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Attitude towards learning is everything says fashionprenuer, Mariam

Mariam Julia Peter-Omale is the CEO of Jules House of Jars. The graduate of Industrial Chemistry from University of Jos who also holds a post…

Mariam Julia Peter-Omale is the CEO of Jules House of Jars. The graduate of Industrial Chemistry from University of Jos who also holds a post graduate degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in this interview tells us about her business and why she ventured in to it.

 

Tell us about your fashion brand?

I started Jules House of Jars, a fashion brand that deals in using local hand crafted fabric particularly Batik – what most people call ‘Adire’ – to make or create simple yet classy fashion pieces or clothing for the modern woman. What this means is our pieces are trendy like kimonos, shorts, and so on but all made with an infusion of our signature batik fabric.

When and why did you start the venture?

I started in 2017, I made a decision to quit my then job in a big corporate telephone company in a quest to seek more out of my life and try out several ideas I had at that time. This decision propelled me into the world of vendors and entrepreneurs. By the end of 2017, I started my learning experience. By late 2018, the fashion brand Jules house of Jars took off properly.

How did you learn the business?

I went through a one year learning process where I was fortunate to be enrolled and registered  in a fashion school in Lagos at no personal  cost I might add it was a government funded project for several months to learn how to cut, sew, design clothing professionally.

Afterwards, I sponsored myself to Osogbo for several months to also learn the art of creating batik designs on fabrics. I will like to add here that though I am very grateful for the privilege to have been taught and learnt these skills, a major part of learning for me took place in the many hours, days, weeks and months of practicing what I had learnt on my own. In the many mistakes made and corrected, I went from being clueless to where I am today.

 What does it take to be a professional in this field?

Professionalism in this field is simply being able to keep at it over and over till you become sufficiently great at it. Just like with virtually every other thing in life, practice makes perfect. Attitude towards learning is everything. A willingness to learn, to keep learning and being better are very key. One also needs to learn the financial skills like basic accounting, advertising, cost analysis etc so as to make sure the numbers the business side of things adds up.

 How much was your starting capital and How did you source for the capital?

I started with a down payment of N20,000 for a domestic sewing machine when I began fashion school. I think I even had to pay the remaining N15,000 balance in instalments. At first, I use fabrics I had at home at the time but after learning batiking, I started to use little pieces of batik fabric I had made while learning. Today I can boast of at least three machines, many appliances, an assortment of fabrics among several other things.

 Is the business lucrative?

At first, all I could do was try to keep my business above water and keep reinvesting large chunks, if not all of our profit back into the business, so I couldn’t really say if or how lucrative the business was for the first several months. Now, however, with proper structure in place I can emphatically say Yes, this business is quite lucrative as it rakes in 6 figures in profits on the average monthly.

 How do you attract customers to your business?

I attract customers from active engagements of the business social media handles. I also do a lot of offline marketing like literally telling people everywhere I go about what I do, offering discounts and such. I am also able to attract customers by having a range of products that are both high and low end from hair bands to dress pieces that any customer can comfortable pick whatever catches their fancy. We do get a sizeable amount of referrals so that helps.