As I scroll through this post, it shocks me how I suddenly managed to go full-on Oprah on you guys, I promise it was never my intention when I began, and I have no idea where all that came from, LOL! Nevertheless, I hope it moves something within you, like it did me. It would be such a pleasure to hear your thoughts on this; well, somewhat lengthy one, please express your views in the comments.
Vintage, Depth, Soul… Art, Design, Creativity, Fashion, Intensity, Escapism; I always had dreams of a brand that would represent the things I have always been passionate about, I had little interest in any undertaking that wasn't somewhat centered on them.
I always loved to escape into other worlds since I was a child, I was always something of an old soul, never quite fitting into the things that were regarded as normal. Somehow…. It was never enough. I took trips into my own world of fashion, drawing countless sketches of my own definition of clothes. Funny I still have many of them. Writing, music, nature, art, and of course; previous eras were my other favored destinations to escape into. I mostly found the normal world boring. LOL.
And then one day it dawned on me, I had been collecting and styling vintage clothing since the earlier part of my teenage years, I was deeply attracted to the eccentricity, depth and detailing by which they were characterized. They were simply amazing, mysterious and exciting to me. I realized early that they were mostly made out of the finest, most luxurious fabrics and accessories, and that nothing in the stores could compare in quality or uniqueness. Many times I would buy pieces that were completely impossible to wear, just because they looked like Art. To me they were gifts from another era, pieces of art that I was privileged to own. So I continued collecting them, and they became a means to express my very eccentric, unusual sense of style; no way was I content with looking like everybody else.
Back in University, I had this brief stint where I sold vintage pieces, a lot of people wanted in on my unique, quirky clothes, so I thought, why not make them buy theirs? After School was done, I had the privilege of working for Phunkafrique - one of the foremost designers in Lagos till date – and learning so much about the fashion and style business, as well as business and customer management. But mostly, working there made it crystal clear; my dreams were valid, here was a dream that had blossomed into a super successful, renowned fashion brand after years of relentless building, and there I was, now a part of what was once a seemingly inconceivable dream.
So you see, the decision to create a brand that would allow me to express my passion for all things Vintage, for creativity, Fashion and Art wasn't one that was too difficult to make. I just cut into my core and let it bleed. After years of research and preparation, I took my first nervous step in the direction of my dreams, and then another and then another… We began officially in January 2014. While all of my dreams for the brand are far from being fulfilled, I’m more than grateful to even have a story. I really hope you stick around long enough to become part of it. Speaking of you; enough about me, let’s talk about you!
Whatever keeps you up at night, that brain child that keeps pushing to come out of you, that big dream you dare to dream that seems so big that you never quite find the courage to begin, Yes, that is the very one that you must begin to fulfill. If it doesn't terrify you, then it probably isn't big enough. Once you find the courage to take that first terrifying step, to make that first push, the rest will be easier.
Just like pregnancy, you must conceive the child first, and then nurture it within you for as long as it takes till it grows, ask your questions, intern under a leader in the same field, do your crazy, thorough research, take an online course, learn a skill; do whatever it takes to become a beast at whatever you intend to do. Our business society is evolving at the speed of light, the market place is buzzing with a number of brilliant minds, many of whom already provide the services you intend to provide, and have the customers you hope to attract. The competition is real Yo! The need for excellence in our rapidly growing business society cannot be over emphasized, there is absolutely no room for mediocrity. Because 10 years down the line, the brands that will survive and thrive will be those that gave their first few years to building a formidable foundation, not making fast millions.
Everybody’s birth process is completely different, and unique to the particular dream they conceived, so don’t expect to have the same labor pains, or delivery date as the next person. Don’t expect not to have challenges and failures. Don’t waste time comparing your brand with more successful ones, you have no idea how long they underwent their process. Don’t begin a brand that wasn't ever your dream to begin with. If you expect to make quick riches from the very beginning, you are probably in for a big surprise. Don’t expect to conceive the child, nurture, and birth it on the very same day, surely that child if born must be imbecilic.
Your process is a necessary part of your brand direction and success, DO NOT FIGHT THE PROCESS! Enjoy your small beginnings, celebrate your tiny achievements. You’ll find that eventually, the process never lies. But what’s the point of all this talking… If you never even begin?
|1996. Some of the sketches I made when I was I was a wee lass. Don"t judge!|
|Our first collection in our then SOV work space. Sorry you had to meet Alex in her birthday suit..Alex is our darling mannequin, she totally rocks.|
|Alex wearing a stunning SOV blouse off our first collection.|
|Fitting a blouse on the life- form while I worked at Phunkafrique|
|Book-keeping/Inventory at Phunkafrique. Wearing 80's mod dress and cardigan from SOV.|
|Our yummy monochrome SOV shopping bags.|
|Layout of our SOV complimentary card. Did I mention that we designed our brand montage? I'll gush about that in another post. And yes, We have two slogans...just because.|
|We had these rad flyers made too.|
|Weights and monochrome.|
Sending out our meticulously packaged orders to their lovely owners
Happy customer excited over her buys. She got #Soul'"D
|2014. More recent sketches. Mother insists I sketch and design all her clothes.|