•TTT Fashion Freak Event CEO
She has many names that her friends & fans call her. Some call her TTT Fashion Freak. Some call her Arasky. Others call her Ara Show. All these are the aliases they call Aramide Oladoyin, the beautiful ATLANTA based Fashionista & Brand Influencer. She was recently our Guest on City People TV Instagram Live Chat during which she spoke about what she went through last year Online when she was attacked by some clients who complained that they didn’t get the goods they ordered from her on time. So, badly did she feel at that time that she attempted to commit suicide. Read on. It’s interesting.
How have you been able to sustain your brand online?
It wasn’t easy from the beginning, but with God on our side, we are striving. I have so many brands online. My fabric brand started 8 years ago, when I just got back from US after having my baby.
I came back in August and wasn’t doing anything. During that time, there was a trending fabrics then called “Aso-Asiko” and it was in vogue, with Ankara too. So, I started with Ankara after discussing with my husband then. Though, he disagrees because he still expected me to relax. Meanwhile, I was doing really well in Eket, Akwa-Ibom State before we relocated.
I was into so many things. I had a kiddies shop, I had a restaurant shop and a fashion store. I was really doing well, travelling all over the world. We were like 3 popular businesses owners in Eket then, until they transferred my husband to Lagos. Meanwhile, I was also tired of Eket too. When we got to Lagos, I got pregnant and I went to the state to have my baby. When I got back, I was tired of staying at home and I decided to start again. So, he later agreed and I started the fabrics business in Ikota Shopping Complex in Lagos.
Then, for blogging, it actually started like a joke. I noticed that anytime I went to a party, I am always the one taking pictures and videos of my friends and posting them, then people started encouraging me to start blogging. I disagreed because there was one of your staff who does that and people know her for that and I don’t want to offend her because I loved her and I don’t like to do what people who doing-especially people that I love. But I noticed that I always disfavour myself to favour some people. I wasn’t comfortable starting because I didn’t want it to look like I was stealing her concept, but there was a time I came back from work that day, I was so tired and I just heard from God, “can you start doing blogging? I couldn’t believe myself hearing that I attempted to sleep again but I couldn’t sleep.
But, lo and behold I heard the same voice again and I called my first daughter, Temi, I said “Temi, I want to start blogging, could you help me?” She said, “mum you just called the wrong person, call TJ”. TJ, Tijesunimi is my second child, she is a Computer guru. So, she assisted me with the opening of pages and making of few fliers and we started posting. When she first did it, I didn’t have the confidence but I posted it and people loved it.
Why did you call it TTT Fashion freak?
We are 4 in my family, I am the 2nd child. Our 1st born is Olumide, I am Aramide, the 3rd born is Yetunde and our last born is Kayode. My mother had a store then called “Mide Stores”, so, I took after my mum to use my own children like my mum. TTT means Temiloluwa, Tijesunimi and Tantoluwa. So, I put the TTT together and as a fashion person, I am a fashion freak because I love fashion, so, I joined it together. Meanwhile, I have a friend who used the fashion freak, I got it from her.
What kind of a person is Aramide?
I am a very sweet girl. I am a fantastic and loving girl. I am very temperamental, but when I am angry, once it’s over, it is over. I am not difficult, but people see me like a trouble maker and a difficult person because maybe the way I put myself out there on Instagram or social media, but it’s unfortunate I can’t change. I tried to change for people to love me. I tried to change for people to be my friends. I tried to change myself just because I want to be with people. Then, I cautioned myself, I looked at where I was coming from, I looked at who I am and I said no if you like me that is fine if I don’t like me that is fine. I am not a difficult person, I am friendly, loving, sweet but very temperamental.
How do you cope with criticisms that come your way every day?
It is not easy but I am used to it. I know it is a very terrible thing to make that statement or used to that kind of lifestyle but to be honest with you I have my reasons for saying that I am used to it. No matter how you change or feed a goat, it will still behave like an animal.
Like I said, I tried to change myself for people. I tried to portray myself. I tried to rebrand myself. Yes! I made a mistake but my mistake wasn’t intentional. And the funny thing is that the people coming for me, I don’t have any business transactions with them, I don’t know them.
They always use fake accounts to attack me. But, what do you want to do? When people don’t like you they don’t like you. They have been attacking me even before the business issue came in last year. Maybe because of my lifestyle. I see a lot of people doing so many things on Instagram that I don’t like but I will never condemn them or attack them either. Everybody has their way of life and have their life to live. It all started from me putting no on my family over there and I don’t know why some people are angry about it. It is my choice.
Before the business saga came up last year, I had issues. I am in America, my business is in Nigeria and I didn’t have any support. When people living in the States buy goods from me, I will tell them I would bring it down for them instead of me charging them for Cargo and other expenses. Some people would buy goods worth of $100 from me but by the time it arrived I would have spent more than $100, that was how the problem started. I was messing up myself, messing up my business to please people. I had excesses, a whole lot on me.
I wasn’t doing business right, to be honest. And I was injuring myself just because I didn’t want to lose it.
It’s a business that I enjoyed so much. I didn’t do the business just to make money, I did it because it was my passion. It’s not about money, it was just unfortunate that it happened. My storm came early in life, but I have accepted it.
How did you resolve it?
It was just God who bailed me out and re-branded me. He changed, my name. It was a whole lot of issues and it affected so many things in my life. It affected everything I have laboured for in years. It was a whole lot of excesses, some not get here early, some would be delayed by Cargo, so many challenges.
Some people would tell you they don’t want their fabrics again because the party had passed, they wanted their money.
Throughout that period, what went through your mind?
That period! I wanted to commit suicide. And the reason I wanted to commit suicide wasn’t because of the bullying that came after, online.. I was after my kids and my marriage. I wasn’t after the internet, even when people were telling me the internet never forget I don’t care because I believe the internet cannot stop my kids’ greatness. My kids always encourage me, but I wasn’t okay. I lost my job because I was depressed and it affected me so badly that clients started reporting me and I was losing jobs. So, I made attempt to kill myself 3 times but God helped me. In between my daughter was about to graduate from high school to go to college, she always told me “mummy, you want to kill yourself because of us, because of your marriage, what if God wants, to change you to another place? And that was all.
To the glory of God, in between the storm, my daughter made it, and she was going to school late because she didn’t want me to die. I promised her to stay to the end, that I was not going to kill myself and here I am today, I am alive.
What are the lessons that you learnt?
I learnt to be independent, to be serious, to be focused, to love God more and to keep fewer friends, and it is working for me.