Starting a business without knowledge is dangerous – Akinniyi
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
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?