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  • Monday, June 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ogunjobi Bolaji: Designer creating affordable corporate wears

It was Mark Twain who many years ago postulated that when a man finds his passion, he will never work a day in his life.

This could be said of Ogunjobi Bolaji, Eclat Signature and Fashion Ventures who was fueled by the passion to jettison his tech career to embrace what he loves to do.

“I chose to invest in the fashion business due to my passion for creativity and design and most especially to be self-employed,” he said.

Driven by his passion Bolaji established his fashion business in 2022.

According to the graduate of Computer Science, the business provides a platform for him to express his creativity skills through designing and producing unique garments.

His principal goal for venturing into the fashion creation business is to contribute his innovative skills in transforming the garment industry in Nigeria, the West African region, and beyond.

“My vision is to become a household name and leading provider of branded wear for individuals, corporate and public organisations in Nigeria and another part of West Africa and beyond,” he said.

“Apart from making a profit, I’m interested in adding value and making an impact on my immediate community through empowerment for the youth and job creation,” Bolaji added.

He intends to achieve this by focusing on creating unique and quality wear for his clients.

“My niche is in the ability to focus on creating unique and high-quality corporate wears tailored to suit client’s needs, that’s customisation and made-to-measure,” he noted.

The founder and CEO of Eclat Signature and Fashion Ventures disclosed that the apparel industry in Nigeria is not without its challenges.

“The challenges faced include navigating the economic downturn, which affects consumer spending and demand. This consequently has led to surging cost of production,” he narrated.

To remain relevant in the business, and navigate the firm through the economic crunch prevalent in the country, Bolaji disclosed that he stays adaptable and focused on his clients’ satisfaction.

“By staying adaptable, focusing on customer satisfaction which is a key, managing available resources and patterning with our fabrics vendors to qualify materials and at a good price, are things that are helping us to scale overboard the challenges,” he noted.

Moreover, he described the lack of infrastructure and access to finance as the most disturbing economic challenges faced by the fashion design business in Nigeria.

To ameliorate this, he called on the government to help the industry by providing better infrastructure, and access to finance at a reasonable single-digit rate, besides, creating policies that support the growth of the fashion industry.

Despite economic hardships, he said that Nigeria still offers opportunities for fashion businesses due to its large population, and growing middle class.

“Nigerians are known for their entrepreneurial drive, making it a fertile ground for fashion startups and small businesses,” he stressed.

Bolaji hopes to see his business as a well-established brand with a broader client base and increased market share. Having a well-equipped standard garment factory for the firm to expand its product offerings in the next five years.

To achieve this goal, the company is focusing on innovation, marketing strategies, expanding our product offerings, and ensuring our products get to our target audience.

In addition, he said; “I also enrolled in an entrepreneurship business development programme with Lagos Business School to further my personal development in business management.”

To upcoming entrepreneurs in the fashion industry, Bolaji advised them to first be sure they are passionate, innovative, and customer-centric if they intend to make a living out of the business.

“My Advice to aspiring fashion entrepreneurs is to be passionate, innovative, and customer-focused while also being resilient in the face of challenges and they should know that Rome wasn’t built in a day,” he said.

“Fashion entrepreneurs must prioritise self-improvement and consider shifting towards mass garment manufacturing to compete with China’s garment industry. This approach will generate more employment opportunities for our populace,” he added.

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