As designers, our dreams are similar: to have our designs mass produced for more customers to have the opportunity to wear our garment. For years, I searched for manufacturers that were affordable, who did not require high minimum order quantities and could truly comprehend what I wanted to produce. Two years ago, I was fortunate to find a group of talented individuals who helped with producing small batch orders for OYATO and it has been a game changer for us. Earlier, this year my team and I made the decision to give other designers the same chance at making their dream a reality.
As a woman of Nigerian descent, I found it very humbling to experience firsthand the many talents evident in Nigeria. Talents I know for a fact can be found throughout the continent of Africa just waiting to be further tapped into and invested in. With that in mind, I decided to look past China, India and some other countries for manufacturing and to focus on Africa, Nigeria for starters. These past couple of years of testing the manufacturing field in Nigeria has amazed me. Why, you ask? I say this because even though power is a constant issue, infrastructure is still being developed and the government can be questionable, the people of Nigeria still find ways to make the impossible happen regardless of the state of the country.
That is resilience… and in this industry that is needed alongside talent to succeed.
Growing up, I was told if you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to get far, go together. Community is something I truly believe in, so I want to open this avenue for fashion designers, enthusiasts, boutiques and/or bloggers looking to manufacture in Nigeria. I know the struggle of finding the right manufacturer, so I am here to lend a helping hand. We have expanded our work force from just have a handful of tailors to pattern makers, technical designers, quality control managers, operations managers and more. We want to bridge that gap from designer to manufacturers to make the experience less stressful.
So how does all this work? To learn more about this project, click here.