The one thing Nigerians have been hearing for the last year and a bit is how terrible the country has become. In financial terms, we are in a recession. We have to feed and clothe ourselves and families. Hence, becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t sound like a terrible thing. The thing you have to keep in mind before going into a business is that you may not make a profit right away. If you are looking to hammer fast, then look again. However, when you make it big, with good management and quality control, you will keep soaring higher. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are interested in venturing into the fashion business (or, to be honest, any other business).
-Get the skills needed: This is possible with or without a degree. The internet is an amazing place, use it wisely. The right skills and training will open the right doors.
-Experience is important: This experience may not necessarily have to be directly under a fashion designer. You could work as a PA, in a cloth store as an attendant, just anything and everything related to the fashion industry. Every experience counts, and you won’t know how far such experiences will take you.
-Get a mentor: This might be a scary thing at first. But meeting a well-known fashion designer to mentor you is life changing. They obviously have better things to do and so you won’t always be priority. But don’t get discouraged. In the long run, the advice they can offer you is priceless.
-Get an idea: All the training and experiences will be of no use it there is no idea that is made physical. Being in the fashion industry, gaining the right experience will help you solidify the idea and find possible ways and connections to push your idea into the world.
-Create a prototype: This will help you show the right people. No idea is what anything without a visible physical form. The ideas are drawn and with the work experience and some funds from that, one can start small (one or two clothes) that can be shown to different brands and from there gain momentum.
-Have a target audience: As an entrepreneur, you cannot satisfy everyone in the market. So, you can choose to be a male designer or a female designer. Even within this two genders, there are youths, children, middle-aged, adults, and the aged. The market is vast, choose wisely so that you can add value.
There are a lot of talented people out there. Not all talents end up turning their passion into a business venture. With the right mindset and hard work, these tips can help you go a long way in starting and maintaining a profitable fashion business in Nigeria.
Written by Nkem Ikeh
Images: blog.1and1.com, launchpad516.com, iamatilla.com