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I Remain Calm In The Face Of Challenges – Labo

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Fatimah Hussein Labo is an indigene of Katsina State. She was born into the family of Mr and Mrs Labo, one of seven children. She had her nursery and primary education in Katsina while she attended secondary school in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. She later studied Mass Communication at Baze University Abuja. She has been in the Fashion Design business for three years.

Background

I’m Fatimah Hussein Labo, a graduate of Mass Communication from Baze University. I’m 20 years old and currently serving in Abuja. I’m an indigene of Katsina State, from a family of seven. I grew up in Kaduna, attended my nursery and primary school there and attended my secondary school here, in Abuja, where I’m currently based. I’m a fashion designer, I make beautiful designs both ready to wear and customised. My target audience used to be students because I started the business during my first year in university. My friends, course mates and other students mostly patronised my business so I tried as much as possible to make my outfits very affordable considering the fact that I dealt mostly with students. But progressively, my business began to grow bigger and bigger, so I had to enlarge it. Now, I make dresses for kids, youths, mummies etc. I’ve always had passion for fashion so I decided to go into it. For me, everything was easy to start because my mum had been into tailoring business for almost 10 years. So, I had a clue on how to handle the business well. I’m glad I’ve come a very long way now.

How It Started

I attended a fashion school here in Abuja for three months. I started in October 2014 and finished in December 2014. I’ve always had interest so I learnt it within a short period of time. I learnt how to do the basic sowing within my first two weeks, I was very excited that I finally got to practice what I had interest in. So, when I got back home from university, I’d prepare and go to my fashion school, get back home in the evening and practice more for the next day because I already had a sowing machine at home. It was very stressful for me but it is worth the stress now. After my fashion school, I didn’t really start anything serious immediately. I started making designs in May 2015; my sister’s friend had fabrics for sale so she got me some to start up my business. I made a few pieces of Bubu dress, Iro & Buba and Kimonos because that was what was trending then. I sold the first few pieces I made and used the profit to do more. I opened an account on Instagram and posted pictures, I believe social media has helped me come a very long way now. Sowing became my hobby because at a point, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do two things at the same time (university and business). So, every free opportunity I had, I used it to create something new. It wasn’t easy at all but Alhamdulillah, everything is stable now because after a few months when business started booming, I requested for a tailor and I got one whom I continued with because university became very hectic and I was so occupied that I didn’t have much time to make dresses myself. It’s been three years now and all I can say is Alhamdulillah.

Inspiration

Well, I have a lot of inspirations. Inspirations come from all angles. Certain designers around the world inspire me, things, etc, hope I’m safe to say I even inspire myself, ha-ha. Sometimes I get inspired through very little things, like when I see something unique, so many ideas run through my head and then boom! I try to make it into reality even though some don’t turn out really good while others do. Honestly, the efforts I put amaze me sometimes. A few designers that inspire me are D&G, Deola and so many more.

What Led To Your Success

A lot of things led to my success honestly. Very supportive family and friends, making tough decisions, taking risks, patience, sacrifices and most of all a lot of prayers. Having a successful business isn’t easy, you can’t just start the business today and expect it to be successful by tomorrow, you have to pass through a lot of stress, ups and downs, which at the end will make you, smile and if it doesn’t, it wasn’t meant to be.

Challenges

Well in fashion, you come across a lot of challenges, which may push you to the extent of questioning yourself why you got yourself into it. That is not the case; all you have to do is focus and be yourself. For any business to be successful, it has to come with challenges. You come across rude and impatient clients, clients that don’t pay up on time, making mistakes on a client’s garment, which you would have to repair or if you come across a client that is impatient, he or she is likely to request for a refund or put your business name down and all. You have to ignore all that and do the right thing. As it’s said, “your customer is always right”, at times, you know you’re definitely not at fault, but what can you do? You have to be patient and act matured towards the issue and handle the client’s complaint politely. It’s very provoking but you have to be calm and patient. This way, you’d be able to face any challenge that comes your way. These are things every fashion designer or every businessperson has to pass through; it’s all part of the business that is why you have to be a very patient person.

Hobbies

My hobbies are creating new designs, sowing and having shoots.

Mentors

My mum and sisters are my business mentors. They are also business owners and have a lot of experiences. They offer maximum support and guidance to help me run my business.

Dream

My dream is to have one of the biggest fashion brands. In years to come, I want every household, lady, small or big to own a DE Vogue couture piece, inshaa Allah.

Regrets

I honestly have no regrets, I’m doing good Alhamdulillah. I pursued my dreams and got into what I’ve always wanted to do so I have no regrets even with the few challenges that come with it.

Advice

My advice for people that want to get into fashion or any other business is to focus, pursue your dreams and do what makes you happy. As long as whatever you’re getting into is legal and it makes you happy, then I advise you to go for it. Ignore what people have to say because there are so many people out there who just want to put other people down. These kinds of people look forward to other people’s downfall and failures. Don’t care about what anyone has to say. Pray about what you’re getting into, if you have rest of mind then please go for it.



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