Start­ing a busi­ness without knowl­edge is dan­ger­ous – Akin­niyi

The Punch - - SWAG! -

Prior to start­ing your busi­ness, did you have any work ex­pe­ri­ence?

Yes. I cur­rently work with the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment as a Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer at the Na­tional Lot­tery

Trust Fund.

I am try­ing not to sound cliché, but it’s all God be­cause I do not have an ex­pla­na­tion to this. I mean, be­ing a civil ser­vant and work­ing from 8am to 4pm, all I can do is work late into the night. I get re­ally tired and over­whelmed at times, but sin­cerely it’s been God and the pas­sion. I think it is more of time man­age­ment. I started fully in 2013; so, it’s been over five years now. My mo­ti­va­tion was and still is the pas­sion I have for fash­ion and women. I love to see women, both young and old, look­ing el­e­gant and happy be­cause I be­lieve that is part of what builds a woman’s con­fi­dence.

I re­ally did not have an ini­tial cap­i­tal when I started in 2012 as I started with mak­ing clothes for friends. In 2013, I started with about N500,000 and I got three in­dus­trial sewing ma­chines and one in­dus­trial wip­ing ma­chine. Then, I did lit­tle brand­ing, em­ployed just one staff, bought fab­rics and started mak­ing ready to wear de­signs.

What are the ma­jor chal­lenges you’ve faced?

My ini­tial ma­jor chal­lenge was as a re­sult of lim­ited or no knowl­edge of sewing as I could only de­sign. So, com­mu­ni­cat­ing with my staff be­came an is­sue as they started mis­be­hav­ing as soon as they knew I could not sew.

Also, not hav­ing ad­e­quate knowl­edge af­fected the busi­ness so much that I had to pause, go get trained and start all over again. I had to bridge the gap.

How do you get cus­tomers?

My busi­ness is more of on­line, though I have clients that come in through re­fer­rals. Most of my cus­tomers come in through the so­cial me­dia.

Has there ever been any­time you’ve ever thought of quit­ting?

Yes. I have thought of this so many times. The only thing that keeps me go­ing is the fact that some peo­ple de­pend on me for sur­vival. I can­not af­ford to dis­ap­point them.

Hav­ing a job is an­other thing that has helped me to be in busi­ness; the ex­pe­ri­ence and all. I have learnt to man­age my time prop­erly.

How many em­ploy­ees do you have?

I have four em­ploy­ees cur­rently.

What would you say is the most in­flu­en­tial fac­tor in your busi­ness suc­cess?

See­ing women wear my de­signs gives me joy and this makes me want to do more. See­ing women look el­e­gant is just the suc­cess story for me.

Where do you see your busi­ness in the next five years?

I have a very big dream for Zi­urry Fash­ion. I see my busi­ness across Africa in the next five years, grow­ing and ex­pand­ing more. I also see us hav­ing a fash­ion school soon.

If you had one piece of ad­vice to some­one just start­ing out, what would it be?

My ad­vice will be to en­sure that you have ba­sic knowl­edge be­fore you kick off, even if you have to learn on the job. Start­ing a busi­ness without knowl­edge is highly fa­tal. Take it one step at a time. It will all add up soon with God.

ell us more about your brand ed­u­ca­tional When and how did you learn fash­ion de­sign­ing? So, how do you com­bine your work with your busi­ness?For how long have you been in busi­ness and what was the mo­ti­va­tion? How much was your ini­tial cap­i­tal and how did you raise it?

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