A creative director and founder of Ziva Lagos and Ziva Kids, Tania Omotayo, has disclosed that although the Nigerian fashion industry has grown in leaps and bounds, the business environment in the country is not for the faint-hearted.
The 29-year-old creative director, who was recognised in 2013 by Forbes Magazine as one of the “30 under 30” while speaking to LEADERSHIP Weekend on her assessment of the fashion industry, said more people now support and patronize made in Nigeria products.
She stressed that she is so proud to be one of the producers making this happen.
She said, “I think the Nigerian fashion industry is exactly where it needs to be at the moment. More and more people are supporting the made in Nigeria movement and I am so proud to be one of the producers making this happen.
“I remember there was a time where it wasn’t cool to wear made in Nigeria items, but now we have embraced it. The world has also caught up and Nigerian fashion is getting the international recognition it deserves. It’s truly an amazing time to be part of the Nigerian fashion industry”.
Speaking further, she said it’s very hard to succeed when it seems like the odds are constantly against you.
“But we will continue to fight the odds and do our best to pull through,” she said.
Speaking on her recognition by Forbes, she said, “Wow, honestly this was one of my favorite days ever. I can remember exactly how I felt when I got the email. I will forever be grateful to Forbes Africa for bestowing that honor on me.”
On what has been her inspiration and motivation over the years, Tania said; “My inspiration and motivation have changed over the years. When I started Ziva Lagos my motivation was wanting to make everyday clothing more accessible and affordable for the modern African woman.
“This is still my Main motivation but now I have a daughter who will one day look up to me and understand what I have built and I truly hope she will be able to brag about my success any and everywhere. She inspires me every day to be the best version of myself for her”
The popular fashion designer also spoke about what she considers as her greatest success in the industry.
“The greatest success I’ve had would be setting up my 2nd factory. Investing in all the machinery and manpower to increase our production so Ziva Lagos can continue to expand is a big deal for me”.
When asked about her plans for the next five years and beyond, she responded by saying, “When people ask me this question, I get goosebumps. I look at what I’ve built in the last 5 years and I cannot wait to see what I do in the next five years. I have plans and goals set out for the next few years. All I will say is Ziva Lagos will be fully international, that is on the top of my list”, she added.
While giving some words of encouragement to budding entrepreneurs in the fashion industry her advice is; “Do not give up! I know it sounds cliché but trust me, if I had given up and listened to the naysayers I wouldn’t be here today. As long as you believe just keep pushing.”