Ademiluyi Moyosade Dorcas is the CEO of Sisiadire Designs, a Lagos-based fashion brand. Ademiluyi is a student currently studying Agricultural Economics at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. The young entrepreneur, who has built her brand on creating ‘adire’ fabrics designs, sits down in an interview with BUNMI BAILEY to discuss her business and how she combines studies with school.
Tell us about your business.
Sisiadire designs is a first choice fashion brand that is aimed at raising the standards of the Nigerian textile industry, producing quality apparels, especially for teenagers and young adults. We allow people to order and get custom-designed and dyed clothing of any type. We make use of modern trends in garment-making, adapting these techniques in the making designs. We produce different kinds of things such as bags, t-shirts, socks, and ties, among others, with the use of ‘adire’ (textile is the indigo-dyed cloth made in south-western Nigeria). Our social media handles are @sisiadire_designs on IG Sisiadiredesigns on Facebook.
How did you come about the tie and dye business?
After my secondary school education, university wasn’t coming through and I wasn’t keen to sit at home doing nothing. I was looking for anything to do to keep me busy and to also discover myself. I was learning hairdressing and make-up, but I couldn’t continue learning so I stopped. I was still looking for what to do when suddenly, the idea of tye and dye crossed my mind. It wasn’t really popular and I loved being unique and doing what people weren’t really open to. I started searching online for people doing it and asking if they could tutor me. I didn’t find any until I came across Arewa and like they say, the rest is now history.
How much capital did you start with, and how big can you say you are now?
I started with a sum of N5,000 and today I can say my business is worth more than what I started with by far.
Is tie and dye business lucrative?
The tie and dye industry is lucrative because it’s not really crowded.
What skills and tools are necessary for your kind of business?
Effective use of modern skills in garment-making, experimentation and practice, imaginative mind and creative hands are the skills you need. You need tools, fabrics, dye, twine and chemicals.
Who are your customers, and do you have plans for expansion?
Our customers are young adults and teenagers because of the modern touch we add to adire, but we’re looking at reaching a larger audience by supplying to fabric wholesalers and retailers outlets. Yes, we’ve plans for expansion.
Why, in your opinion, do most start-ups fail?
I think most start-ups fail because there’s no market need for their products. Some are getting outcompeted; others could be that their products lack market traction.
Some experts believe that there is enough money for start-ups but that some of you are not prepared to get it. Do you agree to this?
No, I do not agree. Most of the time, some of us do not get money to fund our businesses because there is a lot of competition and someone has to win. I am of the opinion that a lot of young people are doing so much to get funds for their businesses.
Do you have any mentor in the tie and dye industry? If yes, who are they? If no,why not?
Yes, I do have mentors and they are Arewa Tobiloba Adesanya of Adireworld and Erma Duncan, founder of ilovetocreate.com
What challenges are you facing in your business?
One of the major challenges is awareness. People do not really know what adire is about and those that do, think it is old- fashioned. Another challenge is that some people do not want to get made-in-Nigeria products; they prefer made-in- China.
How can the challenges you listed be tackled?
There is a need to create more awareness, enlighten people and help them see that more can be done with adire beyond the cliché we all know. I believe that if people who are involved in making made-in-Nigeria products add more value, and if people would buy from them, the industry will grow bigger.
Tags: Tie and Dye