‘Not Just Clothings We Make Outstanding Accessories’
The Vortex Features Correspondent, Manasseh F. Paul-Worika speaks with Bayour Oyindoubara Sarah. Sarah, from Sagbama in Bayelsa State and a graduate of Petroleum Engineering from the Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Bayelsa state, is the Chief Executive of DSB Fashion.
Tell us about your Outfit, DSB Fashion.
DSB Fashion offers professional fashion designs for both males and females. We design Traditional wears and English wears amongst others. And in DSB Fashion, we make accessories like, ties, pocket squares, lapel roses and brooches. We also specialize in providing accessories for Grooms, and Groomsmen.
You studied Petroleum Engineering, why Fashion Designing?
Fashion is a lifestyle. It has been an aspect of life I paid attention to from my days as a child. And I always knew where I wanted to be before now. And then my mom is a fashion designer, so I got the interest from her. Being able to beautify people gives me joy. The harsh economic situation in Nigeria is also a factor that spurred me into making a business from my skill. As you know, “man must survive”.
On Government effort in tackling unemployment?
To an extent, I will say they are trying in the best ways they can to tackle unemployment. But more can be done because the rate of unemployment in the country is on the rise every day. I’ll suggest the government should focus on providing platforms for skill acquisition and development.
How long have you been in the Fashion business?
I started professionally in 2017. DSB fashion wears is 2 years old.
Did you learn professionally?
I wouldn’t say I attended any special training. It’s a skill I developed and mastered over time. But I perfected my skills learning from my mum. She helped polish me and gave me the opportunities to become better.
What area do you specialize in?
I can make any style of clothes. But at this moment, I put more into making male accessories. You know fashion is evolving and some persons pay more attention to accessories than their actual clothes. Nigerians demand more of accessories as it adds class to whatever style of cloth they choose.
Any role model in the fashion industry?
My biggest model is Yomi Casual. His creativity fascinates me, and I wish I have the opportunity to learn from him someday. I’ll also say Kathy Anthony. She’s doing great and I look up to her in this business too.
Challenges so far?
Basically, it’s been the issue of finance to expand my business and put things in place. But I’m not letting that affect me as I make do with what I have now while I look forward to bigger days.
I look forward to having one of the biggest fashion brands in Nigeria and also become a household name when it comes to fashion.
How has your business helped you?
Fashion skills have broadened my horizon and given me an edge over my equals. I can’t count how many jobs I’ve done for highly placed individuals in the society.
And it has also helped me to become independent financially. Now I can afford things for myself and also assist my family in little ways.
What makes you stand out?
Firstly, I’ll say unlike many other fashion houses that do just male and female clothes, we have something extra which are “accessories”. Accessories as I mentioned earlier includes, Ties, Bowties, Pocket Squares, Lapel Roses and Brooches and Business Gowns for ladies. And I’ll say good customer-relations skill also. I hold my customers in high esteem. I ensure I give them the best for their money and also give them lovely designs to choose from. The truth is, outside making money, you need to make a good name. No one would associate with someone who treats him or her badly.
How does DSB Fashion Operate?
For now, I use social media (Whatsapp, Facebook and Instagram) as a publicity tool. I showcase available products and buyers get to place orders and we have it delivered to them wherever they are.
How has competition from others influenced you?
There are thousands of fashion designers in Nigeria. The thought of that alone makes me put in my best to ensure I’m mentioned amongst the best. I’ve never felt intimidated, rather I’ve always seen competition from other fashion designers as a ladder to climb faster as I aim for the top. Competition from others is to me as water is essential to plants. The desire to be one of the top fashion designers in the country has kept me going.
Advice to youths hoping on white collar jobs?
I honestly wouldn’t advice any youth to hope on getting white collar jobs. I’ll only advice youths to learn a trade, acquire a skill, become an entrepreneur and be relevant to the society. There’s so much you can do if you search within yourself.
Plans to practice Engineering?
Of course, I look forward to practice all I learnt in the classroom as an Engineer. I’ve submitted applications and expecting I get a call soon. But even if I don’t get a call, it will be fashion all the way.
Words for young entrepreneurs like you?
To every young person who has decided to take a bold step towards developing their skills, I’ll advice you to remain devoted and committed to what you do. Look for someone who can coach you to become better. Be humble, learn all you can and ensure you acquire all that is needed. Finally, don’t be discouraged by your small beginning, celebrate your small wins and keep striving for greater heights.