INTERVIEW: Fruit Design Art, The center of future parties
It is not common to skip cake all together in a wedding. Cake cutting has been entwined in our events so much that it is almost incomplete to have an event without the presence of cake. What then happens when you understand the side effects of sugar (which is a principal ingredient in cakes) and want to protect your guests from it? No option?
What if I tell you there’s an equally fun and eye-catching replacement for your party? Yes, that’s fruit design, fruit designers make equally if not more thrilling fruit stands to replace cakes or provide more healthy option for your guest as they join you to merry on your special day.
Frillxtra breaks the ice for you as you meet your first fruit designer.
Could you tell us about yourself?
Good morning. My name is Adetola Cecilia Adebiyi. An award-winning graduate of Bells University, Ota, Ogun state. I am the second daughter in a family of four from Ikirun, Osun state. I live in Lagos, I'm in my early 30s, single and a Christian. I'm currently studying for my masters in Medical Microbiology, a Virology major at the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos, Idi Araba.
Indulge me please, Why fruits?
I didn't just choose to be a fruit artist out of unemployment or boredom. I've always had a passion for it. My mother is a fruit lover too although she isn't a fruit artist. Growing up as a child, it was inevitable to skip fruits in our daily diet so fruits have become an in-borne part of me. The artistry part was incorporated years back also when, for fun, I started carving papaya otherwise called pawpaw for neighbours. I didn’t even know it was a money-making venture until I met my trainer on a WhatsApp group and saw pictures of how much more beautiful fruits I can make fruits look if I refine my skills. She trained me and the rest as they say is history.
How Long have you been a fruit artist and what are the challenges you’ve come across?
I’ve been a startup for a year now. I started Mariposa Fruits on July 28th, 2018. The challenges I’ve faced are the challenges peculiar to startups in Nigeria.
Electricity; I can’t buy fruits in bulk and store as I do not have enough resources to power my generator for extended period. I have to buy them like 24hours to the event so they can retain their freshness. Another challenge I’ve had to face is the challenge of getting financial aid. I have filled a lot of forms for grants for startup businesses but none has come through as we speak. All my financial assistance so far has been from family, friends and personal savings. I could really use a financial boost to the business now.
Do you have another profession that supplements your business as a fruit artist?
Honestly, No. I am a full time fruit artist
Fruit art is curiously creative and its not a popular profession. What response do you get from people when you tell them you’re a fruit artist?
Yes, the market is shorthanded and its not as saturated as some other businesses like catering etc. When I tell people I’m a fruit artist they get curious and ask “what’s that” and when I show them pictures, they go “Oh, Wow, Its Beautiful”. So the response has been encouraging so far.
Apart from my passion which drives me, people’s receptiveness to fruit artistry is another thing that drives me.
What was your lowest point in the buildup of Mariposa Fruits?
My lowest point came early this year, January 2019. Throughout the month of January I received zero orders. Mariposa then was just 6 months old, I was afraid. I thought to myself ‘Is this how this thing is going to pack up?’ But thank God I’m still on my feet, we’re still standing and waxing strong.
Do you have any training arrangements in place for prospective fruit artists?
I used to organize training for individuals but I don’t think I’m going to do that anymore. I’m going to start with group training. There’s a group training coming up in September, that’s the arrangement I have for now
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs and prospective ones?
Do not give up. The environment is tight. The economy is bad, people don’t want to pay. In fact, getting customers is a challenge of its own. Please do not go off.
Please remember that money is not a motivation, passion should motivate you to get money.
Thank you Frillxtra for having me
There you have it. If you want more information of Mariposa Fruits you can contact them on