‘A lot of people felt I was too young to do Aso-Ooke business’
Funmilayo Niyi-Adelakun, a graduate of Business Education from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Twentyeight02, in this interview with TAYO GESINDE, she speaks about her foray into business and how she has been combining her business with the home front.
What motivated you to go into aso-oke business?
I had always been involved in petty trading right from my tertiary school days; I had always wanted to own a big business house. I chose aso-oke because of the work of art that is involved in its production and the elegance of the finished work.
What were the challenges you faced when you started your business?
I faced a lot of challenges when I started the business; one of it is client base, I needed to have a lot of them -in my corner, returning clients, new clients and all, a lot of them felt I was too young to run such a business like its meant for the mid aged women.
What distinguishes your business from others?
My aso-oke is very affordable and of high quality, everyone is my target audience as aso-oke is worn by everyone- men, women, children and adult. There’s a huge difference between my aso-oke and what is sold in the market, like I said earlier, I weave to my clients specification in terms of colour combination, quality, length and more special feature the clients need.
Where do you source for you aso-oke. Do you buy them from the weavers?
I make them myself, I have a couple of weavers that work with me which makes it easier, I weave to our client specification, and of course we source for our raw materials from the market.
Where do you see your business in five years time?
Five years from now, I see my business as one of the most sought after aso-oke vendor in Nigeria.
Is aso-oke business as lucrative as ankara?
Ankara and aso-oke business can’t be compared, ankara is more like an everyday fabric used by all, while aso-oke is used mostly for special events and it is also used majorly by a particular tribe. The turnover is huge when done in large number (aso-ebi) .I also sell ankara and other male fabric.
How have you been combining your business with the home front?
It’s not been easy but I just have to cope, most times, I just have to work from home after work hours to meet up.
What advice do you have for potential entrepreneur?
Start from where you are, with the little you have, don’t stop working because you are yet to break even some day. You’ll break forth, also learn to be truthful in all you do.