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Akinola Blessing Olajumoke is a final year student of Business Administration in Ekiti State University. She is a fashion designer who is very passionate about fashion. Blessing draws her inspiration from singing and dancing.

She shares her “Ruby Girls” story with the team.

1. Let’s meet you. Who is Blessing?

My name is Akinola Blessing Olajumoke, a 400 level Business Administration student from Ekiti state University. I’m also a fashion designer by profession based in Ibadan. I love fashion and all the goodness it can brings.

2. What made you venture into the fashion industry?

It happened a long time ago when I gave my Christmas cloth to a tailor to sew for me but the tailor disappointed me so I had to wait till she was done with the cloth then I saw the process of how she made the cloth. I got home that day then I made up my mind never to be disappointed by any fashion designer again because I’m going to become one myself.

3. Your hobbies and also an accessory you cannot leave home without?

I like singing and dancing a lot even when sewing, I listen to music for inspiration. The accessory I cannot leave home without is my hand bag because I love bags a lot.

4. What are the challenges you faced when you started out as an entrepreneur. Do you still experience them? And also how were you able to overcome them?

Well, there are many challenges one is bound to face as an entrepreneur especially if you’re a fashion designer, as we all know some customers bring styles that are not suitable for their body shape and when they don’t like the outcome it’s something else for the designer. At times they bring fabrics that are not suitable for the design they picked but at the same time you have to make it for them and when it comes to the issue of making payments some clients don’t want to pay but they want something more than they can afford.

Yes I still experience some, I’ve overcome some. I set a standard for myself and that was how I got rid of some of these challenges.

6. Being a student, how have you been able to juggle school work with fashion?

So far so good it has been easy for me because I know where I’m already headed so I did not let being a student distract me from doing what I love the most which is sewing so even if I receive fabrics during my exams I still sew them.

7. What has the Covid-19 pandemic taught you as an individual, brand and business owner?

This pandemic period made me realize that nothing is impossible. While everyone was bored looking for one thing or the other to do, ideas on what to do and how to do them just kept popping in my head. It got to a point, I could not sleep at night because I was always up thinking of what next to be done.

8. Do you have any role model in the fashion industry? If yes, who?*

For now I am looking up to myself.

9. What are the challenges young Nigerian entrepreneurs face? How can it be mitigated?*

Inability to take risks and lack of moral support are some of the challenges young entrepreneurs face in Nigeria, some don’t even know much about the business before venturing into it.

Live and let’s live is a popular saying and I think if we should start supporting each other’s business no matter how small the business is may change people’s view about entrepreneurship, then we should learn to take risks no matter how big it is.

10. Apart from fashion designing, what other things are you involved in?

Nothing for the time being.

11. One thing you’ll like to change about yourself.*

Nothing for now.

12. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?*

My mom,she was the one that supported my dream of becoming a fashion designer.
My elder sister, her fashion sense was what inspired me as a young designer.

My school mother (omma), her will to survive in any situation she finds herself is a whole bag of inspiration. I look up to her as a role model.

13. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I see myself where God wants me to be, because only him knows tomorrow regardless of man’s plan or where he think he’ll be cause Man proposes God disposes.

14. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of girls five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?

Well my advice to them will be for them to focus on whatever good things they have in mind and no matter how difficult the road to success may look or be they should not give up until they achieve their set up goals.

Anita Patrick is a lady whose heart is set on God. A student of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta. She’s a sold out intercessor, a chef and  runs an online personal cook service. She lives a life of love, such that every person she meets experiences the love of the father through her. One of Anita’s dreams is to see a world where every person is able to do more dependent on their abilities in Christ.

She shares her “RUBY GIRL” story with the team.

1. Let’s meet you. Who is Anita Patrick?

Anita Patrick is a student of the federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She is an intercessor, first child of four kids, from Edo state, born on the 12th of August.
She also works for Nita Cooks, an online personal cook service.

2.  What are your hobbies?

Cooking! I enjoy cooking and listening to music a lot.

3. What inspired you to start out as a chef?

I never really knew I enjoyed cooking or anything food related at first. I used to be very very far from the kitchen. My mum would always say that I couldn’t cook and all that. I even did catering craft and food & nutrition but I really did not know. One day I was watching a series on African Magic family and in the series some guys wanted to start a food business but then it was supposed to be mobile and the whole thought seemed really really amazing to me. Then I decided to start a food business, but it was along the line I found out that I really really loved cooking and all kitchen related stuff, I’m still discovering a lot of stuff like how much I love food photography and the rest.

4. Apart from being a chef and running an online platform, what else do you do?

I’m a student majorly for now and lately I’ve been helping brands that want to start up with baby steps for their business and I’ve been really getting interested in brand photography and some IT stuff.

5. What are the challenges you faced as a newbie in entrepreneurship? Do you still experience them? And also how were you able to overcome them?

I’d say I’m still a newbie. And I still face challenges, I can remember the first time I went for an exhibition in Ikeja, I wanted to earn more money. I lent some money for the exhibition because I really wanted to exhibit my food and sell, and then I ran to a great loss because people did not buy. It was very scary but funny enough it didn’t hurt me hard because I saw it as a story I’d tell, which I’m telling you right now (Laughs). I’ve also had to deal with acceptance as a startup, getting people to trust me. Yes, lastly I’ve had times I had deliveries and the food didn’t turn out great because I’ve had to learn things by myself as I didn’t attend any catering or culinary school. I learnt most of the things I know myself, because I easily learn food related activities. But trust me, it hasn’t been really easy.

6. What has the Covid-19 pandemic taught you as an individual and business owner?

Partnership, consistency and growth. It has taught me that you really have to take your own life into your own hands, nobody would wait for you and also the fact that the world would only celebrate VALUE, nothing less.

7.  What are the challenges young Nigerian food vendors face?

Hmmmm, majorly I think it’s inconsistent and inefficient raw material distribution of some certain kind of foods. It even affects large scales, there are some ingredients that would be cheaper if they were produced here in Nigeria. Plus the fact that our agricultural system isn’t helping matters at all.

Another thing is logistics, it’s one big issue for young vendors who cannot afford to employ logistics, food is very delicate and it’s something you have to be careful with so having to deliver safely sometimes is an issue and quite expensive.

8.

Benjamin Joy Abah, also known as Joyben is the first child in a family of six. She is a native of Benue state, Idoma to be precise. She is a 500 level Law student of Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Fashion influencer, Youtuber and a pro Makeup artist. She is the CEO of jb_signatures based in Akure, Ondo state.

Her passion lies in inspiring and sharing life experiences while informing, educating and entertaining people.
She believes that fashion does not need to have tangible functionality and one doesn’t need a reason to justify an outfit. Fashion is a personal feeling. She’s a shy person, but also super active when she’s comfortable.

She shares her “Ruby Girl” story in this interview.

 

1. Who is Joy Benjamin?

I am a 500 level Law student at the Joseph Ayo Babalola University, a makeup artist and also a fashion stylist and enthusiast.

2. Who and what inspired you to be a makeup artiste?

There is always one special thing that sparks the “I wanna be a makeup artist” feeling and that spark came when I was in my first year in the university during our law dinner to be precise. I was in line waiting for my face to beaten. I had to wait before it got to my turn all because I wanted to look beautiful on that day.
It was at first a feeling to satisfy my beauty pleasure before it became a passion and I do not regret it one bit.

My dad actually inspired me too, I mean he has been my number one supporter since day one. Thank you Dad.

3. What inspired you to go into vlogging and what is your Youtube channel all about?

I got the inspiration to start my YouTube channel while I was preparing for a test. And it was at that moment that I discovered that it could actually be a platform where I could freely express my self to the world and also share a lot of tips.

My YouTube channel is basically about beauty, fashion and lifestyle and you can check it out on YouTube “JB Unscripted.”

4. How  has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you as a student and business owner?

The overall impact of COVID-19 pandemic has been undeniable. And unfortunately it has really affected me as a student and as a business owner.
A lot of events have been canceled or rescheduled due to the corona virus which has in a way affected my income, classes have now been held online which hasn’t been easy since we are not used to that method.

In the given circumstances, I’m trying to do the best I can. But trying to manage everything through video calls or by just reading without explanation isn’t always enough.

5. Have you encountered any challenge(s) in your makeup business and YouTube channel? If yes, can you share it/them?

Content. The most challenging element is content.

Like any great content, making a video begins with a concept or an idea.
You must answer the basic questions about the message, the concept and the purpose of your brand.

6. How did you combine your studies with your business before the pandemic began?

Most times, I get to do makeup during the weekends except for some days when people have photoshoots and events during the week then I’d have to reschedule but mostly my makeup classes and makeup sessions are usually during the weekend so I usually have the whole week to myself to study.

7. What has COVID-19 pandemic taught and opened your eyes to?

This corona virus is very dangerous but was successful in teaching me great lessons.
There is nothing serious in our World. So, live as you want to live, to what you want to do. No one knows when it all ends.

8.What is that one thing you’ll like to change about yourself?

If there’s anything I’d like to change about my self is to stop procrastinating so much.

“I would ensure that Judges should be properly screened to ensure that only people of proven integrity are appointed as judicial officers.”

9.List three women who inspire you and why?

When I think of inspirational women, I do not think immediately about those who have achieved success in a leadership role. My mom is my number 1 inspiration in all facets of life. Not only is she my best friend, but she inspires me on a daily basis, it’s hard to even put into words how much I admire her, but I know that if I’m ever having a bad day or need advice, she’ll drop what she’s doing to make sure I’m OK. I’m eternally grateful for our incredibly close relationship, and I hope that one day I’m able to be half as good as a mother (or person) as she is!

Funke Adekoya SAN, a partner at ǼLEX – one of Nigeria’s most prestigious law firms. She is a woman with an undeniably illustrious and successful career. Her ability to take on multiple roles and continue to promote progress in the legal sector and ensure its accessibility to all who are passionate about it makes her particularly unique and special.

Oprah Winifred has always been an inspiration to me. I love her spirit . She is a strong willed woman who has defied age and gender and has been super duper successful. There is a lot to learn from her.

10. If given the chance to be the Chief Justice of Nigeria for a day, what will you change?

One day isn’t enough but one thing I’d do is to review all the cases that the public consider unfair and unjust.
I would ensure that Judges should be properly screened to ensure that only people of proven integrity are appointed as judicial officers, but that security agencies should equally monitor them closely and routinely and also judicial officers should abstain from membership of political parties to avoid influence from the political class.
All judicial officers would be adequately remunerated to reduce the excessive craving and likelihood of corruption and finally the practice of the Executive arm of government approving the appointment of Judges would be abolished to reduce the perceived influence of the Governors and President on the judiciary.

11. Did your upbringing in any way prepare you for everything you are into today?

My parents have always thought me to think and act for myself, forced me to learn at an early age to be responsible and hard working. Taught me that our actions and consequences are no one’s responsibility other than our own and that the choices we make directly affect how happy and successful we would be. So, yeah they’d prepare me for everything I am today. Shout out to my parents.

12. Where do you see yourself/your brand in the next 5 years?

That I just don’t give up. Never.

I have built a lot of resilience over the years. In true sense, I can fall seven times, and I would stand up eight.

13. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of girls five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?

My advise to them would be that you don’t give importance to what others think about you and move forward. Pay attention, but don’t stay with the limiting information in your head. Chew it and throw out what isn’t helping you thrive and become a better you. There will always be people around you who will not care to see you, those who will choose to say that you can’t achieve what you want just to serve their own frustrations. Those people are already around and will be, throughout your life. Make every effort to recognize them and use their presence to make yourself a better person, who will make the wisest choices in life.

I know this may sound cliche, but love yourself. Have a positive attitude. It’ll really help your self esteem.

Oluwafunmilayo is a Fashion designer and fashion stylist.she came into the fashion world 8 years ago and has been working professionally for 7 years. She learnt the tailoring out of boredom during her WAEC holidays but eventually derived passion in fashion even though she has always wanted to be a banker since she was a child.

She styled the award winning Movie Director Jade Oshiberu to the  AMVCA awards 2 years ago and two of her collections was also on the show this year.
She worked as an assistant costumier on the Sugar Rush movie…
She is passionate about self reliance,independency and industrious.
She is also a chef and a model.
Oluwafunmilayo is a 200 level student of National open university.

She shares her “Ruby Girl” story in this interview.

1. Let’s meet you. Who is Oluwafunmilayo?

My name is Oluwafunmilayo Anifowose; a 22 -year old fashion designer from the western part of Nigeria;lagos to be precise and i’m the Creative Director of Oprah’s cut.

2. What made you venture into the fashion industry?

I got engaged out of boredom after concluding my junior school certificate and the economic state of the nation triggered my action.

3. You fancied being a banker in your childhood days. What made you drop it?

The unemployment rate in the country and the issue of job security and getting a job in nigeria has become worrisome

4. Apart from Fashion designing what other things are you involved in?

Interestingly I’m a certified chef from self reliance catering school and also a certified makeup artist but basically into the fashion business

5. What are the challenges you faced when you started out as an entrepreneur. Do you still experience them? And also how were you able to overcome them?

Basically family members and friends wanting me to do free jobs and i will always work every time with no profit after all the efforts

a) i still experience that sometimes but i stand my grounds never to mix business with pleasure anymore

b)My upgrade in the fashion game and my new personality helped in scaring them from approaching me with free job offers

6. What has the Covid-19 pandemic taught you as an individual, brand and business owner?

It taught me to always have a plan B;to always save for the raining days and the pandemic gave me an avenue to advertise my brand more on social media because everyone was on social media at that time because of boredom and they view and see whatever you post; i took that chance and it increased my client base

7. Challenges young Nigerian fashion designer face? How can it be mitigated?

The major problem young designers face is financial aid to enhance and setting up their brand….it can be mitigated if the government can set up institutions or platforms to help in securing loans and grants

8. What was growing up in a Nigerian home like for you? Did it in anyway contribute to everything you do now?

I believe its a well known fact that we Nigerians are a group of hardworking and highly motivated people and we owe that to the background and nurturing we had from our homes. This notion is a big part of who i am, the values and morals instilled in me by my parents is the backbone of everything i do.

9. If you were to be the President of Nigeria, what would you change?

I would change a lot actually but i think the most important and urgent change is the amendment of the Nigerian constitution which i think is not inline with the need and the reality we face as a country.

10. How do you juggle fashion designing, modeling, chef and studies?

I try not to be overwhelmed by my numerous activities by finding a balance between each passion.

11. Mention 3 women who inspire you and why?

My Mother,Mrs Folorunsho Alakija and Oprah Winfrey, they are goal getters and true definition of strong women.

12. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

I see myself already in my future,an international award winning designer, empowering and training thousands of people

13. If you were given the opportunity to address a group of girls five years younger than you, what will be your advice to them?

Never to relent and always remember you have gone too far to stop pushing.