• Monday, June 24, 2024
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Meet Douglas Oluwatimileyin, communicator turned fashion designer

Meet Douglas Oluwatimileyin, communicator turned fashion designer

Wearing beautiful clothes can improve one’s self-esteem and give the feeling of confidence and in Nigeria Douglas Oluwatimileyin, the chief executive officer of Douglas Stitches, is helping customers to do just that.

Oluwatimileyin, a communicator-turned-entrepreneur is a talented fashion designer turning African fabrics into ready-to-wear dresses.

Inspired by her passion for making beautiful dresses and changing people’s perceptions of the fashion profession by building a trustworthy and successful brand, she established Douglas Stitches in 2020.

“I ventured into the fashion industry driven by my passion for garment creation, aiming to achieve innovative and sustainable diversity in fabric designs,” she said.

In 2020, Oluwatimileyin started by making nose masks for a local supermarket. With the savings from her nose mask venture, along with N250,000 from family and friends, she invested in an industrial sewing machine, a mannequin, and other materials before launching her business later that year.

“With the establishment of my brand, Douglas Stitches, I aim to become a renowned couturier known for innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity in the next five years.

“To achieve this, I focus on innovation, branding, market expansion, partnerships, sustainability, and talent investment,” she said.

On challenges confronting the business, she said access to cheap credit remains a major hurdle facing her business.

Also, she noted that the country’s huge infrastructural gaps are a major problem her business is dealing with, saying that the challenges, especially the poor power supply have continued to increase her production cost.

“Economic instability, and electricity fluctuation, among others are the clogs on the wheel of fashion businesses in Nigeria. As a designer, I face challenges such as balancing creativity with finances and adapting to changing consumer demands.”

She called on the federal government to stabilise exchange rates, improve the power sector, invest in infrastructure, provide financial access, and promote local production and skill development.

To overcome the challenges, Oluwatimileyin, said she prioritises financial planning, monitors market trends, nurtures supplier relationships, and innovates sustainably.

The communicator-turned-designer said her vision is to ignite creativity, foster self-expression, and empower individuals through fashion.

Her strategy for achieving her goals is to design innovative clothing, embrace sustainability, and celebrate diversity in style.

She intends to achieve this by marrying technology with traditional crafts; while promoting inclusivity. I seek to create a unique fashion experience, Oluwatimileyin pointed out.

However, Oluwatimileyin shared her entrepreneurial journey with the Field of Skills and Dreams VTE Academy (FSD).

“Before attending FSD, I was apprehensive about sewing garments for others; I mostly made clothes for myself. However, at FSD, I learned how to tailor garments for various body types, which greatly shaped my skills and business mindset,” she said.

With her gained skills at FSD, she disclosed that even before completing her internship, she had started creating garments for international clients, which boosted her confidence and motivated her to expand further.

For aspiring fashion entrepreneurs, Oluwatimileyin advised them to follow their passion and embrace continuous learning.

“I was able to continue learning at FSD sponsored by UNDP in 2021, which has helped me stabilise my business; learning continuously is crucial for growth, niche defining, networking, quality focus, embracing technology, and adapting to industry changes,” she said.