MEET HAUWA OJEIFO: BUSINESS STUDENT AND FASHION DESIGNER AT MARIAM MOUSSA CREATIONS

Tell us about yourself My name is actually Hauwa Ojeifo, from Edo State. I grew up in a family of six, my parents,two elder brothers and one elder sister. I am the last. I\'m a Muslim. I attended Bells University, Ota, Ogun State and graduated in 2011. I studied International Business and I\'m presently doing my masters in University of Reading in the UK, (Henley Business School) in Investment Banking and Islamic Finance. When did you start MariamMoussaCreations? MariamMoussa Creations (MMC) started in 2010, although the business had always been there for many years 25 years precisely. My mum was a fashion designer back then, I loved all that she did and stood for. Two years ago, we, my sister (my partner) and I along with support and help from my mum, who\'s my mentor, decided to re-brand the business. So it changed from M&M to MariamMoussa Creations. Describe your business Hmmm, my business, like every other one, is very challenging. We go through all the same challenges present in the fashion industry, some more than others. But, I love my business, I try to make it less complicated to avoid major issues. Basically, we are into ladies fashion, both%20ready-to-wear and couture, we are also make fashion accessories like bags, clutches, earrings, neck and head pieces, bangles and so on, now we just launched our T-shirt collection, \"TRIBALMARK” by MariamMoussa\". All of these have the African feel to them, with the use of ankara, aso-oke and other local fabrics along with regular fabrics. What brought about the name MariamMoussaCreations? The name MariamMoussa is a combination of my parents names, my mum is Maryam and my dad is Musa, so we altered the spellings, hence, MariamMoussa. Then due to the originality of our pieces, Creations *wide grin* What is the inspiration behind MariamMoussaCreations? Well, I have to say its the desire to follow my passion, first off and then the will to share this passion as a means to achieve customer satisfaction and ultimately profitability. What’s your creative/design process like? Quite simple...or so it seems! Hehe. When it\'s ready-to-wear, it all begins with the spark, the idea comes from literally anywhere and then it is sketched out. In my head I already know how I want the fitting to be, so the fabric isn\'t so much of a problem. Once that is done, the cutting and tailoring starts alongside quality control; which I have to say is the hardest stage of it all, but Alhamdulillah its a work-in-progress. From then on, its publicity and marketing till it reaches the final \'consumer\'. However, if it is custom made (orders) I simply work closely with the customer\'s preference whilst offering my expert advice at all times. How did you break into this market? I\'m not even sure I have broken into the market...lol. Anyway, like every business, you need a good team at every stage of the business. You need people who fancy what you do, have like goals and together you all push it insha Allah! I have to say I have been highly favoured. From my first collection...its been positive! I\'m still yet to begin. What drives your choice of Fabric? Choice of fabric is highly determined by the design of the piece to be made, as a designer, once you have sketched the piece, you must have envisioned how you want it to look, the material to be used that will be most appropriate and so on. That\'s just it. Are there particular fabrics you like to work with? Ankara, but specifically, the popular \"Ibo-wrapper\" types they have this local feel, also we\'ve been using a lot of chiffon and baby lace. What do you love most about the work? Seeing the smile of satisfaction from a customer trust me, it\'s an amazing feeling. It brings joy. What advice would you give others who would like to go into this kind of business? Hmmm, just stand for what you believe in, don\'t let others put you down, because you aren\'t popular doesn\'t mean you are nothing. With hardwork, determination and God\'s grace, you\'ll get to whatever heights you want to. It\'s that simple. What are the challenges faced in this line of business? Wow!!! There are%20loads of challenges, not just with MariamMoussa, but in the entire industry. I\'d say manpower, sourcing of original materials, copying of our designs by local tailors, and lots more. What is your personal goal/long term plans/vision? My personal goal is to be seen as the best in whatever I lay my hands on, as for MariamMoussa, to be a major household name in Nigeria and wherever we expand to, Insha Allah. Who is your role model/mentor in this line of business? Truly, I\'d say my mum; she\'s very vast in the knowledge of business, so, yea, she\'s my role model/mentor Do you have time for leisure? If so what do you do? Well, I guess I always have a way of unwinding. We have to make time out of no time, abi? I love watching movies, so I go to the cinemas, hang out with friends, and definitely with my family. Contact Email: [email protected] Twitter: @_mariammoussa Telephone – 08038615641, 08050361629 Blog site – www.mariammoussa.wordpress.com Facebook – www.facebook.com/mariammoussa

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