Khadijah Yahaya is the Creative Director at Deeja House of Fashion Unisex. In this interview, the graduate of Sociology of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, shares insight into the entrepreneurship world.
Can you speak about your business?
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I am a fashion entrepreneur with over three years experience in the fashion and entrepreneurial industry. My passion for sewing, tailoring and fashion designing made me start my firm, specialising in both men and women’s clothing and fittings. The brand also specialises in beauty for both men and women ‘s skin and hair care’. We also train young adults and empower them with entrepreneurship skills in fashion. What has worked for us over the years or what makes our brand stand out is top-notch customer relationships we have been commended for.
What is the secret to your business growth?
What actually pushed me into taking the bold step was the bad experiences with tailors such as countless delays on the delivery of finished products which caused a lot of inconveniences and disappointments. I got tired of the constant disappointment and I said to myself what better time to start than now, so I enrolled for the training and acquired the skills. While at training I got compliments on pieces I made. Upon the completion of the training programme, I went ahead to build my brand.
Another secret to our growth, creativity evolves with time, satisfying my customers is very important for me and it’s a priority, the satisfaction and excitement on a customer’s face is a joy for me, I have received several feedbacks for a top-notch customers care, good customer relationships grow the business and a satisfied customer will return and also bring referral customers.
What have you done differently from what is being done already?
We have been able to maintain quality in fabric selection by looking out for the finest of fabric both in quality and body friendly to ensure satisfaction in finished product, carrying along customers in the production process from sourcing of fabrics, to cutting, joining and fitting of the finished product, also efficiency in responding to customer’s demands, specifications and giving adequate advice. Care process, like I love to call it is the fact that I think about my customers in terms of how to serve them, getting to know who they really are and what they really need by talking to them, something as simple as looking at a customer complexion goes a long way to determine colours to work with. We have also received 90% commendation from our customers for good quality, excellent service and prompt delivery of finished products.
How many persons has your company engaged, especially youths?
We have been able to engage at least 10 youths through our training fashion programme, currently training four youths. We hope the number increases in the near future.
On the outlook, how would you sustain the business beyond 10 years
I am putting my business on the road to profitability in the long term, we will have to go beyond short-term thinking. Though getting a sale is great, getting a customer who will bring us multiple sales and referrals, through relationship marketing is much more important which is part of a wider customer relationships management efforts, by being able to turn customers into raving fans that seek our service again and again, and recommend us to others. The idea is that we don’t want to have to continually seek out new customers.
We are also open to collaborations with other businesses which can greatly increase advertising power and marketing reach.
What is your advice to Nigerian youths on finding prospects in the fashion business?
The fashion industry is a trillion-dollar industry, the industry is huge enough to accommodate new comers, they should be able to bring something unique to the industry, maintain high standard. They should be creative as fashion is an art they should treat it as such by creating masterpiece that will flood people towards them. Also another important thing is having passion for what they do, patience and perseverance to endure the harsh realities of life.
Lastly, it is about putting in hard work and not giving up that will help them attain success.