Everyone is looking for ease. Industries are built on our desire for shortcuts. We are all looking for a magic pill or tool that  would literally melt fat off our waist line and we watch those infomercials with wrapped attention hoping against hope that it could be real, it’s not.

We do the same thing in business. We throw money at schemes that promise quick solutions when the truth is quick fixes are short lived at Best. When people ask me how I did it, how I lost weight and kept it off, I see the disappointment in their eyes when I tell the truth, what they already know, I eat healthy and exercise regularly. I have made healthy living a lifestyle not a weight loss program. 

In business I get asked that too, my answer is not sexy here either, I have stayed relevant because I first committed to staying. I stayed when entrepreneurship wasn’t cool and joined the hype when it was. I stayed when the economy was booming and selling clothes was easy and I stayed when priorities shifted and devaluation forced businesses to close. I stayed when I was inspired and celebrated and stayed still when the applause ceased.

I want to encourage someone today that in business or in fitness the rules of the game remain the same, commitment is the only true currency for sustained success. One day at a time, soon  doing the right thing gets easier, hang in there long enough and it becomes second nature. That’s when you start to experience the ease but before that stay committed.



I don’t like the word Luck. It gives the impression that success has favorites and we have no choice. I much prefer the word GRACE. It’s available to us all but we are left with the choice to use it or not.

I learnt this lesson exactly 200 days ago when i decided to de cluster my house and by extension my life. At the beginning of 2019 i decided i needed to de stress, and for me it meant replacing bad habits with good ones and also creating an environment that was calming and less stress prone. This meant old clothes, shoes, books and some relationships had to go. Anything that didn’t feed my joy or my mind positively was given the boot.

The whole process took me about 40 days to complete but at the end, every corner of my house had been detoxed.

My greatest fear with any new habit is sustaining it but i guarded this one jealously and after 200 days it is clear to me and my family that this new me is here to stay. In 200 days i have not ‘looked for something’ ( a major source of stress for my former self ) in my house because everything has an ‘address’. I have not left my house without laying my bed and turning my diffuse reeds, i have also not been late for an appointment and i have been great at managing stress.

This has spilled over into every area of my life and yes my business and fitness life too. To be a good business person or to stay fit you must first get your life, space and your mind organized. This has nothing to do with Luck. it is time to take control of your life and activate the Grace to take action. The Grace is available to us all.



I have experienced a lot of it lately. The pain in my shoulder and from migraines got me popping pain killers and wincing like a child. I don’t like it. I especially don’t like how it slows me down, holding me back from doing everything i have to do. Unfortunately, pain is part of the game. If you want to up your fitness you will at some point have to face it.

I have learnt in 3 years that pain is a reality but also means different things and you must be discerning enough to interpret and respond right. Now there is pain that says ‘hollup’ you are doing it wrong, when hollup shows up you don’t give up you adjust.

Then there is pain that says ‘backup’ you are pushing too hard, oh i am so familiar with backup and when she shows up you better chill.

There is pain that says ‘keep it up’ this pain you wear with pride, it means you are changing gears and getting stronger.

And there is the pain that says ‘rest up’ don’t fight it just humble yourself before injury humbles you.

it is the same in business. I have experience pain in my business life too and like in fitness, it’s inevitable. I am sensitive too to what the pain is saying. 

Sometimes the pain says you need to fire a good hand to hire a better one, sometimes it’s saying you need to back off and delegate more, once it said ‘you are getting stale you need to reinvent yourself’ and yes many times i learn from pain that it’s okay for me to take a break.

Just like i need to work rest days and recovery days into my fitness program to make me a stronger runner, i have learnt i need to take care of me more to be a better entrepreneur. It’s a hard lesson for one so driven and self motivated but the pain is humbling and as i nurse a sprained shoulder….i admit i am still learning this life lesson.




These are the excuses I have heard so far. Excuses that have prevented people from taking the course . 

  1. I don’t have money: But your lack of knowledge causes your business to loose money and money making opportunities daily. You are right . You really don’t have money.
  2. I am too busy, may be later: Change is NEVER convenient. Time does fly. You do what you prioritize and everything else adjusts.

3.I am not new to the business: Yes you have been in business longer than me but you have done it wrong longer too. This course is not just for beginners it’s for change makers.

4.I don’t like online courses: Really? In 2019? I’ve made my course easy and fun (lots of animation too)but this mindset will hold you back if you don’t change it fast.

5.My customers will stop buying from me if I change to RTW. : One step at a time please. First step is to take the course not shut down your business 😂😂😂😂 There have been some “designer” excuses too, some too ridiculous even for creatives. Excuses reflect our fears of the unknown . Nothing trumps fear like action. Take action. Take the course.

Click the ‘Online course’ button on the site to register for the course.




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


  True Story,

She was an old friend. I treated her the way I treat old friends at my store, with fondness and the familiarity reserved for people you grew up with. I also obliged her request for a discount, an alteration and free delivery, why not? It’s only money and she was loyal or so I thought. I think I experienced my first feeling of betrayal the day I went into her store ( popped in to say hello) and saw a copy(a very poor copy) of my design on her mannequin. Her eager sales girl, anxious to make a customer of me explained that I could order the dress in any color and it would be made for me in Senegal where they were sourced. I called my friend immediately. I asked why she did it , she apologized and said she honestly didn’t think I would mind. She had sent her dress ( the one she bought from me at a discount) to Senegal and they delivered a decent sample and even offered to make the dress in other colors. It was an offer she couldn’t resist. I felt hurt, betrayed and uncharacteristically angry….I might even have raised my voice ( albeit politely 😂) . That season was the lowest point in my business life. What she did exposed my business to copycats and not just any copy cat but the aggressive kind, copycats with even more capacity than me. Copycats that delivered poor copies of my work and cheapened my designs. Customers were dropping like flies, sales were at an all time low and I honestly thought I wouldn’t survive. She didn’t know it but that single act of sending my design to Senegal almost ruined me. But it didn’t…….

Many businesses have been ruined by copycats and I was almost one of them. To be honest I think those who buy these poor cheap copies are just as much victims as I was. In my desperation to save my business and increase my dismal sales numbers I started making cold calls to old customers who had suddenly,abruptly stopped buying from me. One of these customers admitted that she stopped buying because she noticed that my designs, especially some of the pieces she considered expensive and “special “ were being worn by people on the street, very casually. She said she spoke to a few of her friends and they had noticed it too. Her conclusion was “ doesn’t Tomi know who her customers are? Why would she cheapen them like this?” Her words stung. I explained what had happened and her  response changed my life, she said “well I have decided to buy from another brand, it seems her designs are not easy to copy” ( I knew the other designer she was a victim too, but that was not the point 😂).

To survive this season I needed to deliver something that couldn’t be copied. That is exactly what I did . My next collection after that experience changed everything for me and 8 years later my brand is stronger and still delivering “something that can’t be copied”. In my online course I dedicated an entire lesson to how to deal with copycats based on how I survived that season . Copycating is a bigger threat now than it was 8 years ago. Creatives in all industries are vulnerable. The threat no longer has to come to your store or pretend to be a friend, your body of work is just a click away and the copycats are even more sophisticated. Why then am I so unbothered by them. Its because of what i know now. In a way I am thankful for what happened then. It forced my business to a new level and forced a shift in my thinking.

Take the online course “How to start a ready to wear label in Nigeria”  click the link ‘Enroll button’ on the site to start. Don’t wait to go through what I did, learn from my experience. And to the copycats I say “bring it on” 😎. 



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.