Basically my father got the vision for me to go into the Aso Oke Business and all i did was execute it...CEO of Aso Oke by Phortizo

By Kemi Mobuse - Tuesday, August 16, 2016

It is deemed customary for couples to be clad in similar, if not the same type of attire for their traditional wedding. It is after all, the ideal thing to do in a bid to successfully portray that you both do not just have that perfect connection within… but also sync with one another on the outside.

The issue most couples face is not in deciding whether or not to both wear the same thing. It is in deciding what kind of Aso Oke they both want to wear for their big day.
Where do you even want to start from? Is it the choice of COLOUR, TEXTURE, PATTERN, STYLE, DESIGN, and EMBROIDERY… which? All these are pretty tough decision to make.

Since a Bride on her Traditional Wedding day is one of the most radiant and most glamorous personality on that day, it therefore requires a lot of tough decisions on her side, this made me really curious, to learn more about the aso oke trade and I was happy to have a brief chat with the CEO of Asooke by Phortizo, who enlightened me…….Read excerpts below:

KMB: Can we meet you? What do you do?
Aso Oke By Phortizo: My name is Ikeoluwa Benson Odefila,I live in Lagos and I work with a media house on Allen, but am into Aso oke which has been my side business apart from work. I do all types of Aso oke including engagement and all societal events.
KMB: What is the name of your brand and how old is it?
Aso Oke By Phortizo: My brand name is Asooke by Phortizo,I started learning the trade in 2014,but started professionally 2015 January.
KMB: What inspired you going into the fashion Industry and why aso oke exactly?
Aso Oke By Phortizo: I love fashion though, at a time I wasn't really sure of what I wanted to do with myself after school, all I knew was that; I want to do something, I went into the makeup business, but, I lost interest along the line. Then, someday before my NYSC, my father called me and asked me about Asooke and how he feels that's what I should do. Because he saw a Vision of me in the aso oke business with my own store,I understood then, what he meant and I hoped that, I could turn it to reality. Basically, my father got the vision and I executed it. We then started by going to all Asooke markets in Yorubaland on market days just to watch and see how Aso Oke is sold, colour mixed,their relationships with their customers and that's how i made my relationships. It's from there, I met my weavers as well as some of my team members since then, I haven’t looked back.

KMB: How was starting up for you capital wise?
Aso Oke By Phortizo: I started first with 20k which I borrowed from my brother. On one of those last market days at OJE, Ibadan my dad said I should buy some Aso Oke Fabrics and resell, so I can see and compare, I did exactly that, and made 45k from that 20k. I returned my brothers money and still had some extra left. I have however been sourcing directly from my weavers since then. But, really I use my customer’s money for their jobs and sometimes my salary and after delivery I get paid. I think, more capital will be involved if I have a shop though, because for now, I sell online and just deliver.

KMB: How do you come up with designs for your aso oke?
Aso Oke By Phortizo: It depends on my clients, what they want and their taste.I ask my clients, I sometimes draw on a plain paper and arrange the colours to see if its works. I also weave out samples and when am sure, I start!. 

KMB: What major challenges have you had to deal with since inception?
Aso Oke By Phortizo: Indecision; most people don't know what they want and they Change colours every now and then which slows Me down. Sometimes, I might have started the job, only for the client to call and say; “I don't want that colour again…this and that”.

Another challenge is the price, Most people can't differentiate between a quality asooke and a cheap knock off,so they tend to not want to pay and I tell my clients I can't do cheap fabric, that at times leads to loss of patronage for me

KMB: Lol! So, how do you eventually resolve everything and make it a win-win situation
Aso Oke By Phortizo: It takes understanding ,I try as much as possible to give my clients what they want and incase of a non changeable mind, I leave the client to what he or she wants and hope and pray fervently that, it works especially on their skin colour.

KMB: what can you say is your favourite part of what you do?
Aso Oke By Phortizo: Seeing the finished product, and on delivery, the joy and expression of delight on my client’s face.

KMB: Any advice for upcoming entrepreneurs?
Aso Oke By Phortizo: Don't be afraid of failure, I have had to cry on my client’s cloths before when it didn’t turn out so well. I have even had to re-run sometimes when it doesn't turn out the way i want.

KMB: Lastly, how can you be contacted?
Aso Oke By Phortizo: My phone no's are 08060708123 And 08188059849
Instagram: @asooke_byphortizo

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  1. I love the vibrant Colours and the designs, a true representation of African Culture. Does she have a Website?