An eye for style and design: Lanre, stylist, broker, trader
I like fabrics, local fabrics, Nigerian fabrics. And I just like ‘Oh, she’s wearing this -’ and it’s made locally, it’s made here in Nigeria: that was what pushed me to the business. I think they are better than the imported ones. I have customers that will tell me, Lanre, send samples on WhatsApp. Then I’ll take a picture and send samples so they can pick the ones they want.
I started with N500,000, that was a lot then. I had to travel up to the North where you get the fabric from: 24 hours by bus. You can go by air but it’s more expensive. We charter from the market here up to the market in Kano . Once a week, twice a week, depends on the volume of what you want to buy. Sometimes you go with people, strangers that you’ve never met before. You chat on the way and you get to know each other.
It’s a big market. If you see what you like you just go into the shop and you tell them, Oh, how much is this? Can I get like 500 pieces of this? Can I get 1000 pieces of this? And if they say yes, that’s it. Even though they don’t know where you - they just see you in the market as a regular customer. They don’t know where your own shop is as in where you came from: they just know okay, she’s from Ibadan. It’s only on trust: this person is my customer, she will always come back.
It’s something I like doing. It’s like, Oh, she picked our cloth for us and it’s the best! This is what we picked, and it’s because of the colour. It matches. You can use a blue head tie, you can use a teal head tie, I think this is wine colour? then a black head tie with it. And the price was cheap. It was a very good price, a reasonable price.