The director of SIV Clothing, Blessing Idowu, speaks with TOFARATI IGE on her career and other issues
What’s your educational qualification?
I have a Bachelor in Computer Science from the Les Cours Sonuo University, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
How would you describe your business?
My fashion designing business is dedicated to making people look beautiful. It’s all about bringing to reality a person’s dream dress. We make clothes for different kinds of people. I will also describe my business as a way of earning well doing, what you love. Fashion will always be a viable business; it is not something that can go obsolete. I see it as a long-term source of income for me.
What stirred your interest in this particular line of business?
My mum is also a fashion designer; so, my interest in fashion started very early. I have always loved creating designs. I imagine different styles and I bring them to life. I feel this is a good way for me to showcase my ideas.
How would you describe the experience so far?
My experience so far has been pretty good. However, I am also hoping for better opportunities. I get good feedback from my customers and that has made the experience really encouraging.
What is unique about your business?
The unique thing about my business is that we offer more than you expect at a very good price. I also create my own designs. Most times, customers don’t have to go through the stress of looking for designs. We design dresses that are suitable for whatever occasion the client is attending.
What difference do you want to make with your business?
I want my business to make a huge difference in the fashion industry. I want people to associate our brand with quality and uniqueness. I want a situation where people can wear something simple and still look classy; something that would make them look extraordinary and confident.
What were the challenges you had to grapple with when you started the business?
My main challenges then are still my challenges now. It’s not easy to make a name for yourself in the fashion industry. There are a lot of fashion designers out there now; so, getting attention has been quite challenging.
Have you ever been tempted to quit and seek paid employment?
Not for once have I ever considered quitting.
Have you been enjoying good patronage from customers?
To a certain level, yes, but I am hoping and praying for more.
What are the challenges you currently encounter and how do you deal with them?
My major challenge is publicity. Right now, I do most of my publicity on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp and YouTube.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
The fact that I can do what I love and still get paid for it. Making money for yourself without having to wait for a particular date to get your pay is wonderful. I also love the fact that I’m my own boss.
What are your future plans for your business?
My plan is to make a name for my brand and expand the business beyond the African continent. I envisage a time when celebrities would wear my designs. I want to be one of the top designers in the world.
Did you work anywhere before setting up your business?
Before gaining admission to the university, I worked as a teacher at some schools.
What’s your staff strenght?
We currently have three members of staff; a front desk personnel/accountant and two tailors.
What are the important lessons you’ve learnt in the course of managing your business?
I have learnt to be more accommodating and patient. In this line of business, we meet different types of people every day; so, I have learnt to be customer-friendly and more dedicated.Copyright PUNCH.
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