Opeyemi Omolola, the founder Lizzy Clothings, tells OLAJIDE SAMUEL about her entrepreneurial journey
How would you describe your work?
Seeing people dress well gives me joy. It is my passion. Making sure men look good without having to break the bank excites me.Styling men and selling quality fabrics that does not fade, wash or shred is our upmost priority. I started selling fabrics because I admire men that look flamboyant and gorgeous in beautiful native attires. Asides that, I also analyze what can be better done when a man dresses.
Which schools did you attend?
For my elementary education, I attended Kups Nursery and Primary, Osun State. Then I went on to Kingston High School in Lagos for my secondary school education. I graduated from Ajayi Crowther University with a degree in Mass Communication.
What were the challenges you encountered when you started out your fabrics business
The challenges were so much that I wanted to give up.I just wanted to quit the whole business. Imagine keeping fabrics in your store for months without getting people to patronize you. Aside that, customers paying for what they bought was also a major challenge because I gave some of them on credit. However, the challenges made me stronger. I have been able to learn lots of lessons from them.
How do you think young Nigerians can actualize their entrepreneurial dreams?
I believe young Nigerians can actualize their entrepreneurial dreams if they get support from the government. Also, the little support from friends, families and clients goes a long way in one’s business. Government need to provide platforms where young Nigerians can get funds and support to achieve their dreams. I mean real support, not ‘audio’ support.
What challenges do you face as a young entrepreneur?
Brand recognition is one of my biggest challenges so far. Not so many people recognize my brand yet because it’s not yet a celebrity brand. I however use social media and other platforms within my power to promote the business. It’s not been easy, but it would get better. Believe me when I say I offer excellent fabrics to my clients. I ensure I am committed to getting better and making our customers smile.
What services does your business render?
We render bespoke tailoring, sales of quality and affordable fabrics, all kind of accessories to make men look good. We also style men for events.
How do you unwind?
Most times, I love hanging out with friends, networking and socializing. On some days, I just want to have my ‘me’ time to myself. Such days, I stay at home, watch movies, read books and relax. Also, I go swimming when I need to think or cool my head off.
What are the biggest errors you think women make when it comes to pursuing their dreams and starting a business?
I think the common one is procrastination. Women mostly procrastinate about doing things. Another thing is fear of failure. Yes I had that same issue when I started my business but I read books that motivated me, I got encouraging words from people and I always envisioned my future, how I want my future to be like. These things motivated me to keep pushing.I kept at it and became resilient.
How have you been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and its resultant effect on businesses and the economy?
To be honest, it has not been so easy because the pandemic affected so many things. It affected inflation. The exchange rate is also affecting our business. But all in all, God has been faithful. God blessed me with amazing customers because they kept on patronizing me notwithstanding.
What are the greatest business lessons you have learnt over the years?
Managing one’s finances and managing clients. One thing I always keep telling people is “Don’t do things to impress anybody”. Start your business with total transparency and genuine intentions. Ensure you earn the trust of your customers because they will be the one referring your business. Time will come when you no longer need to advertise yourself because your customers are literally doing the whole advertisement for you and you can only earn that through the integrity you put in your business.
How do you handle tough clients?
There will be tough clients in every business. I try as much as possible to be calm when dealing with situations like that. They have what they want and I ensure I get to the root of the problem. Giving customers total satisfaction is our priority and I always ensure I work towards to the best of my ability.
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