Ronke was a tailor or was it a fashion designer? Somehow she couldn’t decide. She loved her work and was eager to please her customers. It seemed her customers loved her too, why wouldn’t they? She was charming and so creative with their fabrics. She interpreted their designs like a genius and was so warm about it too.
So Bukky calls with an urgent order. It was bestie’s baby shower and she needed a shift dress that was playful and different. Ronke delivered, it took her one week, Bukky only had to come for fittings twice. She was proud of this one ,simple ,creative and cheeky. Bukky was too pleased , she paid and left smiling .
So the bridal shower was a huge success. Bestie is a people person and her people showed up. There were so many pictures on IG and their hashtag trended for two whole days. But it wasn’t bestie’s bump that got the most likes, it was Bukky’s shift dress. She styled it with a pair of killer heels and got her face beat to perfection. So she did what any satisfied client would do. She added Ronke’s handle and hoped the buzz would reward her tailor …or designer (she also wasn’t sure)
The Buzz did nothing for Ronke. You see the fabric was Bukky’s. The gorgeous green trimmings she added to the neckline was a lucky find and hard as she tried she couldn’t replicate the dress. Her DM was full but she couldn’t convert to sales because she never planned to. What happened next was even more bizarre but hopefully a lesson for us all.
So Ronke got frustrated with all the enquiries she was getting for this one dress. If she had a penny for every time someone asked for the “Pink and Green dress from a baby shower “ she would be rich. But she wasn’t rich because the green and pink fabric was a vintage buy from Bukky’s travels to Singapore and the fitting was made so precisely for Bukky it was near impossible to replicate. It wasn’t for lack of trying. Each attempt left her customer underwhelmed. So she did the only thing she could to buy her some sanity. She deleted the picture from her page and asked Bukky to untag her from the post. Peace at last . Sanity restored . She was back taking fabrics and charming customers with her creativity and warmth.
Meanwhile somewhere in another part of the Country Tolani had just started her ready to wear label. Going through Pinterest for inspiration she stumbles on a cute cheeky dress from a baby shower. Her creative juices started flowing. She got her supplier to create a batik design with a green and pink color mix . She went on Alibaba and ordered an intricately woven trimming as an accent for the dress. She made her version a two piece to help with the fitting and finally she got a curvy size 12 model to wear it, styled her in killer heels and face beat to perfection, she even threw in big loopy earings and an Afro wig just like Bukky. She made just this one dress took a picture with her phone ,posted it on Instagram,tagged all her friends and added trending hashtags. She got her first dm ten minutes after posting. and within a week she had sold 12. The last I checked , Tolani had sold 150 dresses in this design . She has gone ahead to create other versions of this dress and it’s still keeping her busy. She now has the dress in 2 concession stores and on her Instagram page and website.
Tolani is thankful to that lady on Pinterest that inspired her. But it wasnt Bukky that made the magic. It wasn’t even Ronke. It was Tolani and her ready to wear model that allowed her to anticipate success and prepare for it.
So what is the moral of the story?
For every “one off” piece you make you have atleast 150 (unrelated) people who could have paid you for it. Your creativity is truly a special gift from God and it is your right to create wealth from it . It is also your responsibility to touch as many lives with it too. I promise you, creativity is not enough and the most creative of us have been frustrated into giving up because of the unrealistic demands of a Bespoke model especially if it’s not balanced with a ready to wear offering. If you are Ronke, or can identify with her. You need to take my online course “How to start a ready to wear label in Nigeria” and glean from my 17years experience in this space. Click the “Enroll now” button on this site to get started . I am eager to teach what has made Xclamations so successful if you are willing to learn.