MEET AFOLASADE, A BIOCHEMIST IN THE MAKING AND ALSO A FASHION DESIGNER WHO HAS PASSION FOR ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH FASHION. SHE TOLD US OF HER GOOD AND BAD EXPERIENCES IN THE CAUSE OF LEARNING AND HOW SHE DIDNT ALLOW CHALLENGES DETER HER FROM SURGING FORWARD. THERES A WORD OR TWO FOR PEOPLE WHO WILL LOVE TO VENTURE INTO THIS LINE OF BUSINESS.
ODUSANYA AFOLASADE CEO FOLA HOME OF STITCHES
STREETCATED: What is your name?
Fola Home Of Stitches: My name is Odusanya Funmilola Afolasade.
STREETCATED: Where do you school?
Fola Home Of Stitches: I am a student of Olabisi Onabanjo University
STREETCATED: What level are you in?
Fola Home Of Stitches: 400level.
STREETCATED: What kind of business are you into?
Fola Home Of Stitches: I am into tailoring otherwise known as fashion designing.
STREETCATED: When did you start fashion designing?
Fola Home Of Stitches: I started 3years ago when I finished my industrial training. I told my mum I wanted to learn fashion design.
STREETCATED: How was the learning process like?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Sighs…… Good but not so easy at first, but thank God, it’s in the past now and Im still learning
STREETCATED: When did you started learning?
Fola Home Of Stitches: I started February 2015.
STREETCATED: I could remember how you explained being out of HND and then you had white collar jobs in place for you but decided to push further
STREETCATED: How has been the outcome so far?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Bless God, it’s been great and massive.
STREETCATED: What were the thing you had to sacrifice for this skill?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Nothing really Because I learnt it when I was denied going back for my HND program, I was given Part time and with part time one can’t serve. I then felt what’s the usefulness of going for HND without serving? So, I just switched to learning handwork.
STREETCATED: What are the tools needed to become a fashion designer and what does it take to become a fashion designer?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Tools! So many tools this days but the important ones are scissors, tape rule, tailors chalk, ruler, sewing needle, office pin etc… It takes patience, dedication and you must be passionate and fashion conscious too.
STREETCATED: How much do you charge to sew?
Fola Home Of Stitches: It depends on what you want… Different money for different style.
STREETCATED: Where there doubts when you started?
Fola Home Of Stitches: No doubts at all because I was ready to learn but I was the doubts people had, most especially my family members and my boss.
STREETCATED: How was your first job like?
Fola Home Of Stitches: My first job was nice but one thing spoilt the nice part then that almost made me cry, I had no idea machine has different stitching (we have numbers on the machine and I just kept mine on 7 which unknowingly to me was the loose stitching), the person just called to tell me the cloth loosed, I felt bad, but I admitted it was because I was still learning.
STREETCATED: Are your customers majorly students?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Nope, I also have people that are not student patronizing me.
STREETCATED: What are the challenges you faced when you started?
Fola Home Of Stitches: No challenges because my boss didn’t treat me like others, maybe because I went there as an elite and my home is a little bit close to my working place.
STREETCATED: No challenges with getting your materials and the price negotiation with your customers?
Fola Home Of Stitches: It’s been God and he is still in control of that aspect.
Getting materials is kind of stressful, most especially when you are looking for a particular type and the whole of your surroundings don’t have, and the only option is Sagamu, and I also have people I get them from due to the way technology has made everything easier, I beep them to ask if they have what I want or something related to that.
STREETCATED: Do you prefer getting the fabric for the customers and sew or the customer bringing theirs?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Both… on request.
STREETCATED: Do you sketch designs yourself or you sew based on customers preference?
Fola Home Of Stitches: I am yet to sketch designs of my own, I actually made one which I wore for my last birthday. And I sew mostly based on customers references and if the fabric brought to me won’t fit the style wanted, we change styles and I do what will fit them in conjunction with the fabric.
STREETCATED: Do your parents support you having a startup in school?
Fola Home Of Stitches: My mum wasn’t in support, she granted my request to bring my machine to school last year when I came back from IT after a lot of begging, she asked me if it won’t disrupt my academics and to the glory of God it didn’t I even had the best result.
STREETCATED: How did you get your machine?
Fola Home Of Stitches: I got the manual Im using from my sister and I bought an electric machine from part of the money I earned from this work.
STREETCATED: How do you combine tailoring with school?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Sighs!! Like my mentor would say… you fail in one thing or the other when you lack the ability to find balance between different thing. I found the balance between my academics and tailoring. So, both aren’t hindering one another but the time spent with friends reduced.
STREETCATED: How do you do it when you have exam and you must deliver clothes clients have paid for?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Sometimes, Im not bothered because I can cut 8 clothes in a day and still sew them that very day. So, I don’t have problem concerning that because I trained myself to work with time.
During exams, I put clothes on pending and most times whenever I feel idle or tired of reading the different biochemistry pathways, I pick up materials to cut to reduce tension, and thats because I love what I do. lol
STREETCATED: How do you get your customers?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Basically, I put on my clothes which compels people to ask and I also get from coursemates, referrals etc.
STREETCATED: How many hours do you spend on making a cloth?
Fola Home Of Stitches: It depends on the style, some takes 10minutes, 15minutes etc.
STREETCATED: What are the processes involved in making clothes?
Fola Home Of Stitches: There are lot of processes but will mention some essential ones
1. Measurements: measure the individual based on the style he/she wants and the materials
are; Tape rule, Book and Pen.
2. Cutting: Lay your fabric, mark out your measurements based on the style too, for example; in the making of a Gown, you need measurement from the shoulder to gown length short and add allowance (this is very important in all clothes)
Materials; Measuring tape, Tailors chalk, Pen (not advisable on white fabric), Pencil and Ruler
3. Sewing: Take it to your sewing machine to complete
Materials; Thread, Machine needle and Office pin (if necessary)
So how do you work during exams?
Fola Home Of Stitches: I don’t really work, I stop collecting materials from customers except if its very urgent and will pay for emergency.
STREETCATED: How do you advertise your handwork to people?
Fola Home Of Stitches: I advertise with whatever I wear, I model them myself.
STREETCATED: From the start, you knew tailoring was one lucrative business?
Fola Home Of Stitches: yes!
STREETCATED: What’s the name of your brand?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Fola Home Of Stitches.
STREETCATED: How do you feel when people tell you that they can get a particular work done at a cheaper rate elsewhere?
Fola Home Of Stitches: …. It’s a free world but I try convince them that our works are different. I don’t feel bad, one thing I know is finishing…. Finishing really matters in clothes, anyone I have sewn for can check the inner of their clothes and outside, always nice. So, I tell them to go to them because I know what is meant for me won’t pass me by
STREETCATED: So for you, finishing really matter and it’s the key point?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Sure, every tailor should know that
STREETCATED: Can students afford them?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Yes, they can My money isn’t expensive, Im considerate too because I know we all are students and people looking good in my outfit is one of my priority.
STREETCATED: So, you don’t hustle for customers?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Honestly I don’t, works I have done for people direct customers to me and the way I rock my brand… So yes!
STREETCATED: The likes of who do you look up to in the fashion world?
Fola Home Of Stitches: The likes of CEO LUMINEE, her works inspires me a lot.
STREETCATED: Can you grade since you’ve started to where you’re now in fashion?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Uhnnnnn Left to me, I will like people to do that for me but I will rate myself 85% because Im still a work in progress, there are more to fashion/tailoring.
STREETCATED: Are there times where you wanted to give up in this business?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Nope, there was never a time because I love and enjoy what Im doing it. It’s PASSION DRIVEN and I wasn’t forced to learn the work, it was a thing of the heart, so the thought of giving up has never crossed my mind.
STREETCATED: What keeps you going, what motivates you to do better?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Feedback from customers and my mamas prayers.
STREETCATED: What’s your advice to students who wants to have a start up like you?
Fola Home Of Stitches: Be determined. The race is not for the swift but one who can endure to the last, lot of shit happens most especially when learning but just a matter of time to achieve whatever you need to achieve and everything works for good and also do not forget to put God first, pray concerning anything you want to delve into and I believe you will laugh last.
STREETCATED: We’d like to have your social media handles in case of people who would like to reach you, and get to see what you’ve done with this wonderful business and of course patronize you.
Fola Home Of Stitches: IG: @folahomeofstitches, @folacutie
STREETCATED: Thanks for giving us your time, I hope when next time we call you for a podcast, you’ll find time to grace the studio so as to impact knowledge into this generation.
Fola Home Of Stitches: Most welcome anytime.
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