Whether it’s tailoring, selling of fabric or styling, the business of fashion is one that a lot of Nigerian women turn to when their entrepreneurial spirit kicks in and that’s because fashion sells! Especially in Nigeria, fashion and style is one thing Nigerian women do not play with. It’s part of the culture; a way of life. When Nigerian women migrate to foreign lands, they take their fashion and style with them and someone has to provide the fabric needed for the exotic designs women wear to weddings, naming ceremonies and Sunday services. That’s where Folashade Akinpelu comes in.
BattaBox presenter, Mary speaks to London-based Mrs Akinpelu who sells laces, Ankara African prints, Aso Oke (woven headgear) Indian gowns, jewelries, etc.
“Mrs Folashade Akinpelu has lived and worked in London for over 20 years. She used to work as a nurse in hospitals and care nursing homes until she decided to retire and start her own business as a textile trader. “When i got out of school, there was no work, that’s why i came to this country,” she says.
“Most of my customers are women,” she explains “But men always ask for men attires too,” she continues.
Africans are not the only ones who patronize Mrs Akinpelu’s shop, she also gets foreign customers from America, Ireland etc who mostly buy the ready made Adire (tie and dye) tops. But how easy is it for an African woman to own a business in London, Mary asks.
“Its not easy but we need to work to help the family,” Mrs Akinpelu replies.”
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