, I will be part of Heroshe's journey toward great success.
Can we glimpse into any exciting design projects or initiatives that Heroshe has in the pipeline?
Regarding upcoming projects, I am really excited about Heroshe Year in Review, a new initiative Wunmi recently launched. I am collaborating with Peace on this one. Think of it like Piggyvest shows your yearly scores or when Spotify and YouTube do those cool recaps.
What excites me is that it is not just about shipping from the US and UK to Nigeria and Ghana. Many have been doing that for ages, but the unique way Heroshe does it sets us apart. Have you checked out GIG's website? Even though they are a big player, their logistics website leaves me wondering. This project highlights how Heroshe approaches things differently. In a rapidly changing world, staying relevant means adapting, no matter how big you are.
These small things, like the Heroshe Year in Review, make us stand out. That is why I am so hyped about it. Whenever they mention us on Twitter, I am there in the comments, and my friend Chioma knows to tag me in anything Heroshe-related. I am showing up and representing the company with pride. I carry this company on my head at this point.
One sentence for your fans out there!
I want to share my love and a message of hope with my fans. Nigeria will rise to greatness again, so please don't lose faith. My passion for our country runs deep; even if I find myself elsewhere, I will continue engaging in our nation's affairs. So, much love to each of you, and keep in mind Nigeria will indeed experience brighter days ahead. Ellu P, 75!
Get ready for more interesting stories in our "Life at Heroshe" series, where people like Shalom contribute to shaping the company's journey. Stay tuned to discover the heartfelt stories behind the scenes and the commitment to love and swift delivery that makes working at Heroshe special.