‘I am working to leave a legacy on fashion world’
Ayangbade Seyi Philip is a fashion designer and graduate of Computer Science. Ayangbade says he has been in the fashion industry since birth. However, he officially started his brand—OmOAyan Concept— eight years ago. In this interview with JONATHAN ADEROJU, the entrepreneur tells his story.
What inspired you to set up this business?
My father has always been my inspiration because he taught me the basics about fashion and I am still open to learning from him till date. He used to be tailor back in the days in early 60s and late 90s.
What was your initial start-up capital and how where you able to raise the fund?
I started with zero capital. All I did was do delivery for my dad whenever he wanted to deliver cloth to his client. My dad sewed strictly for the Customs, the Immigration Service and Quarantine officers. So, I learnt with my dad’s machines and then convinced his clients that I could do other men’s wear apart from uniform wear. That was how I started.
How would you say the business has grown since you started?
I have really grown from how I started eight years ago. I have learnt more about this business and have more clients for myself. Nevertheless, I am still working to leave a legacy and a trademark in the fashion world.
Do you have employees?
Yes, I do have employees. Now, I have two people working for me.
Where do you source your raw materials from?
Most times, I just improvise, but basically I get from Lagos Island and and also from Benin Republic because materials are cheap to get over there.
What are some of the challenges confronting your business?
There are many challenges, but electricity has been the major factor for me, because I try to use industrial machines to work and you need light for them. Absence of electricity reduces my delivery time. Most times, the generator sets I have cannot power the machines.
How can government address some of these challenges?
If the government can work on electricity in the country, I am so sure they will put smiles on everyone in the fashion world and also in every area of business in the country.
Why should anyone buy your product?
I know I am the best at what I do. I spend a lot of time thinking about new designs to entice my customers and for the past eight years, I have never disappointed my customers. I have a slogan that says ‘Try us and you would delete your fashion designer ASAP’.
What are some of your expansion plans?
I hope to establish a brand that not only sews but produces fabrics for consumers in the fashion field. I also hope to start having exhibitions sooner.
What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other start-ups?
I will use the words my father used to push me up the ladder. Never stop loving what you do and survey the market you are about to go into. Do something different in your field.