Elizabeth Olatunji Momoh hails from Okene, Kogi State. She is from the family of Mr and Mrs Peter Olatunji Momoh. Born in Suleja, Niger State, she had her education in the town, Abuja and Nairobi, Kenya. Momoh is the Chief Executive Officer of Lizzy Creative Hands based in the town of her birth – Suleja.
Where and when were you born?
I was born in 1987 in Suleja, Niger State to Mr and Mrs Peter Olatunji Momoh.
What position are you in your family?
I am the last born of the family of three girls and two boys.
Where and when did you school?
I attended St James Anglican Primary School, Suleja and I left there in 1999 and proceeded to Government Girls Secondary School, Dutse, Abuja and graduated in 2009. I went for my degree programme at the Nairobi University in the East African country of Kenya where I studied Hotel and Restaurant Management and graduated in 2014.
What enterprise are you into?
I am a fashion designer and own a fashion house, Lizzy Creative Hands, located in Suleja, Niger State.
When did you start the business?
I started in 2016.
How did you start?
It may surprise you that I did not start my business in Nigeria, I started from Kenya where a friend put me through the basics and with the help of YouTube I made bowties for my church choir and some few guys around with Ankara fabric.
When I came back to Nigeria after graduating from the university, I decided to enrol myself properly in a fashion school since I already knew the basics of fashion and design.
Who taught you?
I was tutored by a male fashion designer and that makes it very interesting for me. At the beginning it was wasn’t that easy and comfortable for me as a woman learning a trade under the tutelage of a man. ‘Master’ as we do call him was a good teacher and friendly to both his subordinates and clients as well. But his name is Mr Mohammed Murktal and he is based in Suleja. I owe him lots of gratitude.
Who is your mentor?
I have two mentors in the course of my learning the business, they are: Mr Emmanuel Olatunji who is based in Switzerland. His wife was the one that started inspiring me when I was in that country in 2017 but it was Mr Olatunji that really built my confidence in pushing forward in spite the odds. His words of encouragement killed the fears of failing in business in me. For Mr Mohammed Murktal, he was my teacher that taught me the rules of fashion and design and he succeeded in building my confidence from a novice to the professional I am today.
What is your inspiration?
If life doesn’t challenge you, then it won’t change you.
What are your dreads/fears?
My fear in life is never to disappoint God and my clients.
What are your challenges?
Finance is my major challenges because I need more machines to enable me meet up with some of my clients’ designs and demands without going far away to get them done on their cloths. As SME, like my many others, finance is always a problem as we have no access to finance to improve our businesses. I have a lot to do only if I have access to finance to get the necessary equipment for the business.
So far so good no but I wish I had learned fashion long time ago.
How are you different from others?
In terms of my job, I am far different and better because I always say to my workers, “It is not all about money but do a neat and well finished job, he or she will definitely come and they will see the difference in you”. Generally I can’t say I am better than others, God has made us equal.
What are your plans for the business?
My plan is to be among the first top five fashion brands here in Niger State and progress from there God willing. I can’t meet up without enough finance which brings me back to the question of challenges on the job which I am saying again that I need more machines to enable me deliver well to the people.
Also, I plan to train at list two youth in a year for free if things work according to my plans.
How do you combine business with family life?
It not easy but not too stressful at the moment since I am still single and staying with my parents, so it’s flexible for me and no stress at all.
What is your advice to fellow women?
For my fellow ladies especially the single ones, time they say wait for no one. I have come to understand that government jobs are not meant for everybody. Let us learn to use our heads at least learn one skill either in school or during holidays. Hand work pays a lot.