Wearing Hats is not Foreign- Olubosede Adeleke, CEO of Gold Collection Hats
Olubosede Adeleke is the CEO Of Gold Collections Hats. In this Interview with Women Connect, she lets us know how she grew up learning how to sew and also how it led her into hat making.
NOW, TELL US ABOUT WHAT INSPIRED YOUR JOURNEY INTO THE HAT MAKING BUSINESS?
With over 25 years as dressmaker, when an opportunity to learn hat making came in 2002, I took it.
I grew up loving hats. For me, wearing a hat was the ultimate elegance no matter what dress you had on!.
Since then it’s been a beautiful journey. Nonetheless, with it’s ups and downs but beautiful all the same.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR CREATIVITY WHEN MAKING HATS?
Creativity is not always under an artist’s conscious control. I create my best piece when there is inspiration.
I could work on a piece for a month and it’s not quite finished. At other times I could stop every other work just to finish a piece in a day or two.
God is the ultimate inspiration. Beauty abounds all around us in creation.
Another great inspiration are clients who appreciate what we do and refer our services. This keeps us on our toes.
YOU ARE A TRENDSETTER IN MAKING FASCINATORS IN NIGERIA, HOW DID YOU ACHIEVE THAT?
Our clients are the reason we are who we are and where we are at today.
Trends come and go. However when you are true to your inner navigation, you are never far from the point. Our clients are always ready for the next new thing … they take it hot!
Being in touch with trends in the industry is also important so as to know what the direction of fashion is going next . Our clients give us great feedback, this helps us to be ahead of the game.
Making good use of the internet
and discovering what’s trending in other parts of the world.
Finally creating our own style helps keep us trending.
LOOKING AT OUR TRADITION IN NIGERIA, THE IDEA OF WEARING HATS OR FASCINATORS, IS THE WESTERN CULTURE, SO HOW DO YOU INFUSE THE AFRICAN STYLE?
You will agree with me that Head covering is a not foreign culture in Nigeria. Take a look at all the tribes in Nigeria, women and men cover the head in one form or another.
Hats and Fascinators are therefore like an upgrade forms of head covering. So we now have an upgrade of our regular “gele” or headwraps as Auto gele or Turbancaps or Turbanhats infused with afrocentric styles/ materials.
Aṣọ-oke, ankara, and adire fabrics are now incorporated into regular hats and worn at events such as weddings and dinner parties. African Fashion designers now incorporate hats into their exhibitions.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED SO FAR IN RUNNING THIS BUSINESS?
The first challenge we had, was our penchant, as Nigerians for anything foreign and not believing that we can equally do as well as foreign Hat makers.
However,now that we have proven that we are as good, the next challenge was pricing. This is because an average Nigerian wants a bargain. Even when the price is on the item or it’s at rock bottom, they will still try to get a discount.
The last challenge is getting the quality of materials you would love to work with, without being the one to import it. To get around this, we use what we have and upgrade the best way we can using the best materials available.
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT DETAILS TO PAY ATTENTION TO, IN ORDER TO EXCEL IN THIS BUSINESS?
keep abreast of Millinery news online.
watch shows online if you can’t be there physically.
Join the Milliners Association of Nigeria. It’s a group of real Milliners who supports each other’s growth.
SO, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO CARVE A NICHE FOR YOURSELF, DESPITE THE COMPETITION OUT THERE?
There’s a healthy competition in Milliners Association of Nigeria.
We are not all serving the same class of clients.
At Gold Collections each Hat is work of art designed for the discerning woman with taste and elegance.
A YOUNG FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR OUT THERE IS THINKING OF FOLLOWING YOUR FOOT STEPS, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL HER?
* Decide if you want to be a Hat decorator- using pre blocked hat shapes and then trim, or you want to be a Milliner- making hats and Fascinators from scratch.
* Determine who your clients will be, as this will determine the trajectory of the business.
* Establish a Why. This will keep you going when there seems to be no reward for all your efforts.
* Learn and don’t stop.
Follow on Instagram: goldcollectionshats Follow on Facebook @goldhatscollections Website: https://qsell.co/98flc