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We Talk Style With Zeinora Styles’ Chief Designer

We introduce our MSME Life personality of the week, Glory Omojiade the owner-originator of ZEINORA STYLES. She was born in Lagos on 27th November xxxx, and apart from her time at the University of Benin where she obtained her first degree, Glory has spent all her life here in Lagos and so considers herself a full ”Lagos girl”.

For her, growing up was a bittersweet experience…

…having lost her mother very early in life. But she had amazing elder sisters who taught her the essence of life, and about knowing what is best in all situations, and the importance of making the best happen for yourself.

Glory is passionate about her work, remains humble in spite of her immense talent, but most of all, she has maintained her steadfast belief in God.

Glory’s ZEINORA creates unique styles for men, women, and children of all ages. In her own words, ”Zeinora is fashion that transcends trend with an expression of  class, and style”.

What was your inspiration?

I worked in a corporate organization as project support officer for over four years. I enjoyed my work but I knew there was something missing, so at the first opportunity, I jumped ship and decided to pursue my true passion and create ZEINORA STYLES.

Fashion has always been a part of me. When I was I child, I loved combining outfits and looking good in my own little way.

I learnt the difference between good and bad stitches from a very early age and naughtily made jokes about the bad ones as little as I was. But I could always spot the mistakes on clothes and I would point them out and give suggestions on how things were supposed to be. By the time I was a teenager, I had made up my mind to make a difference in the fashion industry.

What is your Target audience?

It is basically any individual that values elegance and style.

How long has the business been in existence?  Formally, it has been less than a year, but I have been making clothes now for about 2 years. When it became obvious I would need extra capital to expand the business, I decided to register the trading name and apply to a few SME funds for grants.

What challenges did you face in launching the business?

Well, I faced a lot of challenges. Honestly, fear was my greatest challenge because I had not run a business before. There were questions on how I would sustain myself, the business, and how successful it will be. Finance was a big challenge too, not having enough money to establish in full. The location was also a concern to me knowing the cost of decent accommodation in Lagos. Of course, I wanted a place which was accessible by customers, and conducive to work in.
Staff and time were not really issues.

What has helped you sustain the business so far?

Firstly, I would say God’s mercy. Then there’s my desire and passion for fashion. I love to create impact.

Clients’ satisfaction is very important to me. My integrity, my reputation, matter to me a great deal, which is why I try as much as I can not to disappoint my clients and so far God has helped me to achieve that.

I also maintain good communication with my clients because customer service is actually a big part of the business. There are many many designers and clothes makers, but there should be only one on my clients’ minds.

I always try my best to be innovative with my styles. For me, the ability to re-create is a key skill for every leader. I look for the latest and nicest trends mostly online and re-create them. This has also helped me to develop my sewing skills.

Did you seek bank funding?

Personally, I don’t like loans, especially in a startup business. I felt servicing the loan might be on the high side for the business. So, no, I

Do you have a business plan? Was it professionally written? Or did you write it yourself?

Not yet. But it’s in the pipeline. Over time, as the business has evolved, I have seen myself changing direction and acquiring new skills in new areas I didn’t think of before. So in a way, it’s good I didn’t rush to do a business plan before actually understanding the business firsthand. Thankfully, I was able to learn about the business under the safety of a tutor.

Did you train formally/informally for the business before you started? Practical (hands-on experience under a tutor/trainer/mentor? Classroom style training:
I trained formally, did a lot of practical work under an experienced tutor and trainer; we also did a lot of classroom style training.

If finance was offered to Zeinora Styles today, How would you secure it?

Securing finance depends on the terms of payback; based on the income generated from the business. If the returns from the business cannot secure the loan, then I’m not sure I would be eligible for it.

What form of IT do you use in your business?

The internet. It is a major source of ideas for me and there is no limit to what inspiring designs you can find online.

Do you have a corporate account separate from your personal account?

Not yet, but it is a prerequisite for virtually all the SME funds I’m looking to apply to and so it is a must I set that up soon.

Where do you see your business in 5 years? Which big company are you benchmarking against?

I see ZEINORA STYLES well footed in the fashion industry well-known nationally and internationally. I really admire Valissimo fashion, Dakova, and Mudi.

Do you have any regrets?

Not at all because I love what I do now; it has been my passion and I am happy that finally, I am on it.

With your experience so far, what advice do you have for other young people who would like to start-up a business?

Fashion for me is encompassing; it is not just about the fabrics but also about beauty and originality. So the first thing is, you have to like what you do. Or rather, do what you like. What you enjoy. Be honest and transparent in your business. Customer satisfaction is a vital part of the business, and remember to always maintain good communication with your clients.

The start of the road is not always smooth but with prayer, persistence, and hard work, you will achieve your dream.

 

Glory Omojiade

Chief Designer, Zeinora Styles

0803 443 3766

glory.omojiade@gmail.com

 

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