Month: July 2019



I have mentored a lot of designers in my time. Some of my mentees I don’t even know, they reach out once in a while by email or dm to thank me for sharing an impactful word in my newsletter, podcast or post that inspired, educated or motivated them. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to share. Nothing is more rewarding for a mentor, teacher or coach than seeing your student grow wings and perform. That is the case with me and one of my mentees Detola.

Detola was a hard worker and she was gifted too. Like many she started her fashion business because she was passionate. Every time we met she shared her frustrations. Her business was not attracting her ideal clients, her brand was not getting the opportunities she felt it needed, even her friends were not buying from her, what was her problem?

Her problem was simple, she was waiting for opportunities to find her instead of creating them herself. No amount of coaching, free or expensive can replace action. No amount of wishing or complaining can change your circumstance without movement.

Detola did something powerful, after 5 years of mentoring she started to take action. She did everything I advised. First of all followed my formula for building a winning collection (a collection that sells), collaborated with 2 other brands and invested in some amazing PR. After 10years in fashion things started to change. Now Detola is in her zone. Attracting her ideal clients and no longer waiting for her break through or her friends. She is the break through, and her clients love her brand.

I saw her at the Fashion Souk. One of the dignitaries was wearing her dress. Someone asked me whose design it was, I smiled and directed them to her stall. I can’t tell you how it made me feel to see her glow. You all need to thank her for this online course . People like her inspired me to put together the online course.

You can also take action, stop complaining, stop waiting for opportunities, learn how to create yours.

Click the “Enroll now” button on the site to register for the online course “How to start a ready to wear label in Nigeria “.



True Story, 

She had been one of my regulars for 3 years before she asked for a custom jumpsuit. It didn’t matter that she lived and worked in London, she considered Xclamations one of her favourite brands and most certainly her go to brand for jumpsuits.

I do have a template for bespoke. It involves the client filling or answering a 15 questions long questionnaire. Then at least 2 samples are made, if the client is out of the country or not available, a fit model in her size will be used to fit the samples in her place. Finally the 3rd sample is made in the proposed fabric and it is the 3rd piece that can be sold to her, fitted for her or at the worst rejected. The more samples we make, the more expensive the dress. The longer the process, the more expensive the outfit. Luckily in this case the 3rd sample fit perfectly. She was so happy and even did a little dance in front of the mirror, a dance meant this was a slam dunk!!!

She paid a premium for that jumpsuit albeit the lower end of the possible price. She left pleased knowing she had gotten herself a one of a kind piece, one no one else would own for at least 3 months after her birthday (that was the agreement she signed). This process took one and a half months.

It was almost like the universe had a point to prove. The day after my bespoke order was picked we had another regular but 11 items off our ready to wear collection. She also lives and works in the Uk but simply selected pieces off our Instagram page and they have been shipped to her. While I enjoy pleasing clients,I can’t help but consider which of these two transactions gives more value to my time and efforts. There is a place for Bespoke and ready to wear in your business but if you had to apportion time I would say definitely invest more of your creative energy and time to ready to wear. My business is 99.9% ready to wear and the .1% I cherry pick and certainly create a  system for. 

In 7days on the 15th of July we will close registration for my online course “How to start a ready to wear label in Nigeria “ on that day also we will increase the price of the course. It means this is the lowest amount you will ever be able to pay for the course. I am excited to have more people learn from my mistakes and possibly avoid them but more importantly I want to see more fashion entrepreneurs create sustainable wealth from their talents. You deserve to enjoy what you do and you deserve to earn good money off your gift while touching the world with it. This is what the course is all about.

Click the “Enroll now” button on the site to start the course now.



These are not my words and they weren’t said to me but hearing them still stung. 

Moroti was a hard worker and she was super stylish too. She had been in the business of fashion for 2 years but this time she decided she was tired of Bespoke and would instead transition slowly and strategically to ready to wear.  Her plan was to participate in a few runway shows for visibility, attend a few parties for networking and finally work the exhibition circuit for sales. Great idea right? Well let’s see….

Her first runway show earned her a standing Ovation. The audience was filled with her friends, family and clients so she didn’t let it get to her head. She got an interview from an international blogger asking for the inspiration behind the collection and where it was stocked….it felt good articulating her thoughts and her creative point of view. The parties came in quick succession. There was the 30th birthday party of an Instagram celebrity, the wedding reception of the daughter of popular business man and ofcourse the product launch of a foreign franchise. She got great pictures, and even more prospects. Finally it was time for her first exhibition. This was the point where all her efforts would translate to sales . She had spent 3 weeks in production. Her selection for the exhibition were based on feedback she got from the shows , the parties and comments on her IG posts . The stall was beautiful. The clothes were gorgeous and decently finished. This was where we met. I couldn’t get over how exquisite her pieces were. But I noticed something else, people came in to her stand, Ooooed and Aaaaed but left without buying. A few people tried on the jackets , even took selfies but didn’t buy. Finally her sister came in and uttered  the three dreaded words “Your collection sucks” I thought that was harsh . The collection definitely didn’t suck but she had done a few things wrong. A few things that translated into her not selling anything at an exhibition that saw other brands smiling to the bank.

What do you think she did wrong?

Moroti did many things wrong . These cost her sales but worst still it cost her her vision. She decided to revert back to her Bespoke business, concluding like many that ready to wear doesn’t work in Nigeria. She was wrong again. The problem wasn’t with the business model, the problem was with her collection. 

I see this happening often. A design gets applauded on the runway,compliments when worn, likes when posted but none of these convert to sales. A winning collection is a collection that sells. There is no other measure more important than this.

In my online course I dedicate an entire module to building a winning collection for your ready to wear brand. I took time making this one of the longest modules in the course because clothes that sell are what the business is all about. There are no text book theories here, I reveal strategies I still use at xclamations and they still work. I wish Moroti took the course before giving up. I wish you would take the course before creating your collection for summer or Christmas. Invest in this before you waste money on a collection that does all but sell.

Click the “Enroll button” on the site to start the course .


The Power of ONE

  True Story,

In her defense she didn’t know the true value of that one design. If she did she wouldn’t have bothered to ask that question. “So how much to make this jumpsuit just for me?” “Nothing you can pay me would be enough” I responded. I wasn’t being arrogant. I have been told I somehow come across too blunt or too self assured but this time I was just stating a fact. Thankfully she didn’t push it. She Paid for the sample piece and was satisfied with atleast being the first to get it. The first of many.

We christened that jumpsuit “The Labu” and just as I had prophesied,nothing she could have paid me would have been worth its value. The opportunity cost of selling that piece as a one off was more than either of us could afford . The Labu is 2years old now. It’s sold out several times over . It’s been sold in the UK,the US,SA, Brazil,Ghana,I’ve truly lost count of the countries it has reached.It’s been the bestseller at international exhibitions and earned us income in several currencies. The Labu has opened my brand to new customers, new markets and a new demography. This one design has inspired a new product category and several accessories that encourage up-selling and cross selling. That is the power of one design. The Labu wasn’t just a lucky find though. The pattern and fabrics used to deliver this winner were painstakingly constructed and sourced across several continents. Several samples were made and remade and it took 3months to deliver the first collection after the first sample was approved. 

2years on I am thankful for a ready to wear model that allows me to truly benefit from my creativity and hard work. How many Bespoke pieces have ended up as one offs in the closet of a celebrity that truly wore it just once and gave it away thereafter ,earning the designer likes but no wealth. 

So how much can you pay me for a one off? Not nearly enough .

Thinking of starting your ready to wear line ? Click the “Enroll button” on the site.

The Power of ONE