- Honoured @ The City People Female Achievers Awards
Many fashion-conscious Lagosians are familiar with Hope Fashion as one of the upscale fashion stores in Ikeja. Though, it is just a 3 years old fashion store, but Mrs. Kikiopefoluwa Okewale, the beautiful wife of Dr. Okewale of St. Ives Hospital, has been able to build it to an enviable height. The one stop shop for many Lagos rich babes is always a beehive of activity because of its unique pieces.
Pelnutimate weekend, Mrs. Okewale bagged a Special Recognition Award at the 2nd Edition of City People Female Achievers Awards and City People’s Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE, had an exclusive interview with her. She spoke about her brand, her marriage and her life style.
How do you feel being here and is this your first award?
I feel happy and excited that I am picking an award. Of course, this is not my first award, but its my first award from City People Magazine.
Let talk about your brand, Hope Fashion, which is fast becoming one of the biggest brands in Lagos, how was it when you started?
It was not easy when we started. I had to first carve a niche for myself and find out what exactly will make my brand unique. Eventually, when I was able to make my brand unique, it was easy for people to recognise and identify with it. Then, the brand started growing everyday.
How old is Hope Fashion?
It is 3 years; I started in 2015.
What would you say made you achieve this much in 3 years?
Hardwork, consistency and to crown it all, God.
How did you get the name Hope Fashion?
Well, it is actually House of Plush Exclusive Fashion. So people shortened it to Hope Fashion.
What stand Hope Fashion out from other brands?
It is our love for blings. We also love dramatic style too. This has made many who want their attire to do the talking make us their brand.
Do you have any background knowledge in fashion?
No, I didn’t study fashion in school. I just did my personal research and it worked.
Anybody that knows Kikiopefoluwa knows Dr. Okewale of St’ Ives.
How long have you been married?
I have been married for 5 years.
What has sustained your marriage?
I think the fact that he is very supportive of my business makes my marriage worked. He gives me wings to fly.
And that makes it very easy for me to be who I wanna be.
You have been running Hope fashion for 3 years, where is your first office?
That same office at Opebi Oregun link Road has been our location for 3 years.
What is your love story like?
We met, fell in love and got married (laugh). Well, I met my husband through a friend of mine a long time ago in Lagos.
How did you fall in love?
I guessed he loves my drive. When I met him, I was working with Akin Olaiya, Tokunbo Modupe and Seun Oloketuyi.
Does that mean you started off as a Journalist or a PR person?
No, I was not a journalist when I came back to Nigeria. I was trying to find my feet and I didn’t know anybody. Someone introduced me to Mr. Seun Oloketuyi and he said I don’t have a full time work, but I have a project I am working on for I year. So, I told him I was willing to volunteer. So, it was more of a voluntary job. He was very pleased and he was even the one who referred me to my 2nd job.
You are black, why don’t you bleach?
Black is beautiful and sexy. Black is not expensive. Bleaching is very expensive (laugh). There is nothing as good as maintaining one’s look. You hardly have stretch mark if you are black. I just use lots of Vitamin C, I use Vitamin C cream, Vitamin C cleanser; it gives you a baby look.
How do you juggle business with being a wife?
We complement each other. We also find time for each other. Despite his busy schedule, he finds time to stay with the family and I also do same.
What other things do you do at Hope Fashion aside designing?
We started with selling fabrics shoe and bags and jewellery before we started making clothes. I also have a clinic company. I am also a representative of Clinic Institute in Nigeria. So, I have facilities and I provide.
Who are your clients?
I have different types of clients because my business has different phase.
What has brought you this far?
It is my love for God.
I am a very spiritual person. I ask God for permission in all I do. I also always run every thing by my husband.
When you do that, He will know you are not trying to take their place. You are complementing each other.
How did you build Hope Fashion to a big brand in 3years?
It is pure Grace. I woke up and saw that we are a big brand. Honestly, it is not that I am doing anything differently from what other people are doing. I will say it is because I give so much back to the society. I do empowerment classes. I give so much back to the society and it has helped me so much.