She is a beautiful lady who is stylish in her dressing. She dresses so well and she is blessed with a flawless skin that glows. She has to dress well. Adedoyin Akinrinola is the MD/CEO of Doyin Sweets Fabrics in Lagos. Right now, she runs one of the best fabric brands on Instagram and her fabrics are in hot demand because she stocks very rare fabrics very many stylish women rush to her.
She recently told City People Magazine how she turned what used to be her passion for dressing well into big business. Below are excerpts of the interview.
Let’s get to meet you?
My name is Mrs Adedoyin Nneka Akinrinola, CEO Doyin sweets fabrics. I am a fabric merchant based in Lagos, Nigeria. I ventured into the fabric business in December 2016. It’s an online store. I have always had a love for fashion. Those days, when I attend parties, some people that like what I wore, will approach me and ask me where I got my lace from.
Some will ask for the fabric merchants’ details while some will even trust me, ask me to get it for them and deliver. After doing this for a while, I just decided to start my own fabric business, and that was it.
I decided to post pictures on my Instagram page, and that was how people got to know me. I never liked to buy Aso Ebi. My reason was that if I wear the same outfit as everybody, how will u notice my own fabric. I sell for both men and women. I sell Atiku, wool and polished laces for men, and for the women, I sell french laces, cord laces, chantilly laces, tassel laces, fringe laces, brocade fabrics, sequins fabrics and velvets. I have all ranges of fabrics. Prices also differ. I sell to all calibre of people depending on what they can afford.
I advise my customers on the colour of fabric they should wear because of their skin colour, the type of event and the theme of their event. I also give advice on the age of the person that will wear the fabric. Although some people don’t mind.
Like my mum at 72 years old, she doesn’t believe there’s any fabric for any age. She’ll tell me, I’ll buy whatever I feel comfortable in. Nowadays, a lot of women don’t like heavy fabrics. Reasons are because it sometimes makes them uncomfortable due to heat, and heaviness.
I always source fabrics that are unique, and not common. I also ensure I get fabrics that soothe all skin types and colour. My fabrics are very affordable. God’s grace has brought me this far.
How did you coin the name Doyin Sweets?
When I started my business on Instagram about 2 years ago, I wanted a name for my brand and I said, do I say “Doyin” or add Sweet to it. I was into catering before fabrics and I was doing so well. I never put my lace on Instagram when I started. I was just doing it bit by bit. When people say they love the fabric I am wearing, I will send them to where I buy. So many of my friends started saying why don’t I start selling fabrics and that is the brief history of Doyin Sweet as a brand.
How did you build your brand into the strong brand it is today?
“It has been the grace of God because I know many who started long before me. It is not by my might. Nobody in my family sells fabrics. My parents are all educationalists. My father owns Apata Memorial in Isolo and after his death, my 3 mothers run the school. They are my stepmothers but we have a very strong bond. For now, my 3 mummies run the school in Isolo. Though, I have 2 other sisters, Niniola and Teni, who are also into entertainment but not fashion.
“It didn’t come as surprise to some seeing what I do now because they know that I have always loved fashion”.
How was it when you started Doyin Sweets a few years ago?
I was scared when I first posted my pictures on Instagram about 4 years ago. It was fear of the unknown. My kids were so happy and excited about it. They did handmade flyers and shared around our estate. They also gave their friends. I started getting calls the very first day my pictures hit Instagram people started buying.”
You have a very strong online presence with a face to match the brand. Tell us your success secrets?
“It is God and God alone. I started selling right from the first post 2 years ago. I have never done any Sponsored post or Advert. I give God the glory for the good things he has done. I have just been lucky to have a good Instagram family”.
Many Instagram bloggers use my pictures and do free adverts for me. They all help the brand grow. I think humility has helped me a lot. I met nasty clients but I was always been good to them and they ended up bringing more clients. I always appreciate my Instagram family. They are nice and they have brought me this far. It has all helped this brand. Yes, I sell from home but I sell a lot selling from home and I am grateful to God.”
What does Doyin Sweet stand for?
Doyin Sweet stands for unique fabric, timeless collection, which you will hardly see around. Another thing is that I wear what I sell. Sometimes when I go for an event and I am back, I will use my fabric collection on me and post. People see beauty and buy. I do that for people to see the beauty. It worked for me as people kept buying. My make up artists also do amazing jobs. The likes of Tshaky and Demi Williams do the face beat, while I model my fabrics.
Would you say your beauty has also helped your brand?
Yes, it does but Self-confidence also matters. Even if you wear expensive lace and you don’t have Self-confidence, the beauty of the fabric may not be pronounced. Carriage matters. I am on a big size and I wear what suits me.”
How have you been able to maintain your skin?
“I hardly go under the sun. I use scarves a lot and people assume I am a Muslim. I just make sure I don’t use a harsh cream on my body. I exfoliate when necessary.
How easy is it selling those big fabrics from home?
Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes is not. Sometimes I send delivery van but oftentimes I let them come home because they are afraid. They are scared of scam. It is easier now as we have a brand. Though selling from home limits me sometimes but so far, so good, we have a brand. Though I am going to have a place soon it is convenient selling from home for me.
I told myself I want to sell fabrics and I worked on it for days. I told my mum but she was scared. But all her fears are gone now. I have 3 mothers who buy and pay and tell their friends to buy too.
Is it deliberate you sell from home?
I did not plan to sell fabrics. There is a reason why I don’t want to have a shop yet. It is not that I don’t have the money, but I need to get a classy, accessible and conducive location for my brand.
How is your selling habit?
Well, because I haven’t tried a shop, I can’t compare but permit me to tell you that social media has helped lots of people, most especially Instagram. Even those who have shops sell more on Instagram. I also use myself as Advert and I sell. I can’t mention names but I thank God. My Instagram families patronise me and still recommend us to others. So, I want to say thank you.
I thank God that He has brought me this far without a shop. Even when I started, some Instagram families put me through.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you have been doing?
Maybe make-up but it is not my calling. My 3rd mum was almost paying for me to go and learn it but it is not my calling.
I have always loved fashion. I was always applying make-up from Primary 3. I was always at my Uncle’s place; Uncle Tony Elumelu whose mum is my mum’s big sister. He had siblings who are already grown up. So I always looked up to them and admired their make-ups. They were brilliant young babes then and I always tell myself I want to look like them.