Young Entrepreneurs in Nigeria: An interview with Temitope Osunboyejo

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Young entrepreneur Temitope Osunboyejo has taken her passion for fashion and beauty to build her own budding fashion empire. She is the founder of THM a promising fashion brand in Nigeria. In this interview, Tempitope will be sharing with us what it is like to start and manage a fashion brand in Nigeria. She will share with us her experiences, motivation and the challenges she has had to overcome as she builds her brand.

Young Entrepreneurs in Nigeria: An interview with Temitope Osunboyejo

Please can you introduce yourself?

My name is Osunboyejo Temitope. I am a fashion and beauty entrepreneur. I am a graduate of Microbiology from the University of Lagos and the founder of THM a budding fashion brand.

What do you do?

When I’m not making / designing clothes, I work as a beauty artist/advisor.

How long have you been an entrepreneur?

THM officially launched 2 years ago but I’ve been an entrepreneur since my second year in uni when I started with my beauty business.

Why did you go into fashion design? And when did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in fashion design?

Being born with clubfeet drove my passion for fashion. A huge part of my personal journey was finding clothing that catered specifically to my needs especially because I’m limited to certain type of shoes which consequently affects the type of clothes I could wear and general style but the type of clothes I had access to were either too expensive or low quality. I decided to bridge that gap by making high-quality clothes that are affordable for the style conscious millennial.

Do you have other passions you plan to later turn to a business?

I do. I’ve always wanted to have different businesses that involve the everyday person; creating services that makes life easy for them.

Do you have mentors and what are the most valuable lessons you have learnt from them?

I come from a family of entrepreneurs and growing up, I saw firsthand the challenges of building a buisness. I learnt from them that the key to success is determination and resilience.

I have also learnt immensely from my mentor, Vivienne Odofin, the business and brand strategist for Distrimarq Global, to always “Trust Your Journey” and to do whatever it is you set out to do however small, per excellence.

What are the challenges you face running a business in Nigeria?

One of the major challenges is access to capital. Building a fashion business in Nigeria is very capital intensive and fashion investments are seen as the wild card option for most Nigerian investors. Another huge challenge is poor physical infrastructures. A strong infrastructure is necessary for the growth of any business in Nigeria.

How have these challenges affected the way you run your business?

As a brand, one of our main goals would be being vertically integrated but due to some of the challenges, we outsource a huge percentage of our production processes.

With all these challenges you face, how do you stay motivated?

I am driven by the desire to change the narrative about the physically challenged and disabled. I also want to leave an impact and contribute to the growth and development of fashion tech in Nigeria on the long run.

What was your biggest fear when starting a business and how did you overcome it?

My biggest fear was failure and I overcame it simply by starting.

What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when you were just starting out?

Probably too many to document here but I had to learn and I’m still learning to be accountable.

What tools have you used to grow your business? And how effective have they been?

Our key strategy is to focus on the customer making sure we provide and cater to her fashion needs. We also use the word of mouth approach; we believe strongly in our loyal customers and to fuel this, we develop referral initiatives that provides incentives to anyone that refers friends or families, shares our pages and returns to buy a piece.

What is your favorite part about running your business and what’s your least favorite part?

It is very exciting getting positive reviews from our customers. Least favourite part has to be constantly dealing with the problems of outsourcing and logistics.

What has been your biggest accomplishment since you started your business?

Building our community of loyal customers who love our pieces and keep coming back.

What’s unique about your business?

Our relentless focus on exceptional customer experience sets us apart from the competition. THM has a super clear vision on how to solve the problem of accessibility to the low budget consumers ; focusing on Niche marketing, we are able to offer our customers a much more personalized and unique shopping experience than they get offline. Our pieces are better adapted to serve local and international trends.

Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?

Our pieces are inspired by the everyday woman with a global outlook; she’s the boss chick, graduate at her first job, young professional and high powered executive that require affordable high quality clothing which is what THM provides.

What’s your brand’s Target Market/Audience

THM’s target is the style conscious, millennial who wants quality, variety and convenience at affordable prices.

What are the goals for your business and/or brand in 5-years’ time?

The vision is to build a global fashion tech company. In 5 years, our goal is to establish THM as Nigeria’s premier online fashion retailer, serving a global customer base that focuses on the low budget consumers/shoppers. Also, offering a wider category and product assortment.

Do you have any advice for a young Nigerian like you, who wants to start a business in Nigeria?

Success is a collection of well curated failures. So, just start. Wherever and with whatever you have. It will start to make sense from there.

How can we reach you?

  • Instagram: thm.co, themy_o
  • Facebook: thm.co
  • Email: thethmco@gmail.com
  • Contact number: 08180986458

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