INTERVIEW: My Ideal Clients Are Men Who Really Care About Wearing Quality- Toriola Isa Oladimeji


Toriola Isa Oladimeji, a professional tailor and Civil Engineer, the CEO of Grandeur Tailors. Toriola Isa Oladimeji tells The Muslim Voice, Nigeria’s Usman Oyebamiji about his aspiration, motivation and how his education did not stop him from following his father’s profession “tailoring”.

MV: Tell us something about your background?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: I was born in the city of Abeokuta in Ogun state. I had both my primary and secondary education in Abeokuta. And I studied Civil Engineering at the FUNAAB also in Abeokuta.

Though before I gained admission into FUNAAB. I completed a National Diploma in Civil Engineering at Federal polytechnic Ilaro, Ogun State

MV: As a trained engineer what what lead you into fashion designing?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: I have been into fashion before I knew anything about Engineering. My father is a professional Tailor as well and I have been learning while I was quite young.

So I didn’t leave Engineering for Tailoring. I only chose to do what I have been upon right from my younger ages.

I acquired my tailoring skills during my secondary school days at father’s insistence on my having vocational skills.

While I had no serious interest in tailoring at the time, I mastered it painstakingly.

However, my interest in becoming a tailor started growing after I gained admission into the university and it dawned on me that tailoring is more lucrative than I ever imagined.

These insights prompted me to polish my skills and set out strongly into the men’s clothing world.

I knew I had to offer something unique if I really wanted to make headway, so I started crafting never-seen-before men’s outfits borne out of my own imagination.

MV: How would you define your personal style?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: You mean personal style in terms of Tailoring? Well. I can say I love perfection. I love it when things are done the perfect way. I have zero tolerance to untidiness.

MV: At Grandeur Tailors, which niche of tailoring did you focus on?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: I focus on men’s wear generally. I don’t make clothes for females and children.

I also focus so much on tiny sewing details that many Nigerian Tailors don’t take cognizance of.

And this selling point has been attracting clients within and outside Nigeria.

My aim is to help Nigerian men with better alternatives to foreign-made wears as well as to convince them that native outfits can be sewn to perfection.

MV: What are the challenges you facing in your fashion business?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: The challenges are many I can just mention one or two.

The main challenge I face is having able hands who can handle things perfectly to the taste of the company.

Though, that is presently being solved with some sort of training we give to workers prior to employing them. Still, A lot are difficult to train.

Secondly, as a small business, we need funds to grow to be able to meet some demands. But I believe hopefully, with time, we’ll grow gradually.

MV: Grandeur Tailors is making wave on social media, who are your ideal customers?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: My Ideal clients are men who really care about wearing quality.

MV: What are your inspirations?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: Seeing mentors and big brands inspires me to do more. I believe one day, by Allah’s mercy, I’ll get there too.

 

MV: According to you, what are the skills that are necessary for becoming a successful fashion designer?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: We mix up a lot of things in Nigeria , Fashion designing is not the same as Tailoring.

To answer your question the way we understand it here in Nigeria. To have a successful fashion business, you need to go to a fashion school to have some insight.

Then you need a good business administration skill.

If you have money and you understand the game, YOU DON’T need to know how to sew before you could run a successful fashion business.

MV: How do you stay updated with the trends in the fashion industry?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: Social media has helped a lot in that regard, especially Instagram. With Instagram you have see what Tailors are producing all over the country.

MV: What advice will you give upcoming entrepreneurs in an unfriendly business environment like Nigeria?

Toriola Isa Oladimeji: I will tell them same word of advice that my elder brother usually give which is “Don’t stop”.

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