• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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OmoseKids – Celebrating African and contemporary fashion with bold print

Trish Yusuff

OmoseKids a new clothing line with focus on fusing African and contemporary fashion recently launched in Lagos. “Omose;” which means beauty in bini, predominant language from Edo state in Nigeria is a range of beautifully handmade clothing items for children.

The Creative Director and CEO of OmoseKids, Tricia Ikponmwonba-Yusuf in an interview with BusinessDay said “I am excited about this brand because it’s a way to showcase our country and continent to the world and solving a need of providing ready to wear pieces for children.

Q.What propelled you to start Omose Kids?

The need for affordable and quality items for my son propelled Omose Kids. On several occasions I would walk into children’s fashion stores to pick up items for him and the many children in my life. You see, if you are like me with dozens of god-children and a limited pot of money, then pricing is absolutely key. Most of the prices hanging on the shelves would send me right out of the store. I always wondered why children’s items would sell at 10,000 and in some cases as high as 30,000. Knowing fully well that these kids roll in dirt all day long and quickly outgrow the clothes and footwear why would I spend so much?

In December 2015, i began to research on the children’s fashion industry in Nigeria and realized a huge vaccum that needed to be filled, which was the need to provide products that the bulging middle class mothers could afford without breaking the bank.  These items would deliver on quality, uniqueness, brightness and affordability. To achieve this price points, it was pertinent that production took place in Nigeria to control the value chain. All our clothing items are between the range of 1,000 Nigerian naira to 6,000 naira.

To distinguish our brand we make use of best materials, great finishing and unique designs. I also looked at the children’s world and noticed that focus is mostly on older children, with no options for infants or toddlers. Our items include: Infants – Bibs, shoes, Onesies, Playmats and Bed sets, Older Kids – Dresses, Tops, Skirts, shorts, trousers, dungarees, shoes and many more

Q. After your experiences in the corporate world, was it easy to become a social entrepreneur?
Yes it was, I had managed several social projects for several clients which formed my decision to further impact my society through my education intervention project – StayInSchoolNG Initiative.

Q. You support Nigerian female entrepreneurs, how do you do this? Is there any sort of support?
I recently began to support female entrepreneurs develop business strategies and technical know-how through 2 women’s network I  am currently affiliated with. The iAmDynamite Women’s Network and Poize Insider Network.
The women get formal training via full day workshops, they also have the opportunity to sit with mentors and consultants to help drive growth in several areas of their businesses. As a marketing and brand strategist, I deliver trainings in these areas and also in-person consultation to identify specific growth plans for individual businesses. My goal is to have helped 1000 women owned businesses develop potential by 2020.

Q.How would you review year 2016 for  Omose Kids, did the recession after your business?
Ironically, the recession helped Omose Kids. Due to unavailability of forex and fluctuating exchange rate, imported items have further doubled in price and mothers began to look to Nigerian brands to solve their needs. This made mothers try our products and repeatedly purchase due to our delivery on promise.

Q. The #MadeinNigeria movement is gaining momentum daily, are your clothes and accessories for children locally made?

All our items are produced in Nigeria, using quality fabrics (African and bold prints). We fuse African fabrics with other type of fabrics such as cotton, chiffon, tulle, satin etc to create unique and beautiful items for children

Q.  What is your driving force?

The need to leave a legacy for impacting lives and building successful businesses.

Q. Where do you see yourself and Omose Kids in 5 years?

In 5 years, Omose Kids would have grown to become a regional brand with several retail outlets spread across Nigeria and setting the trail for quality yet affordable items.

Omose Kids will also propagate the #MadeInNigeria movement by serving as a retailer for other children’s brands out of Nigeria.

Q. If you were to advice an upcoming entrepreneur, what would it be?

I say same everyday!

Just do it. There will never be a perfect time to launch your idea or business. There will never be adequate money to start, once you have an idea and conviction just go for it. And most importantly do not latch unto other peoples stories. Create your path. For instance people told me I needed to resign to run a successful business from the start. But here I am working and running a business with a bulging clientele base and also attracting investment. Find your purpose and go for it.