The Fashion Industry is no doubt one of the fastest growing industries changing the face of business in Nigeria. Today, we have one of our own in Ibadan doing fashion with delectable creativity.
1. Can we meet you?
My name is Patience Peter and the CEO of Emmanuel Clothings.
2. What University did you attend and what course did you study?
I attended Kogi State University and I studied Crop Production.
3. Why fashion designing?
Right from when I was a child, I have always liked being creative with things I see around, especially fabrics and so when I was a grown up, I wanted to find a platform where I could express my creativity.I also knew I was never going to work for anyone, so I just waited for the opportunity and after school (University), I enrolled for the training and after that, I have been on it.
4. You said the urge for sewing started from childhood, so at what age would you say the urge sprang up?
I could remember from age 8, when I had to pick my mum’s scarfs especially for her Ankaras, I could do hand cutting and needling thereby making dresses for my toys.
5. Where did you train?
Here in Ibadan, but it is a place that doesn’t really have a name, in Adeoyo. I trained with a woman for a year training and after that, I have been on my own although I am still learning, online and all that.
6. After learning from the woman you have not gone elsewhere to train or learn?
I do buy fashion books and I learn new fashion terminologies online because the woman I learnt from was more or less like an illiterate but she was really good in this.
7. In this line, who would you say are you mentors?
Wow, okay! They are Nigerians, Deola Sagoe and Mai Atafo, basically, these two people inspire me in the fashion industry.
8. How has it been working with fabrics?
Fabrics can be very interesting, as a person I am not really into plain fabrics, I love fabrics that are very interesting, when I say interesting, like this very colourful Ankara you are seeing here, there are a lot of things you can make out of it. The inspiration from fabric brings out the creativity in itself. When I see fabrics I know what to make out of it, and so, fabrics is another inspiration in the work we do.
9. So would we say you love colourful fabrics or patterned fabrics?
I love patterned fabrics and so if it is a plain fabric there are so many things I have to add to it to make it more attractive other than being plain.
10. What has been your biggest job?
It was with a bridal package. I made everything, she had to wear for her wedding, from her dresses for the photoshoot, traditional wear, her mother’s wear and to her honeymoon wear.
Okay, just like every other job has its own challenge, one is, trying to meet up with the desires of clients. Secondly, meeting up with targets, this part of building integrity is a strong one because tailors have been tagged as people who do not meet up with time, and finally, dealing with different body sizes.
12. What part of sewing do you enjoy most?
I love making dresses – Evening dresses, formal, casual dresses I just love making dresses, I can do that anytime because it doesn’t take anything out of me.
13. What future do you see in Ibadan business?
What I think is this, you know there is this thing that says, “What we do unifies us, the way we do it separates us.” I believe that when we do things differently and uniquely from the way people ordinarily do it in Ibadan, to bring out taste and excellence, the growth of businesses will be sporadic in Ibadan.
14. If you are not sewing, what can we find you doing?
I like being in my own space, my friends would say I am like a triangle when I am not sewing I am either in church, at home or at work.
15. Did anyone discourage you when you chose this line?
Of course, I remembered after school then, my dad went ahead, looked for a job for me and my sister, I did not even go for National Youth Service and I told him I have wasted a lot of time in school and I have been longing to start sewing that I wasn’t going for service and I just wanted to start this. And so, at that point, it looked as if I was not a serious person, so he said, “It is either you go for service or you leave my house.” Things like this are always discouraging but I was not, rather I just kept learning. With time they began to appreciate my work.
16. Did you feel bad for not going for NYSC?
I never did, I saw it as what will keep me focused and I kept saying to myself, “If you did not go for service or do a white collar job, you had rather be serious with what you are doing.”
17. What is your motivation?
Well that can be in two ways, one, the drive that you get from the inside out, and I will explain this on a spiritual note, day by day there is this intuition that God is got my back on this, that God really want me in this and then sometimes, when I sleep God gives me ideas about styles. Secondly, I like being creative, creativity is another motivation.
18. What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
This can be stressful, but for those who believe this is their thing, all they need is the creativity, the patience, the focus, and the simplicity.19. Can you give an analogy of the expression of a happy client you sew for?
Okay, I could speak for the bride I just worked for, the bride could not stop hugging me. There are times you make clothes for people and you still make some fittings, but for her, it was just perfect and she kept hugging me.
20. Have you ever paid for a client’s cloth?
Yes, I have. It was my first experience with Jumpsuit, I thought I could sew it, the lady wore it but she could not just manage it, and she returned the clothes and I volunteered to buy back the fabric.
21. Would you like your child to learn sewing like you did?
What I have learnt with my parents is that parents most often have what they want their child to become. I would not want to do that but rather allow them to follow their area of passion, so my child might not learn sewing except he or she will.
We hope you are challenged by this interview, you can reach Emmanuel Clothings on 09097253191 and until we come your way again next time with an amazing entrepreneur in Ibadan.