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‘What has made us standout for 35 years is quality’

Favour Anachunam is the Company Manager of Silky Touch Emporium, a company which sells top quality menswear. In this interview she tells us what has…

Favour Anachunam is the Company Manager of Silky Touch Emporium, a company which sells top quality menswear. In this interview she tells us what has made the company standout in the past 35 years.

Could you tell us about what you do?

I am the Company Manager of Silky Touch Emporium. I enjoy what I do and I help push the brand. Silky Touch was founded in 1984 by Ogbuefi Victor Okolie, and at 35, the company is stronger.

Silky Touch sells the clothing of top notch Italian designers for menswear such as Palzileri, Brioni, Stefano Ricci, Cortigiani, Umberto Bilancioni, Pasotti, Nipmar, Runic, Mauri, Moreschi, the Bridge, Delga, Perofil, Sutor Mantellasi and Moschino, and we hold their franchise in Nigeria.

What is the high point of the company so far?

We are celebrating our 35 years anniversary in Nigeria. We are specialised in selling luxury menswear. So, it’s not been easy, especially with the situation in the country. However, are trying our best.

What have been your challenges?

Business is slow now. Example, a client who usually comes in and shops for five or six suits may just walk into the shop and just buy two or three now. A major problem we are facing is debt. Some clients are credit-worthy though, but some can buy a dress they have not paid for and wear it. If you owe your landlord, he can ask you to move out of his house, but we cannot take back the cloth that has been worn many times by a client; that is the challenge. We are working on that to see how we can stop it.

How have you been able to create employment through this business?

We have about 30 staff right now both in Lagos and Abuja. We have clients’ executives, online marketers, secretaries and office assistants and we have tailors that are being trained by the brands we sell their products abroad. Because a client can buy a jacket or trousers and it may not be his size, and you can’t give it to just any tailor to trim, so the tailor that needs to work on it has to be trained. We also send them to upgrade their skills from time to time abroad.

It seems all your wears are imported, how are you going to cope with government’s stand that it will not make Forex available for those selling textile?

When we get to that bridge, we will cross it.

What are the activities you have lined up for your 35 years anniversary?

Since we are 35 years this April, we are thinking of this promo: 35 per cent discount for all our items for the month of April; not just a day. So everything that is in the shop, both here and in Lagos, would be sold to our clients 35 per cent less.

Also, when you shop for up to a million naira, you can get some items free.

What would you say is the secret of a successful business?

I think it’s being consistent, because sometimes the road will not be straight, but if you are determined that this is where you want to get to, you will get there. Therefore, regardless of what is happening, you should be consistent.

How is patronage for your wears in Nigeria?

A lot of people know about Silky Touch; even though we are trying to get new clients. We have good clients and they know that we bring in only quality menswear. So our clients spread the word; they tell their friends, families and colleagues.

What are the basic things you have learnt managing this company?

I have learnt how to manage my clients. I deal with all their complaints; I don’t neglect any. Sometimes I go out of the company’s way to replace items for clients. Maybe an item has an issue, I go out of my way to replace it. I make sure I solve all their problems. It’s not been easy, but we are pushing.

What makes your brand unique?

Quality: apart from quality, we have not had a scandal since we have been on for the past 35 years. So, we have good reputation in the fashion and luxury industry.

Where do you see this company in the next five years?

I see Silky Touch everywhere in Nigeria and other countries. We are working on that; to have other branches. We have a lot of clients in Calabar and in some states. They must not come to Abuja and Lagos before they can get their items delivered to them. They should be able to work into the shop and get their items. Same as in other countries.

How has technology helped you in business?

Technology has helped us in communication; sending emails and all that. The social media is there, and I have studied what I do. Social media publicity is my thing because the people we deal with are not always in the traditional media.

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

When you want to do a business, don’t jump into it because everybody is doing it. Regardless of how slow it will be when you start it, be consistent, it’s going to go far. When we chose to sell luxury wears from the outset, I knew it might be difficult, but we still chose to do luxury. We kept on pushing the brand, and today, this is where we are.

Why did you choose to sell only Italian wears?

Because their quality is good.

Do you think Nigeria can produce quality wears like you have from Italy?

We can if we can be sincere with ourselves. But you will find out that at first most people produce good quality, but because of greed, they reduce the quality; that is not good for business.


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