In this interview, Habeebatullah Thani, the CEO of one of Ibadan’s emerging fashion brands, Beebahouseofstitches, tells ADEKUNLE SULAIMON about her business, how Ibadan is helping business thrive and her passion for family.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
It’s been a tough and beautiful journey. As a single mum of two, my kids are my whole world. The time I spend with them is my most enjoyed, but mummy also has to put food on the table. I love what I do; the word of fashion is second nature. As an entrepreneur, I spend more time with my kids than I’d want, but the experience is always great, and I love the joy I see from the kids when I walk through the door.
What do you think about the Ibadan environment for business?
Ibadan is an emerging market for most businesses. The environment is serene, the people are lovely, and have welcomed me with open arms. The growth is steady with room for improvement.
How have you been able to help your business thrive in the city?
The people have made it seamless. I can’t underemphasise the enormous support the people of Ibadan have blessed me with. I’ve been able to expand the network of like-minded entrepreneurs that share the same vision as mine.
Can you talk about yourself, starting and building your fashion brand?
I started my fashion brand in 2013; it wasn’t so easy in the beginning because it was somewhat blurry at first. By 2015, I had a clearer vision and that was when I registered my business Beebahouseofstitches. We started with branded shirts, and now we brand, we consult, and style celebrities and other socialites. Building was quite an ordeal as I have failed many times, and through these failures, I have learnt so much and I’m still learning. Let’s just say the brand is still in progress. I am from Ondo State; however, I’m partly Fulani from Sokoto and partly Ghanaian, on my maternal side. I hold a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and business management. I am a fashion entrepreneur and a mother of two lovely kids.
What inspires your work and the ideas surrounding it?
Our brand is a strong one inspired by simplicity while maintaining class and standard. Before Beebahouseofstitches, aka BHOS, style or consult for a client, we take note of our clients’ complexion, body size and shape.
What are your long-term goals being in this line of business?
The goal is simple; to carve a niche in the fashion industry and become one of the biggest African brands in the world. I could easily aim for being the biggest in the state, or in the nation, but the vision is clear…BHOS has no limits.
How do you relax outside the workspace?
I hang out with my biggest loves, my kids. They are the biggest cheerleaders of BHOS. When I get off the business trail, I love to go out and have fun with the kids. I also enjoy owanbes. Yes o! Weddings, birthdays and other happening places. I will be there having a blast. I also enjoy a good book and staying by the pool or beach.
Dealing with clients, what moment would you describe as the toughest?
Any business thrives when clients are happy. So, my toughest moment would be those moments when clients get disappointed with our output. At BHOS, we put our clients at the highest of pedestals. We do everything possible to ensure our clients remain happy and satisfied.
What would you be doing right now if you were not in this line?
You know I’d be heartbroken. I don’t see myself doing anything else than BHOS. There’s so much passion, unexplainable passion I have for fashion and most importantly, the BHOS brand.
What’s your most memorable experience as an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur takes you through a lot. I mean a lot. You get a lot of highs and lows. My most memorable experience would be a culmination of my days building the business. The late nights, staying away from my kids, building my network. It was hard work.
What is your least favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is the dream. With poor scheduling, my least favourite part would be not spending enough time with my family. They put the spark in my eyes; they praise me and encourage me to do better.
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