ErSparkle Millinery is a Fashion & Style brand.The word “Hair was replaced with “Er” to make the brand name sound funky and catchy.
They Specialise in Creative, handmade Bespoke & Ready-to-wear headgears for Super Stylish Women. They offer the best quality products in the most innovative designs such as Pillbox, Cocktail, Percher, Vintage, Saucer and African Fabric Fascinators & Hatinators in various colours.
Milliner ‘Lola ‘Laoye started very small in her home 10 years ago, but was catapulted to Millinery Fame when she began to take orders from different parts of Nigeria, some African countries and then in the United States and Europe.
Thanks to her; Fascinators & Hatinators are no longer an outdated Fashion Accessory but an essential piece of Hauté couture that takes careful planning and execution.
In this Interview with Oyinlola Sale, Lola Laoye, CEO of ErSparkle Millinery tells us how she became a trendsetter in the industry.
What is the Story behind ErSparkle Millinery?
I am ‘Lola ‘Laoye, a Microbiologist turned Milliner. After my national service year in 2011 I planned specialising on Food Microbiology . However, I did a research on Food Safety at Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) and I became an Associate Member of ISPON. I also worked with Transcon Healthcare Limited ,as a Safety Consultant, besides I was into Millinery part-time. Though, I enjoyed working as a safety consultant, I was more passionate and fulfilled doing millinery. So in 2013, I decided to go into Millinery full time and 10 years into the business I have never regretted this decison.
What does it take to set up a hat making business like ErSparkle Millinery?
Millinery has been a passion built over time. In 2013, I launched into the millinery business after going through a formal two- week basic training. When I discovered that my Creative pieces were very appealing to friends and family, I decided to upgrade to professional millinery. So I trained myself , I learnt through trial and error, I had so much self- belief that I could handle advance Millinery to an extent on my own through consistent practice of advance designs. most of my designs are just a result of my fertile, innovative mind.
I run my business online and Social media has been of huge help. I met 90% of my existing clients online. I take advantage of social media platforms like Instagram, facebook and on-line mall to promote my business.
As a Hat designer, what inspires your creativity?
Most of my designs are imagined and sketched out to see what they really look like. Most times, in the process of making a headpiece, some other ideas come up. I review designs frequently. Also, anything beautiful inspire me. Take for instance, our signature Spider web hat was inspired by a spiderweb.
Your hats are quite exquisite, most of them don’t even look like their made in Nigeria, how did you manage to create that world class standard?
I love to think outside the box and do the usual in an unusual way. We have clients in countries like USA, UK, Kuwait, South Africa, Angola and these clients want something charming and quirky. However, we give attention to details and go all out for our clients to meet up to their standards.
What are the important details that one needs to pay attention to in order to excel in the field of hat making ?
Firstly, creativity sustains you as a milliner. Some of the important details to give utmost attention to are your designs and unique supplies. As a Milliner, am versatile and I source for supplies in different places aside a millinery store and this contributes greatly to the uniqueness of our designs.
The industry is churning out a lot of creative Hat designers, what is your view about this growth?
Millinery in Nigeria has come to stay and with the effort of the Milliners Association of Nigeria (MIAN) which am a certified member, lots of talented milliners have been discovered from different states and together we are been recognized globally. This has really enhanced the Millinery growth in Nigeria.
So, what makes ErSparkle Millinery to stand out in the midst of the crowd?
Basically, our client base keeps increasing because of the uniqueness in our designs, the durability of our head wears and good customer service. Aside the normal millinery materials used in making hats, we love to work with African fabrics like Asooke, Ankara prints and Gele to make customised statement pieces.