Fashion designing is a moneymaking machine —Davies-Dada Odunayo
DAVIES-DADA Odunayo, the chief executive officer of Kezia Fashion located at Johnson Street, Awolowo Street, Ikeja, Lagos, is an example of a person whose creativity and passion in fashion designing and making has brought from obscurity to the limelight, with enviable financial rewards.
But for the liquidation of the microfinance bank that she was working with as the head of customer service department, Oduayo, an Obafemi Awolowo University graduate of Social Studies Education and an MBA holder from the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho, could not have followed her passion, which is fashion designing.
“I have always loved to look good and make others look good as well, sometimes helping my friends with their wedding and party shopping of clothes and shoes, among others, which I still do on commercial base. So my going into the fashion industry is just like a hobby.
“So the liquidation of the bank dramatically led me to fashion designing, while my conclusion to successfully explore the industry led me to learning the business. I learnt fashion designing from a friend who was sewing at home. Later I had a diploma in Fashion Designing at London College of Fashion, under the University of The Art, London to broaden my knowledge in the industry, because I am of the opinion that passion and gift without proper and adequate learning may not bring the expected result.
“I did not limit myself to sewing clothes, but extended my tentacle to teaching and impacting the knowledge into other people with my fashion school, since I have a background in teaching.
“Fashion designing and making industry is quite wide, with a large market which make it easy for you to easily find your feet.
“Whatever prospect anyone in the industry could boast of now is far below what the industry has to offer as the industry is growing alongside its prospects. In fact, my experience in the industry informed my conclusion that fashion designing is a money-making machine for the creative mind with diligence and a keen passion. You can make millions in six months to one year in the business. Yes you can,” Odunayo explained.
With N30,000 you can make millions within a year from fashion designing
NEXT to food for every man is clothing. This places importance on fashion making business, as many people are now moving beyond just wearing clothes to being seen with creative attires. They are willing to go the extra mile to get their desired dresses, not minding their prices.
The aforesaid fact makes dress making in every part of the world a big business, especially if you could cap your creativity with good packaging.
You are already in for a big deal in making millions from fashion designing.
The capital to start the business is quite affordable to even the average poor person. It is just N15,000 to buy a sewing machine and N15,000 for other materials. Though this machine is not all you need to successfully run the business, it is the basic. You can pay other colleagues in the industry to get the use of other machines (like interlocking and embroidery machine, among others) needed to make your work adorable.
Sometimes, N10million may be insufficient to start, depending on the scale at which you are starting, as there are machines that go for half a million and above.
Period for learning the business depends on your maturity and how fast you can grasp it. You may spend just three to six months to get the needed knowledge and experience you need to design clothing, create and sew patterns, and manage a fashion line, especially when you have a good knowledge of mathematics and geometry, as the business includes the usage of circumference for circular measurements. While a secondary school leaver or below may spend up to two years, and even more, you can as well teach yourself through books and DVD on fashion entrepreneurship, pattern making for fashion design.
Research and planning
Decide what kind of fashion design business you would like to undertake before seeking knowledge and launching into the business. For example, do you want to run a wholesale business where you outsource the designing and sell the merchandise to big name stores, or would you prefer having a local fashion line where you do all the designing, sewing and production work, as well as marketing and selling to individuals, boutiques or online or would you like to specialise in men’s or women’s wear, or would you like to specialise in native or English dresses? This will help you to seek the right knowledge from the right person or source.
Continually upgrade yourself on the innovations and trends in the fashion world. This is so important in sustaining your success in the business.
Make a brand for yourself.
To adequately do this, learn to tear out the looks and clothing that catch your eye in magazines which you believe resemble the designs you want to create. These sheets, known as “tear-sheets,” can be placed in your office look books (Binders in which your tear sheets, inspirational photos, colour swatches, fabric swatches which are often given out for free at local fabric store, and fashion sketches, among others) for inspirations.
This will earn you and your works a high value, which will in turn earn you good customers and the expected millions of naira.
Having got the necessary training on the business and your machine(s) ready, and a shop (you can start in your room, if you cannot afford to rent a shop) get some good materials to sew adorable style for yourself to advertise your expertise in the trade. Then embark on one-on-one marketing (if you cannot afford placing advertisements in the print, electronics or outdoor media; even if you can, one on one talks still remains a very effecting marketing tool), starting from your siblings to your friends and colleagues.
Cost and potential earning
Though there seems to be a sort of price range in fashion designing, especially in Nigeria, but if your are very good at the art and you have got some people to attest to this, what you charge will be based on the value you placed on yourself.
Even with the price range in the industry, you are sure of making between 100 and 200 per cent of your cost of production as profit.
Apart from making money sewing for people, you can as well make a hell of money teaching others or selling the materials.
In a matter of time, you will become the toast of many creative and good fashion freak individuals, fashion shows, while you continue to make millions of naira.
Marketing and reputation
If you want to market your works on a large scale, you can plan a photo shoot in order to have great images of your final pieces to use in all marketing and advertising; use networking sites to begin networking with other professionals in the fashion industry and see if anyone would be willing to do a pro bono shoot that they could add to their portfolio; design a website for your fashion line even if you won’t be selling online; create a media kit for your company and include a resume that outlines the attributes and experience you have in the fashion industry as well as the mission and vision statement of the fashion line or create your introduction letter and catalog featuring a cohesive colour look/design along with your logo by using programs such as Adobe InDesign, Photoshop or Illustrator, the list is on and on.
You need a keen passion, creativity, good character and hard work to fully explore the goodies in the industry.