Mrs. Yewande Hakeem-Habeeb is one of the leading fashion designers in Lagos. She is the CEO of QUBRAZ Designs, Lagos and she is doing so well.
She was one of the Awardees at the last 2021 City People Fashion & Beauty Awards in Lagos, where she her brand was honoured. Below are excerpts of her interview with City People where she revealed a lot more about QUBRAZ Designs.
How do you feel about getting an award from City People?
I want to say a very big thank you because I feel honored and I am grateful to City People for the recognition and I am happy to be given this award.
Tell us about your fashion business?
I have been into this business for 19 years now and it as gone through its ups and downs like every other business. It has been wonderful and to God be the glory with focus, persistence and prayer we have been able to scale through and we are still thriving.
What is your area of specialization in fashion?
We are into Ready to wear and Made to measure outfits but we can say we are mainly into ready to wear outfits because a lot of people know us for Kaftans.
Why did you specialize in Kaftans?
We are also in to other parts of the fashion making industry but lots of people prefer Kaftans these days so when they want to quickly attend an event they drop by to pick up our Kaftans so we ensure that we don’t make our kaftans the regular one and we try to make our designs look unique and comfortable.
How has business been in the past one year especially during the period of the lockdown?
It has been very challenging because during the lockdown we had to downsize on a lot of things like cut down on our staffing, our number of production and all of that. It taught us how to diversify and learn new things like things asides fashion like me training on events and interior decoration since I had a prior knowledge of it. So the post-Covid effect gave me the ability to do other things and I advise people not to put all their eggs in one basket.
How is your Fashion Academy doing?
It is still on and we train students, and to God be the glory it has been encouraging because we have NYSC put us on to train corps after their orientation camp. We train them on how to make outfits and it has been going well.
Why did you decide to go into fashion?
My mum used to sell clothes when she was alive and I liked how she dresses because she was fashionable and I loved to draw, so when she dresses to go out I will make out some sketches of her outfit and pick out some fabrics from what she sells, so I developed interest in the fashion industry based on what I see on my mother. So when she passed I was supposed to go into fabrics but I decided to go for fashion
What advice do you have for those inspiring to go into the fashion line?
I will advise that they ensure they develop a passion for it because if u do not have a passion for it you may run away and not look away from the challenges. So passion, prayer, focus and persistence are important.
How can one discover what one has a passion for?
It is something you have inside of you. Take me for instance, since when I was a kid I had a passion for drawing and fashion so after my university I started working the 9-5 jobs and I knew it was not for me. So I went into business so this is something you discover over time that it is what you love doing so when you find it out try to learn and discover new things about it so you can be better.
How do you advise the people who do not like starting small?
Don’t wait to start big, start from where ever you are. When I started, I started with 1 outfit which I made for myself. People saw it and liked it and asked me where I made it and I told them I made it myself. People started asking me to make this outfit and I kept on making these outfits without spending anything from it. I later went into the sales of shirts to raise more capital. So don’t wait till u start big you can start with even one piece or outfit
How much did you use in starting your business?
As far back as 2010, linen was 300 per yard and I was sewing a top and trouser outfit which usually required 4 yards of the linen material, so I did not start with any amount close to 5,000 naira.
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