When Cynthia decided to go into the business of fashion it was based on the overwhelming number of compliments she received for her unique style. It seemed she had a gift to somehow make anything look good on her. Friends looked forward to seeing how she would transform a simple Ankara dress code into a red carpet worthy moment. Her mum noticed it too and made her the official family stylist at photo shoots and events. Those were the simple days. 

Her passion for fashion was one thing, her sewing skills were also admirable. She learnt from the best, her aunt who lived with her had taught her how to sew as a child, she was clearly meant to do this, so she did.

She created a collection of trendy party dresses, work dresses and casual dresses. She travelled to China and produced them. Her friend had given her a few leads. The factory made 300 pieces of each design in variety of colors and prints. They looked lovely. She tried on a sample and it was perfect.

2 months after her return to Lagos her orders were ready and shipped down. She had decided to run her business from home and online through her website and instagram. Sourcing from China meant her costs would be low and her pricing competitive. All her friends would be invited for the launch of the brand and already she was getting orders from those who saw the pictures posted of the samples. She would be sold out in no time. Or so she thought….

The first disappointment came when she noticed that all the work dresses were a whole 3 inches shorter than what she expected. Then there was the quality of the fabric of the purple swing dress , the exact one she sampled and posted all over her social media Channels . The blue cape dress , and all the shirt dresses were fine but the blazer dress , her proposed signature design, was not fine, the sleeves were all cut small, too small. She began to panic. She called the factory, all they had to say was “sorry” they were happy to alter if she sent all the pieces back, but  she would have to bare the cost of shipment. She couldn’t afford that . She instead said a prayer and hoped for the best. 

The launch was a success. All her “fans” showed up. The shirt dresses did great, she sold 70 of them. As expected the blazer dresses were loved by all. But only 2 people could get there arms through. The work dresses, swing dresses also didn’t sell, “too short” people said . Too bad

I met Cynthia a year after she launched her label. She still had a store full of inventory she couldn’t sell but this time a head full of relevant knowledge of how to do it right. She stumbled on my online course “How to start a ready to wear label in Nigeria” and registered immediately. She said it was the module on production she loved the most. If only she had taken the course sooner she would have learnt exactly how to handle outsourcing internationally. Now “she knew better” and was going to give it another go. 

You don’t need to make expensive mistakes before acquiring practical relevant knowledge. Click the ‘Enroll now’ button on the site to start the course “How to start a ready to wear label in Nigeria “ immediately. 


  1. Amaka says:

    Woah. A lesson learnt interesting read

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