Bose Adegunwa is an Amazon from Abeokuta, Ogun State that has made an impact in the lives of over 150 individuals in the Fashion Industry.
It’s not surprising that her fashion empire grew in a magnificent way.
It all started after she got her degree in sociology from University of Ilorin, Kwara State.
Her passion for the fashion industry led her to acquire her Certificate in Fashion Design from Nobel Afrique in 2004.
Bose’s Journey into the Fashion Industry was filled with many twist and turns, because she was a serial entrepreneur that ventured into several businesses. she first started with selling groceries, then jewellery and lastly Fabrics before she eventually went fully into the Fashion Industry and established Lawiza Creations.
Lawiza Creations has grown from a small business to a Multi-Million Naira Fashion Empire that has a Fashion School, Ready to Wear Fashion and More.
Lawiza Creations has set a standard in the Fashion Industry with multiple awards they have won over the years.
Lawiza Creations is a Proud Winner of Blueprint Magazine Fashion Designer of the year in 2010 and 2011.
They also received an award of Outstanding Performance in the Fashion Industry from National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS).
Their recent victory was the Award from City People Online Fashion and Beauty Magazine Awards as the Most Creative Fashion Brand of the year.
Bose is also proud to be an exclusive distributor of Rite Foods, Makers of Bigi Beverages.
She is happily married and blessed with 3 Children.
In this interview with Oyinlola Sale, Bose Adegunwa takes us through her journey into the Fashion Industry.
Now, tell us the story behind the name Lawiza Creations?
The name Lawiza Creations was coined from all the names of everyone in my family, my husband’s name, my own name and my children’s name.
The journey was an interesting one, because I didn’t start out as a Fashion designer, I was actually an entrepreneur that was into buying and selling. I used to sell gold which incurred a lot of bad debt.
So I decided to do something that is tied to rendering service, and that was how I ventured into the Fashion Industry and then I decided to get my Certificate in Fashion Design from Nobel Afrique.
As a fashion designer what inspires your creativity?
My creativity as a fashion designer is inborn, it just comes naturally to me when I am sketching a design for my client and also my environment determines what I create. Sometimes, when I just go out and I see colours from nature, it helps me to conceptualize and create unique designs.
Can you elaborate on the growth of the Fashion Industry and what has changed, Compared to when you started ?
The fashion industry has really revolved, it has changed from what it used to be. The industry has changed from cuting, sewing and marketing.
In terms of cutting, we now use patterns and in the area of sewing we use industrial machines and lastly selling your clothes doesn’t require you to have a shop, the internet and social media generally have created that platform for us to showcase and market our designs to the world.
What are the challenges you have faced so far in running Lawiza Creations?
The first challenge that I have encountered in this business is manpower, some youths come to work but they don’t know the job, and despite the fact that we have a lot of tailors, some of the tailors are not committed to the job, they can decide to leave anytime which affects the business.
However, we have been able to set up a system that has made tailors to be more committed to the job.
Another challenge we have faced is power, the government needs to provide stable electricity, because it is very overwhelming, the amount of money one spends on buying desiel and fuel affects the profit we make at the end of the day.
The Industry is churning out a lot of creative designers, What is your view about this growth?
I am very happy with the growth in the fashion industry , because it has made the business competitive.
It also makes you as a fashion designer to be on top of your game in every aspect and it makes me happy to see fashion designers I have trained, who are doing great things in the industry.
As a Woman with so many responsibilities, how do you start your day?
On a good day, I start my day by saying my prayers, then I go for my walk after I cook breakfast for the family, then by 9am I am out of the house to start work for that day.
How did you finance this fashion business in it’s early days?
I started very small, with just one machine, some thread , lining and small materials.
So it grew from that and to us expanding and getting industrial machines.
In the course of the business, when things were tough and I didn’t have money to pay my staff salary, I would go to the extent of selling my gold Jewellery, just to ensure that the business doesn’t fail.
When we were in adeniyi Jones, we had to leave because the owner of the place died so they had to sell the house. Now this made us move back to the house, which made us to lose some of our materials. It certainly wasn’t conducive, because of the exposure.
I later got a place in magodo and it was a good one,we had enough space to showcase and for the fashion school, but unfortunately one day I got a call that we need to leave the building, so I started looking for another place.
Now, the places I found would cost about 20 million, in terms of the furnishing and rent. So I sat back and thought about it, that instead of spending that money, let use it to buy our own property and to the glory of God , we got this place which is not for from where my last shop used to be. It was really tough but we overcame it.
So, how have you been able to carve a niche for yourself, despite the competition out there?
We have that Lawiza touch, wherever you go and you see our dress, you can easily identify it.
We cater for everyone, and our signature is the Ready to Wear in different sizes and styles.
We have something for the conservative and the outgoing individual and that has made us to stand out over the years.
What were some of your biggest fears, when you ventured into this business?
My greatest fear was not achieving my goals, so I was always on my guard and I was always concerned about what can make this business go down. We have set a standard and we must not go below that standard. Our clients know us as a fashion brand that has styles for different types of individuals and we have to ensure we remain consistent.
How can the government create an enabling environment for businesses like yours to thrive?
We want the government to help us in the area of finance. The process for application for funding is rigorous , which is always not encouraging.
The Government can also ensure we have constant electricity and reduce the rate of tax in the country. I also believe that an empowerment program can be created to support the youth, we would be willing to train them for a token, so that we can reduce the rate of unemployment in Nigeria.
Tell us about a highly difficult period, when you thought of giving up and how you managed to overcome that situation?
The most difficult time was when I couldn’t pay my staff their salary and I had to sell my gold Jewellery to meet up and ensure the business doesn’t fail.
I have had to do this several times to fill in the gaps and ensure whatever happens, I am not going to allow it to affect my business.
A young female entrepreneur out there is thinking of following your footsteps, what advice will you give to her?
I will tell her to be consistent and to have a positive mindset, so that no matter the challenges in the business, she won’t give up.
What is your growth projection for Lawiza Creations in the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years, we hope to have a big hostel and Fashion school to cater to individuals that want to go into this business. We also hope to expand beyond what we are now to increase the number of our clients and to make a great impact in the fashion industry.
Follow on Instagram @womenconnectng
Follow on twitter @WomenconnectNig
Follow and like Facebook Page womenconnectwithoyinlolasale
Don’t Forget to Subscribe to our YouTube Page, Women Connect Nigeria