A Standing Ovation to the Made- in-Naija bag for the world! January 9, 2021 – Posted in: fashion, Showcase – Tags: bags, fashion, made in naija
The fear of hunting made me think deeper of an escape route. The news I was hearing back home in Nigeria was somewhat disturbing. I couldn’t picture myself as part of the statistics of those queuing up in search of daily source of income. This was no pride; it was something I wouldn’t just do. At that time, I was in my final year in Houdegbe North American University in Benin Republic. Though I could see myself as a first class student in Computer Science already, I still did not want any form of entanglement with hunting. Job hunting. Prior to this period of fear, my bag was stolen. I tried all I could to replace it but to no avail. Google was truly my friend but still could not help me in getting a made in Nigeria bag that met my taste. Unbeknown to me, that was how the ultimate search led to the path of delving into bag making.
Like one who saw tomorrow, I had been an avid saver all through my undergraduate days. I was always in the habit of dividing my pocket money into two and saving the other half. After my graduation, I thought of a business to invest in. The option glaring at me wide-eyed was something that involved replacing my stolen bag and of course, making bags for other people who appreciate the value of quality bags. The next move was to get a three-months training. As soon as I got a machine, production kicked off although in a small scale. Surprisingly, my little beginning wasn’t bad at all. Most people commended the bag and the finishing. On my own end, I knew consistency needed my attention.
Back home in Nigeria, everyone was expecting the first class student to pick up a befitting job in the corporate world. A collar, white in every sense of it and no form of blueness around it. The blue-collar job I had chosen made them dumbfounded. The dumbness was short-lived. It soon translated into a big fight. Unfortunately, my mind was already made up and there was no going back. The profit from the new business was only coming in trickles. Survival, at that point was as hard as the fear of hunting itself that had scared me off in my undergraduate days. To add to my woes, my business kicked off when there was the surge of fuel scarcity in Nigeria. Electricity was also irregular, sometimes blinking and at other times, falling into a deep slumber. Though beaten with a blurry vision as a newbie, yet, the clarity of the bigger picture led me on.
On the day that my bag got into the hands of a popular Nigerian celebrity in Nigeria, my business went a notch higher. It was somewhat unbelievable to see my bags shipped in over 16 countries and stores outside the shores of Nigeria. As long as I can remember, social media has been an effective tool in reaching out to the rest of the world as though they were standing right beside me. Before my very eyes, I was ushered into the days of seeing my sales run into hundreds and thousands of bags sold compared to when I struggled to make sales of 10 bags in a month. More machines are now seated pretty and brave in the factory. More and more hands have joined in the production of bags.
It’s funny how time flies but the lessons from the journey lives on forever. Every day, I am left with the job of consistently reading up and staying abreast of trends in the fashion world as a whole. The need to constantly protect my brand and placing a tight quality control can never be overemphasised. The goal is not just sales but taking customers on a journey of the effective and stylish use of the bags.