Hard work is often times underrated in many parts of the world, especially in fraudulent countries where crime seems to pay. Despite that, 26-year-old Temitope Adigun, a graduate of University of Lagos said she would rather work hard and legitimately make money. ADEOLA TUKURU writes.
These days, some ladies have built the reputation of wanting money but not willing to work for it. Well, that it not the case of Temitope Adigun 26, a graduate of University of Lagos who runs a clothing line business.
The 26 orphan fund her education and pay her bills and also foot the bills of her younger sibling who is in the Secondary school.
The society has raised the bar on the business of dressing well, a situation that has created a noble source of income for any young men and women in the country.
Today, Temi as mostly called by her friends while in school is happy to be known as “T-girl” clothing line.
The young and vibrant lady has always had a flair for selecting cloths for friends, even as a child.
As a student of Business Administration, Temi has been able to use the knowledge she gained in the classroom to build herself a brand.
How she started the business
Temi while recounting to Business Starter said she learnt the trade from her late Mum who was then a Fashion designer and was also selling clothing materials.
According to her, her late mum who died in years ago in an accident sells different materials for weddings and other events.
“As a first child , I was always with my mum and I follow her to the market to buy materials for sale, from there I learnt different kinds of materials and know their prices. “
“I remember back then when she travelled and asked me to coordinate the sales of cloths to her customers for a very big event.
“I sold all and collect the exact money down for her. She was very impressed and gave me money to buy sweet and biscuits for myself …( laughs).
“When I gained admission into school , I started selling small small things like slippers and purses , people started ordering for cloths. “
“I became very popular in school because I attracts students on campus with cheap cloths and in vogue cloths,”
Her achievement so far
I have a shop now where I display my wares in the campus and I get a lot of calls to provide cloths for people for events (Aso ebi).
According to the dark-skinned beauty, a lot of ladies used to commend my wares. There was a day my sister and I were at a wedding, and people came to greet me specially for providing the brides (aso ebi).
“My dad had confronted me about it, asking why I would want to abandon my discipline in school for business. Thankfully, they do not have any problem with it anymore,” she said.
Her journey in the business
“I used to sell cloths randomly in school. I knew the impact of fashion on women; it has the power to boost their confidence, so after I gained admission in my school programme .
“My siblings were very supportive but my mum initially had reservations. She would ask if I was sure of what I was doing. When I started, I used to charge a little amount of money, but as I started to grow, I started charging more; my mum while she was alive took bookings for me .
“I started officially in 2016. I didn’t even have a name for the brand at the time. I came back to Lagos, started it and the referrals started coming.”
Profit in business
“But now that I’m in it, when I estimate how much I earn in a month as profit, the minimum is always between N25,000 and N30,000.
“I’m okay with it considering the fact that some people are sitting in their offices and they don’t earn that much.
So I am not even interested in a nine-to-five job for now because I am doing very well for myself.
“I am not bothered about the rate of unemployment in the country; it doesn’t affect me. My aim is to create more jobs for people through my craft.
Clothing business is lucrative
I have never thought of relocating to another country because Nigeria is a very lucrative place for the business. I feel I would suffer if I leave Nigeria as my services may not be needed there.
On the average, I sell over 20 to 30 pieces of cloths people in a month. People don’t know there are hazards on the job, the stress and all,” she said.
Challenges of the job
Beyond their glamorous business pages on social media, cloth traders face some challenges on the job. So the business cannot be said to be all rosy, as some of them have noted.
For instance, selling cloths has fetched a Fade a reasonable amount of money, but it has also exposed her to some risks.
She said the job is as scary as any other job; there is no job that is not risky. Sometimes when I am flying and there is turbulence, I get scared.
“ There was a day I was supposed to travel to Owerri, Imo State to distribute cloths to some people for wedding and my flight was cancelled, so I had to travel by bus overnight to be able to meet up. It was really scary but I had no other option.
“Once Nigerians have paid you money for a service, you have no excuse; you have to make yourself available. The job is quite risky but I have to maintain my integrity and protect my brand.
“There was a time I was travelling and there was a robbery attack on the road. I have had so many terrible experiences on the business.
Starting your own clothing shop
Starting your clothing boutique is a good business idea because the fashion industry is one powerful sector that will always be vibrant in any economy because all over the world, people have a basic need for clothing. Beyond this need, fashion are also evolving on daily basis due to the huge and diverse interest in styles.
Setting up a clothing shop boutique is a profitable business especially if you are dealing on ladies wears. Ladies loves good clothing, shoes and accessories, it is not an exaggeration to say that it is a business you will fined very interesting.
When you buy a cloth for N3,000 in the market, you are likely to sell at N4,000 – N4,500, making N1,000 – N1,500 at the spot. I don’t want you to be greedy about this. So, let’s make it N3,500, if you make N500 per cloth and sell up to 10 in a day, you will make N5,000 for that day. That’s a good business, isn’t it?
A successful clothing shop boutique does not only requires knowing the latest fashion trends, it also requires a good business plan as well as good knowledge about what you are doing, most people prefer buying clothes from the boutique because they believe the clothes are very neat and clean, most people have a feeling that all the clothes sold in boutiques are foreign clothes and not home made clothes.
I have a number of people that are doing greatly in this business and fashion industry is picking up so fast in Nigeria and other African countries. It is a business you can start from the scratch, getting wholesale supply and setting at the retail price.
You can start with little capital, it’s not necessary you must be as big as Mr. Price at the beginning.
The most important thing is knowing how to market your products very effectively, with time, you will grow as big as you want.