Grace Isaac Iquot, the CEO of Gren Couture is a young, vibrant beautiful lady who is a student, a fashion designer and also a makeup artist. Grace shared her journey into fashion design and makeup world with us.
STREETCATED: What is your name?
Gren Couture: My name is Grace Isaac Iquot.
STREETCATED: Where do you school?
Gren Couture: I’m an undergraduate studying at Olabisi Onabanjo university. Biochemistry is my course of study.
STREETCATED: What level are you in?
Gren Couture: 3OO level.
STREETCATED: What kind of business are you into?
Gren Couture: Fashion designing, Fashion consulting and Make up.
STREETCATED: Please explain to us what fashion consulting means?
Gren Couture: Fashion consulting has to do with giving people professional advice on their personal or professional look to enhance their personality. We help clients to choose their looks for various occasions. In terms of clothes, make up, accessories and other fashion related things.
STREETCATED: People have different views and definition of fashion, thats why we see different people with different dress sense. So can we know your own definition of fashion?
Gren Couture: My favourite fashion designer Coco Chanel once said and I quote “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only, Fashion is in the sky, it’s in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening”. That is what fashion is to me too.
STREETCATED: When did you start fashion designing?
Gren Couture: Unequivocally, I would say fashion designing has always been my thing. When I was much younger I would go to a tailoring shop in my neighborhood to pick waste fabrics and then sew styles for my doll. Lol. I did a few illustrations too back then. But professionally, I started two years ago and I launched my brand 23 June 2017.
STREETCATED: How did you start and why did you start fashion design?
Gren Couture: Very big question…. okay.
Here’s my little story. 2014, when my mom newly opened her one stop-shop fashion home. I bought a Lycra material from her. I wanted to use it for my matric outfit. I begged her to sew it then she had to remind me what I told her when I was 8. Lol. “I told her not to sew my clothes again because she doesn’t let me pick styles for myself ” (I feel so bad right now remembering I said that to her) ever since then she stopped sewing my clothes. Literally I didn’t feel it because I was away from home throughout my secondary education and was never around for any family parties or occasions that required sewing of clothes.
To cut the long story short…. I decided I was going to sew the dress myself. Then I started watching her closely whenever she was cutting any fabric. And after two weeks I told her I would sew the gown, she laughed and told me that if I should sew it completely she would get me a sewing machine. She gave me the style to cut. And I did even if it took me a month and some days to complete it. And that was it. I really can’t explain how happy I was that day, I was inspired. That was where my fashion designing journey started.
Grace Isaac Iquot CEO Gren Couture
STREETCATED: Did she get you a machine after that?
Gren Couture: Sure she did. She even changed the ownership of the fashion house. That was my biggest gift ever.
STREETCATED: Do you own the fashion house now?
Gren Couture: Yeahhhhhh…. Something like that.
STREETCATED: What’s the name of the fashion house?
Gren Couture: Gren Couture.
STREETCATED: So, your mum has been supportive from the start?
How about your dad?
Gren Couture: Yeah, my mum has been very supportive. My dad too but to some extent. My dad believes in academics a lot so at first, he wasn’t supportive not until I got an award last year (OOUawards) as Fashion designer of the year. I guess he saw that it wouldn’t be easy to get me off fashion designing and since then he gave me his full support. I style his clothes now.
STREETCATED: No way!
Gren Couture: Yes, I do lol
You didn’t learn fashion designing?
Gren Couture: I would say I did. I mean I only knew the basics then, so I still had to learn more to be a pro
STREETCATED: What’s the drive behind your journey into the fashion world?
Gren Couture: Well…. I love to look good and also, I love to see others look good too. So, I guess it’s just my love for fashion, colours and nature.
STREETCATED: Apart from sewing, do you do anything else?
Gren Couture: Yes…. I’m a makeup artist, I sell fabrics and tailoring accessories.
STREETCATED: Do you consider yourself a fashion designer or a stylist?
Gren Couture: Both.
STREETCATED: What were the challenges you faced when you started and how were you able to overcome those challenges?
Gren Couture: I once had issues with delivery and also managing of my time. But now delivery is no more a problem. I basically make use of courier services for that now and for regions within my reach I do the delivery myself. And as for managing of my time…. I always make a to do list everyday but sometimes when the work load is much or if I get an impromptu job I ditch the to do list.
STREETCATED: Do you sew here in school?
Gren Couture: Yes…
STREETCATED: How has been the outcome of this business here in school?
Gren Couture: Some weeks it’s encouraging and some it’s just there. But so far it has been good.
STREETCATED: Some people are shy to tell people what they do, do you feel the same way?
Gren Couture: No way!!! Why should I be? Most people call me Tailor Graycie on campus others “Gren”. Most times I don’t even need to introduce myself……I’ve had people come to ask me if I sew just because of the name I’m being called.
STREETCATED: Can you tell us the amount of clothes you’ve done so far?
Gren Couture: Woo-hoo…… That I can’t say. It’s been 2years already. But I would say it’s over 400.
STREETCATED: Education is the reason we’re in school…
How do you combine this side hustle with school work?
Gren Couture: Pretty hard… Trust me it’s really hard. There was a semester it really affected me but I’m pushing through and I still give God the glory.
STREETCATED: Do you think students should involve themselves in at least one business?
Gren Couture: Sure, they should…. As many as possible businesses they can lay their hands upon. Not for the money because they won’t really get much now, but for their future. You shouldn’t start carrying file folders around after school and waiting on a white-collar job before you can make a living.
STREETCATED: Are your customers majorly students?
Gren Couture: No.
STREETCATED: how much do you sell your fabrics?
Gren Couture: Price range differs… Different materials, different quality and different prices.
STREETCATED: How much do you make up for students?
Gren Couture: Depends and we’re open to negotiations.
STREETCATED: How much do you sew clothes?
Gren Couture: Depends also.
STREETCATED: What are your advice to students who wants to have a start up like you?
Gren Couture: All they need is to be motivated. Find a career you have passion for and do it like your life depends on it because your life might actually depend on it.
STREETCATED: Thanks for giving us your time, I hope when next time we call you for a podcast, youll find time to grace the studio so as to impact knowledge into this generation.
Gren Couture: Sure, your welcome
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.
Gren Couture: Instagram: Tailor_graycie