We bet that as a fashion entrepreneur, you have surely had some ups and downs in running your brand, whether in advertising, customer service, pricing, or any other area. And while it may be slightly difficult to get other fashion entrepreneurs to share their experiences and how they have tackled their challenges, our Fashion Phoenix column is where all the tea is served.
In this column, we focus on how fashion entrepreneurs tackle challenges in their brands while dishing out other helpful tips to entrepreneurs. Previously, we took a look at how Funsho Install of the Install brand was able to grow his brand despite issues around advertising and customer size charting, you can read all about it here.
This week, we spoke to Opeyemi Ademola, the creative director of OpsheByOpshe about how she effectively balances running a clothes and a bag making brand, as well as how her brand utilises the latest fashion trends. So, stay with us as we take you on this interesting journey!
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A post shared by Fashion Designer (@opshebyopshe) on Jul 9, 2020 at 7:25am PDT
A fashion brand that offers unique and exquisite pieces for women at an affordable price is most likely to be well-known, and such is the case of the OpsheByOpshe brand. OpsheByOpshe is a fashion brand that focuses on creating bespoke and ready-to-wear outfits, as well as various forms of contemporary handbags for the modern woman.
This fashion brand is owned by Opeyemi Ademola, an avid creative who had always wanted to be a fashion designer, as her mum had a fashion store growing up.
Opeyemi Ademola started her fashion brand while still in university, as she had just concluded a fashion training due to the strike action at the time. It wasn’t all so rosy at first, just like the case of most fashion entrepreneurs.
“I was so eager to start making clothes and I’d usually borrow a sewing machine from the ground floor of my hostel and carry it all the way to the second floor, just so I could make clothes over the weekend. I made little money, but it was more of doing it for fun than it was about the gains.”
And this was the year she chose a brand name and decided she was in for the long haul. So, as a clothes and bag maker, how does Opeyemi Ademola combine both aspects seamlessly, and does one aspect affect the other? Well, here’s what she had to share.
Fashion Designing And Bag Making – Yay or Nay?
Although both aspects may seem very different at first, there are certain similarities in clothes and bag making that Opeyemi Ademola shared with us that makes it easy to combine the two.
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If you’ve got good eye for prints, you might just be drooling over this one. 🥰🥰 Our circle bags are here to stay and we’re exploring different prints for your style pleasure. 😊 How’d you like this one? Good afternoon fam 🤗
A post shared by Fashion Designer (@opshebyopshe) on Jul 5, 2020 at 5:13am PDT
“Combining bags and clothes isn’t so much of a big deal as they both have common materials to work with. There are fabrics that I’ll buy for clothes and would later realise that it’s way better for bags and vice versa, so they go hand in hand.” – Opeyemi Ademola
However, just like in other fashion brands, challenges may still arise and here are some of the challenges the OpsheByOpshe brand faces.
As you may already know, in running a fashion brand, effective bookkeeping allows the brand owner measure the growth of the brand, as well as keeping them accountable.
And as Oluwole Adenuga, a qualified chartered accountant shared with us,
“Book keeping is pertinent for fashion entrepreneurs to track their investment, fulfil statutory requirements and enjoy government concessions. It also provides a basis in how their business is faring which can be used for persuading investors and financiers.”
One of the main challenges in the OpsheByOpshe brand is record or bookkeeping.
“I struggle with taking proper accounts and this has always had a not so good effect on my brand.”
Sourcing For Materials.
Just like Adewunmi Olowokande of Dew Davies shared as well, sourcing for good quality materials especially for bags can be quite a struggle. And most times, when fashion entrepreneurs cannot find unique materials and don’t want to compromise, business may generally get affected.
“My signature clear bags collection has been on hold for a while now because I can’t find the materials anymore. And it’s so frustrating when you have such a huge market and you can’t deliver.”
Someone please tell Moyinoluwa that her bag is ready… @mz_ekundayo Tell someone to tell someone that one lucky most active follower might just be getting one too. 🥰🥰 If you notice, you’ll see that we’ve now added a circle purse inside our clear bags, this is basically for items that you’d like to keep away from prying eyes 😎 The idea of these clear bags is that you flaunt what’s in your bag so don’t spoil the fun. Get your customized bags for 4500 only. . Good afternoon 🌞
A post shared by Fashion Designer (@opshebyopshe) on Jul 3, 2020 at 5:43am PDT
The OpsheByOpshe brand also trains young individuals looking to cross into the fashion industry space and as a result of this, they have to run quite a number of industrial machines. Running a generator is extremely frustrating, “as without light in a business like mine, there’s no work”, Opeyemi Ademola shared with us.
Although challenges may arise, the best thing to do is to find quick solutions to solve them. Previously, we have looked at how to carry out effective bookkeeping for your fashion brand as a fashion entrepreneur, and you can check it out here.
The importance of finding a constant supplier that can deliver quality materials cannot be overstated. To check where fashion entrepreneurs source for quality materials from, click here.
Most times also, fashion entrepreneurs are too quick to jump on trends without considering in-depth the effect it would have on their brands, whether positive or negative. We also spoke to Opeyemi Ademola about the jumping on the bandwagon of trends, and here’s what she had to share,
“People want to be in vogue, so following the trend let’s people know that you’re not an old school fashion designer. Personally in my brand, when I make clothes that are trending, I get customers who want to trend too.”
However, blindly sticking to trends, like she shared, may have its downsides.
“I do not stick to trends only because if I do, how then can I make trends of my own? My advice to fashion entrepreneurs is that a blend of the old and new trends is the spice of life, and would be really great to utilise.”
So, as a fashion entrepreneur, solely sticking to the fashion trends like iridescent outfits and bishop sleeves may not be the best option, as it is important to sprinkle your personal creativity in your brand generally.
In closing, Opeyemi Ademola had this to share,
“As a fashion entrepreneur, you cannot do everything alone, so you need to learn how to delegate. Your customers are also your biggest referrals, so you need to treat them as such by making your customer service top notch.”
Whether you are just starting out or you have had a few years in the fashion industry game, these nuggets by Opeyemi Ademola is what we leave you with, and remember there is no gain without some pains.