We had a chat with Elsie Moses, a student of the university of Lagos, Elsie major in custom clothing. A business you can start with just 7 thousand naira in your pocket. 7 thousand is nothing to most of you but it can actually start something this lucrative. Have a good read and be inspired…
STREETCATED: What is your name?
ELM: Elsie Emesomi Ogianyo
STREETCATED: Nice having you around Elsie. Where do you school?
What’s your course of study and level?
ELM: University of Lagos, Cell biology and genetics is my course of study, Im in 400 level.
STREETCATED: What kind of business do you do?
ELM: Clothing. I make statement tees and I also do mass shirt productions for companies and individuals.
STREETCATED: That’s huge.
What made you start this business?
ELM: I’ve always loved clothes and I like the fact that you can make a statement by what you’re putting on. If you’re supporting or fighting for a cause or even if you just want to say what’s on your mind, without even speaking but by putting it on T-shirt.
ELM: I also plan to branch out to making other forms of clothing and I felt it’ll be good to start from somewhere.
STREETCATED: To execute an idea, the first thing is to start.
This is not just about making money and keeping a brand for you. Its about being heard. Making a statement with shirts on people?
ELM: It’s also about making money and being a brand in addition to all of that.
STREETCATED: Can you give us examples of the statements youve made with your clothing?
ELM: Yes, the Unbothered is just a reflection of the state of mind in which I’m not worried or bothered about anything because i know God’s got me.
ELM: Feminist Is me saying that I stand with feminism. I’m all for women’s right and fair/equal treatment of women and I’d like people to be aware of it.
STREETCATED: So, this is just a tip of the iceberg?
ELM: Very small tip of the iceberg. I have plans to expand into other areas by God’s grace.
STREETCATED: How much did you start with?
ELM: Started out with 7k.
STREETCATED: Why custom clothing business out of all other businesses around?
ELM: I’d like to eventually run my clothing line that’s encompasses all kinds of clothes not just shirts, I’m starting out with shirts because Its just a way of me slowly easing into the world of clothing and fashion business.
So, when I finally expand I’ll already be a known brand.
When did you start this business?
ELM: I launched officially February this year.
STREETCATED: What were the challenges you faced when you started and how were you able to overcome those challenges?
ELM: Being able reach a larger market to let them know about what I do has been one key challenge for me.
I’m still working on that but I can say that social media platforms like Twitter has helped a lot with that because I get to advertise my business there and reach a wide audience for free.
STREETCATED: How do you balance this “side hustle ” with school?
ELM: I’m in final year now and my course load is less so I have free time on my hands to run my business but to prevent it from clashing with school work I simply prioritise. I do school work first most times.
STREETCATED: And during exams how do you cope?
ELM: I don’t do business at all during exams. I shift all orders and requests till afterwards.
STREETCATED: How do you feel when you tell people what you do?
ELM: I feel happy. A lot of people even strangers have shown support for what I do and it keeps me going. Even though it’s not been as easy as I thought but I’m getting there.
STREETCATED: You dont feel shy?
ELM: At all
STREETCATED: Were your parents okay with you having a business when you started?
ELM: My mum is. And she’s been pretty supportive
STREETCATED: So how do you get your customers?
ELM: Social media and referrals.
STREETCATED: How has been the business so far?
ELM: Slow sometimes, great other times. Has its up’s and downs like every other business but I’m learning to trust the process.
STREETCATED: That’s business for you.
Can you tell us how long it takes to make a shirt for a customer?
ELM: 2-3 working days after payment.
ELM CEO ELSIE EMESOMI OGIANYO
STREETCATED: What are the steps taken when making the shirt?
ELM: Designing, heat transfer of the design to the shirt, putting labels and then packaging.
STREETCATED: Where do you see your business in 5 years?
ELM: As a household name and brand. Hoping that by then everyone should have heard of Elsie Moses and should own one or two of my clothing.
STREETCATED: Do you do delivering within Lagos alone?
ELM: Delivery is nationwide.
STREETCATED: Whats Your advice to students who wants to have a start up like you?
ELM: I’d simply say that being an entrepreneur is not easy, you must be ready to work harder than you’ve ever worked, diligence and consistency should also be your watch word.
STREETCATED: Wed like to have your social media handles in case people would like to reach you, and get to see what youve done with this wonderful business and of course patronize you.
ELM: IG and Twitter: elm_elsiemoses
phone number: +23407087737321
STREETCATED: Thanks for giving us your time, I hope when next we call you for a podcast, youd find time to grace the studio so as to impact knowledge into this generation.
ELM: Youre welcome, I look forward to that time.
Do you know students who have startups and still do very well in their academics?
Tell them to contact me on 08092209871. This is to inspire others who really want to start something with their free time.
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