Mrs. Folashade Adegoke is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ebony Home of Fashion, Ibadan. In this interview with the News Rain, she speaks about her passion for creating art, sketching, color combinations, sewing, among others.
Can we meet you?
I’m Afolashade Adegoke, a fashion designer, I’m also into buying and selling of clothes, I made ready to wear clothes for men and women, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ebony Home of Fashion, in the Sango area of Ibadan.
For How Long Have You Been In Designing Profession?
I have been working as a tailor for 25 years, but I started the Ebony Home of Fashion like 15 years ago, and to the glory of God we have been doing well.
Your Experience As a Fashion Designer?
It’s not really easy when I started, but I’m able to cope with various challenges because of the passion I have for the job. Sewing is part of me, I’m proud to be a tailor, I’m proud to be a designer, I’m proud to be someone that is making clothes for men and women, so in a matter of time, I was able to cope, though have not to get there yet but I know that I will surely get there one day. I believe in an adage that says that Rome was not built in a day, so with determination and focus, I know surely that I will get there.
The dream I had was to establish a big fashion house that will be located in a well-polished area, but to be honest, with the way I started and the response I got from people I know that I will be there one day, I don’t relent so I believe I will be there.
Challenges so far?
I don’t think I really have any, because I was actually determined and focus on the job, and my driving force has been my slogan which is “my passion working with my vision towards achieving greatness,” I know I will overcome all the challenges that come my way with the passion I have for the job.
But I quite agreed that there is always some challenges for an entrepreneur like me, the capital to start a business is one of the major challenges, for instance, if the government can be made soft loans easier to access or create an avenue for people that are self engaged, as in the people that are into the skill labor market, our businesses will flourish, there will be lesser people chasing white-collar job.
I have applied for loans on different occasions but it was declined and assumed that I was able to secure the loan I will have injected it into my fashion business, I still need some industrial machines, like the monogamy machine and the likes, those machines will surely boost my fashion business.
But I know I will surely be there one day by the grace of God.
Your Advise for the Parents or Guidance?
My advice is that parents or guidance don’t need to dictate for their children, they should rather study them, and see what area they noticed that their children will be perfect if given the chance to practice.
For instance, someone like me, while I was so young I have been using my notebooks to form shapes, I will cut those used notebooks into shapes, I remembered that back then I used to sketch and cut out different shapes, moreso I like sewing clothes and my parents having been watching me right from then believed that I can do better in that field, so I can say that’s the reason why they supported me while I opted for designing.
Fashion is a very wide job, it entails a lot of things more than just sewing that people see us doing. Fashion entails sketching, the ability to combine colors, you must be able to know how to source for adequate materials that will make your job unique, the ability to create various types of styles, and also to know what exactly your customers want.
We have different customers with different mindsets, different tastes, different fashion sense, and different sources of income, so as a designer you must able to give the best for your customers irrespective of his or her status.
There are some designers that are good only in designing styles, while there are some that are blessed with various skills, such as sketching, color combination, sewing, and all stuff like that, but they are not many, some are blessed with just sewing, while some are good in cutting aspect only, but as for me, because of the passion I have for the job, coupled with the years of my experience on the job, I thank God, there are no aspects of designing that I don’t know. I can also train people on how to become a good designer.
To the glory of God, I have been able to meet up with the demands of my esteemed customers. Some men often commended me for doing their job well, but I don’t see it as a big deal, as I believed that there is nothing men can do that woman can’t do.
So, my sincere advice for parents out there is to let their children choose whatever they like, and they should just be there to guide and support them.
What Is Your Advice For The Youths and Graduates That Are Looking For White Collar Job?
My candid advice for the Youths and the graduates is that they should try to get themselves equipped with one skill and try to do something unique out of it, they should try to do something different from that skill acquired, Nigerians wants something that is unique, so they will quickly get customers if they dish out something different from others, If the youths can get themselves busy with one skill, be it photography, carpentry, beautician or even a fashion designer and do it in a unique way, they will surely get better, with time they will start earning cool money, but these days our youths don’t want to learn work or a trade.
The youths need to be determined, they need to be the focus, and also strive for success through a legitimate means.
My advice for ladies that interested in going to fashion and that love to do wears for men, they should be very careful not to let men exploit them sexually, they should not be derailed from there initial motives, they should be a focus and dedication to their job, if a man sees that you are the type that doesn’t have time for dating, and they find out that you are the busy type, they will not disturb you again and they will always give you regard, ladies should always know how to reject advances from men in a very polite manner, some men are not serious and they can affect one’s carrier if care is not taking.