• Monday, May 20, 2024
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Tomoloju: Making waves in textile value chain

Tomoloju: Making waves in textile value chain

Ayomide Tomoloju is the founder and creative director of Goldentoms Underwear, a brand worn by both male and female.

He launched this business in September 2018 while a university student. He was inspired by his knack for learning new things.

“At some point in my life, I wanted to be involved in something different from school,” he says. “I wanted something I could grow with, learn from and build on. In 2018, one of my to-do lists was the start of the company. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew I had to start up a business. So many business ideas came to my mind but I had no interest in them,” he explains.
He says he then prayed to God to give him an idea as starting a business of his own was a priority for him.

“I still laugh at myself today when I remember the idea of starting an underwear company,” he recalls.

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“It started like a dream, I mean an actual dream. I remember coming back from lectures one sunny afternoon, had my bath and went straight to bed. That was when I dreamt that I was selling underwear in an open space. It was a funny dream but I paid no attention to it.”
He explains that few days later, he was on Twitter and saw someone’s post on various business ideas and an underwear business was part of them. That was when the entrepreneur knew he had to take his underwear idea seriously.

“I started taking notes of different kinds of underwear and looking to them to see how I wanted mine to be different. That was how Goldentoms Underwear came to light,” he narrates.

The young CEO started his company with N 47,000, but it was his knack for saving the little money he got since university days that made the difference.

“So, I used all my saving to start up the business. Though that wasn’t enough to start with, I was so determined that I used that money to get some of the materials I needed. I continued saving until I had all I needed to start. I could say I started with N47,000,” he says.

Tomoloju tells Start Up Digest that he started his business small but is impressed with how far it has gone in less than a year. However, he is not where he ought to be but hopes he will be one of the leading underwear companies in Nigeria and Africa in no time.

The hardworking entrepreneur has helped to curb the unemployment saga in his own little way by having young talented tailors and dispatch riders to deliver goods to customers.

When asked where he gets his materials, Ayomide says that he used to get them from Lagos Island when he started but now obtains them from China as he wants to use quality materials to satisfy his customers.

Speaking on the challenges he faces in his business, he says, “One of our major problems as a brand is how to enter into the Nigeria market, how to put our product in everybody’s face.”

“Another challenge we are facing is sourcing for funds to improve our products. Demand has increased and there’s no fund to grow into a large scale,” he adds.

He calls on the Nigerian government to assist young entrepreneurs to access cheap funds to enable them realise personal and macroeconomic ambitions.

“Governments could assist us in numerous ways, including providing collaterals, creating and supporting specific loans to SMEs or grants to those that achieve certain goals,” he says.

He urges governments at federal and state levels to harmonise taxes.

Speaking on what he wants to do differently in his business and why people should patronise him, he says, “A lot of us in Nigeria don’t pay attention to what we wear on the inside, that is, our underwear. So long as we look good on the outside, the inside is nothing to pay attention to. This is not supposed to be,” he says.

He says Goldentoms Underwear pays attention to what underwear should look like to ensure comfort.

“A lot of people buy underwear cotton materials that are not supposed to be used as underwear. This causes rashes and other skin diseases. Goldentoms Underwear is more than just underwear; we care for the comfort and health of every user.”

He says Goldentoms is a company that gives back to the society.

“For every product purchased, five percent goes out to charity,” he says.

He discloses that in the future, he sees Goldentoms being one of the leading brands in not just Africa but the world.

“We plan on having our products in every home.”

One of his dreams is to have big impact on the economy.

He advises young and upcoming entrepreneurs to treat their businesses like they treat children.
“Just like the ways parents wouldn’t give up on their children, also do not give up on your business. You need to be consistent, patient and always open to improvement,” he adds.

 

Jonathan Aderoju