They call her the Queen of Blings. And if you’re wondering why she is so-called, all you need to do is take one look at her and you’ll find the answer. Everything she wears glitters. She blings all of her outfits with glittering designs and embellishments that give her a unique and classy appeal. This is the identity and signature look of the very beautiful ebony CEO of Zee Stitches, Abimbola Bakare. This Lawyer turned designer found a niche for herself years ago when she turned her passion for adorning her dresses with blings into a profit-making venture. Rather than make dresses and leave them looking plain and ordinary, Abimbola embellishes her outfits, and this makes them stand out from the crowd. And she has been able to create a niche for herself and meet the yearnings of a growing market that is ever desirous to stand out from the crowd in their pretty dresses adorned with colorful blings.
Weeks ago, at the 2nd edition of the City People’s Female Entrepreneur Awards, Abimbola Bakare was given the Queen of Blings Award in recognition of her unique identity and creative contribution to the fashion sector. City People’s Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL (.08037209290) had a brief chat with the gorgeous looking Abimbola whose glittering outfit at the event enjoyed tons of admiration from those present at the event. She spoke about her love for blings and how she turned her passion around and transformed it into a profit-making business.
Congratulations on the award you just picked up. When I heard you had been given an award recognising you as the Queen of Blings, even before you stepped on stage, I was waiting to see whether you would come out glittering with Blings in your outfit and you didn’t disappoint. Tell us, what’s Queen of Blings all about?
Well, you know, blings is my thing, I’m a bling addict. It’s my kind of signature. For everything I do, I bling. I don’t do plain sewings, I don’t do plain outfits, I bling all my outfits. So, I’ve always had the flare for blings, that’s why.
When did you start this line of business?
That’s about four years ago.
And how would you say the whole blings thing came about for you?
Well, like I told you earlier, I’m a bling addict. Right from when I was young, I’ve always liked loud and glittering things. I’ve always loved to bling my own ready-made outfits and when I wear them people like them and they always asked to know who was making them for me and if I could make one for them.
And you were making them yourself?
Yes, I was making them myself. Even when I buy ready-made outfits, I add a touch of blings to it and when people see them they like them. So, I decided to go into it big time.
What were you doing before you went into this?
I’m a Lawyer by profession but I wasn’t practicing. I was into business, I used to run boutiques.
So, what you do basically is that you pick up a ready-made outfit and you bling it?
No, we make our own outfits. We have ready to wear, tailored to measure, we sell fabrics and all. So, we create our own outfits and bling them.
Alright, so it’s an all-rounder. That means if I say I want something without blings, you can make that for me, right?
Yes, we can.
So, tell us, how has the response been like so far?
It’s been very, very good and trust me, it’s getting better. We get demands from people asking us to do stuff for them. People love what we’re doing.
So, you feel there’s a whole market waiting for your blinged dresses?
Of course, there is. A very big one too.
When you started, how were the challenges like? How were you able to convince people about your concept?
Okay, when I started, it wasn’t so easy, but I would say it was still easy in some ways. This is because it was more like I already had my clientele. Like I told you, I used to run a boutique and I had people who used to buy from me from time. I had people who liked what I used to wear, so I had my own clientele but over time I was able to build a larger clientele base because I style for a lot of celebrities and politicians.
You are clearly a stylish woman and you’re very gorgeous looking as well when you were younger, who would you say really inspired you to be stylish?
Well, thank you so much for the compliment, I’ll say, my mum, she inspired me. My mother really knew how to look good.
She was also a stylish woman?
Yes, my mum was very stylish.
And how have you been able to sustain your stylish lifestyle from decades ago to this point and turning it into a business?
Well, first and foremost, I will say God, He has made all of these possible for me. I will also say perseverance, persistence and continuous hard work, all of these combined together have helped me sustain my passion for the business and looking good as well.
I’m sure a lot of people must be wondering, why did you spend your University days studying Law only to end up dumping it for blinging?
I actually have two degrees, I have a degree in Sociology and I have another degree in Law., but I’ve always been a business person. I’m not an office person. I’m not your regular nine to five person.
How easy was it for you to convince mum and dad that this is what you were going to do?
It was fine, it was okay. They knew they had to support me. I used to work at Central Bank before I stopped working.
What should we expect from you in the next few years?
By the grace of God, we’re looking at going places. We’re looking at stocking high-end shops all over the world and hopefully getting the brand to be known better than it is known now.