Chat with Fast rising Fashion Entrepreneur and Designer, Toproyal Creations...

By Kemi Mobuse - Thursday, September 08, 2016

Ojo Temitope Dorcas has lots of spunk and drive; she does not believe in whining over challenges, nor is she easily fazed by them. Her venture into the Creative Arts and Fashion industry was born out of a childhood love for fashion/creative arts, and a burning desire to improve on the low quality services that she was getting from dressmakers, whenever she needed to have an outfit made for an occasion that she needed to attend. She got so tired of having to sit with a dressmaker from start to finish in order to ensure that she got the exact quality she wanted, that she announced to her mother, that she wanted to pursue her interest for fashion. This decision did not meet with much resistance; her parents supported her all the way.

Temitope, a 32 year old woman from Ogbomoso in Oyo state of Nigeria,  decided to explore her passion instead of folding her arms and waiting for a job; she dared to venture into the murky business terrain to become an employer of labor herself.

The scope of her business includes the making of: ankara wallets, ankara footwear of all types including: slippers, wedges, sandals, etc,  ankara bags, ankara belts, ankara hair pieces/brooches, ankara earrings, ankara notebooks, ankara jeans and more. Let’s meet her….

Q. How did it all begin?

A. After my graduation from Winners Creation, I began to have patronage from lots of people; due to the large number of clients I was providing services for; my parents complained that my business was taking up too much space at home. I had clients from Kaduna, Abuja, and other parts of the country.  So, they encouraged and assisted me in securing an office space at Ijesha Road.

Q. How did the love for fashion and the Arts come about?
A.  Fashion/Arts have always been my  dream from childhood and I had the flair for it. In my secondary school days, I used to design birthday cards, draw, and carry out all sorts of creative activities. In those days, I’d baked a cake, but forget to add a vital ingredient, e.g baking powder, which would made the cake unpalatable to my family members and it would, often times than not, end up in the dust bin. However, I believe in continuous self improvement and was constantly working on improving my skills. I learned to make Kampala(adire dress), in junior secondary one, amongst many other things.  Initially I made only dresses with bags for clients, but after some time, clients began to demand for shoes that would match their out fits. I got someone to help me in making shoes, but when he became unreliable; I was pushed to go and learn how to make the shoes and bags myself, in Ikeja.

I added the idea of Ankara designs since my work was based on it. One of the challenges I had was making the male shoes and other styles like the sneakers and covered shoes which I didn’t find, not realizing what I was looking for is closest to me. I took my brothers shoes at home opened and dismantled them, studied and researched how it was made. This was actually very positive as I started making different designs of shoes demanded by customers. No waiting for cobblers and no more disappointment with my customers.

Q. Who Did You Always Look-Up To In The Industry As A Starter?

A. Actually, there are lots of icons ( Modella, Folorunsho Alakija, Funmi Ajila(FADAN PRESIDENT)  e.t.c.) in the fashion industry that are worthy of emulation, but my aim is to make my brand a complete collections of all fashion outfit like Nike, Adidas, D&G and the likes. All made with African Fabrics like Ankara, Adire and Aso-Oke.

Q. What challenges have you faced in this business?

 A. The major challenge I have is that of quality staff to meet the demands of my growing clientele.  I keep training staff to assist  me in meeting my clients demands, but in the long run, those I train later leave and start up their own businesses. So I have to work tirelessly in order not to disappoint my clients. Secondly, some clients want cheap services, but due to the quality of materials that I use for my designs, I cannot afford to make my prices as low as they would have hoped for. Thus, some clients end up leaving to patronize other people who may be cheaper, but whose fabrics are of lower quality and not durable. 

Q. How do you source your clients?

A. Most of the clients I’ve had, came through referrals. My work advertises me and my clients have really being appreciative of my designs- especially the Ankara shoes and bags.

Q. If you were not doing this, what would you be doing now?

A. There is a high probability that I would be among the unemployed Nigerian youths searching for a job.

Q. Any advice to young fashion designers?

A. Young fashion designers should be determined to gain more knowledge and be ready to explore, because when they research, they‘ll learn more. They can also learn more by downloading video materials online and attending seminars so as to update their horizon of ideas. They should have the belief that any creative idea that comes to their mind can be achieved. (IF YOU CAN THINK IT, YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT) .

Q. Lastly, how can you be contacted?

A. We can be contacted via: +2348072680440
Instagram: toproyalcreations
Facebook: toproyal Creations

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