- On How She Started Her Fabric Business Over 10 Yrs Ago
Oluremi Yetunde Okedara is well known in Abeokuta. She is one of Ogun celebrity women who is into fabric business. But she specializes in Senegalise wears. She has been in the business for more than 10 years. Her outfit is called D Remz, although she started with boutique business, but she left the business because of her love for Senagalise wears. She had left many of her jobs due to some pressures from her boss at work. She is a pretty woman who is also very fashionable. She is married to a popular politician. In this interview with BUNMI MUSTAPHA, she opened up on how she started her fashion line ten years ago.
For the benefit of our readers who will be reading about you for the first time, can we get to know you better?
My names are Hajia Oluremi Yetunde Okedara.
Can you let us know what you do for a living?
I have a brand. I’m into Senegal lace wears. I do all fashion accessories.
You are one of those who started Senegal lace wears in Abeokuta and it’s been a while. Can you tell us how you started your Senegalese business?
It started all well. I started with ready to wear, and when the brand was becoming popular and I understood what my customers want, I had to dance to their tune, because no one was dealing in such brand in Abeokuta, so it was an added advantage for me. Anytime I wear the Senegalese design my customers love it and they always ask me where I got it, so I decided to go into it fully since it is also what I love to wear. I started in year 2015. Although, my ready to wear business has been going on for many years before then. You know everywhere you go, everyone is selling tops and all that. I just love doing something unique, something that’s not been in Abeokuta and I realised that Senegalese was not in Abeokuta and I decided to start that and it has been wonderful.
How easy was it for people to embrace your brand?
I started from Lagos before I moved down to Abeokuta due to my marriage. So far so good, Abeokuta people have really embraced the brand. It has been amazing. You know, once you have unique things, people will look out for you.
What were you doing before the Senegalese business?
I was working at Ebalex Nigeria Limited. We were into tiles, marbles and sanitary wears. It was not easy going to work in the morning and coming back like having something that will give me more time for my family and for myself, so I decided to go into my own personal business so as to have time for my family.”
How long did you spend in the company before starting up your brand?
I was there for like 6 years.
Can you give us an insight into your background?
I was born and brought up in Abeokuta. I am from Yewa North Local Government. I schooled in Abeokuta. My primary school was at E.A.C primary School, Ita-Oshin, later to St.Peters College, Olomore. I studied Public Administration in Kwara State Polytechnic. I finished in 1996.
How do you combine marriage with your busy schedule?
When you have an understanding husband; a husband that supports you in all you do. It makes it easier for you. I’ve been in the business before I met my husband and he has been very supportive of my business. We talk on the phone anytime I travel for my business which always takes me for at least two weeks. He always give me enough time to do what I have to do because he knows I have passion for what I do.
Is there a particular country you go to shop for your goods?
Yes, I do go to Dakar, Senegal. That’s where I make my brand. I sort my laces there and take it down here. I have my Tailors who make them for me.
Apart from Senegal business, do you have other business you do?
Yes I do. I am into farming because my husband is an Agronomist, so I venture into that but not fully. It is what I do by the side.
You celebrated your birthday about a week ago, you did not invite a lot of people because it was on a low key. Is there a reason for that?
You know you have to be thankful for every blessing in life. It was actually a surprise birthday from my family. It’s been a lockdown season due to the pandemic. I just want to thank God I am alive, my families are ok and everything about me has been fine.
You were saying something about how your husband supports you anytime you travel for your business…
Yes, my husband has always been supportive. He is very hard working. He is a great philanthropist and you know once you have a supportive man in your life, everything works fine for you. My husband has been a great pillar in my life.
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