Mrs. Adebambo Emuleomo is the brain behind the popular Bajola Fabrics and Beads at Ikota Shopping Complex, Lagos. She deals majorly in original Swiss lace and other fabrics. She also designs beaded jewelries and her clients are not limited to Nigeria, but in the UK and US. The mother of two kids spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly at her shop, where she revealed how the business started. She also spoke about the flourishing fashion business, among others.
It’s owned by me and I sell Swiss lace, French lace, among others. I get my stock from Switzerland and Austria, that’s the high brand, the exclusive ones. I do beads too. I started fabric business two years ago, but the beads making has been part of me for long, over 10 years ago, during my NYSC days at Cross River State. I started with bead bags, belts, slippers, among others. Four years ago, I ventured into necklace before adding fabric business two years ago. Today, I’m very grateful to God for the successes far.
What you studied in school is quite different from what you’re doing right now. What brought about the line of business you’re now?
I love handiwork a lot. My passion for handiwork led me into the business. When I started making beads, it wasn’t as big as we have today, I ventured into it because of my passion. And today, it’s doing fine.
You said your fabrics are high quality, does that mean your clients are also high?
I have stuffs for average people, but my fabrics are exclusively for the high and mighty because I don’t like selling laces that are common.
What’s your assessment of fashion business in Nigeria?
It’s fascinating. I’m really impressed seeing it going places. The rate at which people venture into it now is very high because it’s a flourishing business. People are really working hard to take it to another level. Kudos to these designers who celebrate African outfits through fashion shows.
From your experience, how profitable is the business?
It’s profitable that’s why you see a lot of people showing interest in the business (smiles). The only problem is when the exchange rate is high, it’s very difficult because your prices will go high, and you know Nigerians, they’ll tell you it’s too expensive. Yet, I have my customers.
How do you define your taste?
I have a very high taste. I’m still moderate though. I love good things. I love to stand out. I love to be in my own world. That’s why I love to be on flowing dresses; and my iro and buba. I can’t do without my gele and beads when I’m on iro and buba.
Do you have plan to float a training school for beads making?
Yes. That’s my dream. In fact, I have started the process already because I want to expand my shop, and use part of it for training school. At the moment, I’m yet to start but very soon, I’m going to start teaching people how to make beads and tie gele.
What is your vision for your business?
I have a big plan but I will prefer to keep it (smiles). I’m going international because my friends in the UK saw me on BEN TV. I have a great vision, I’m sure, by the grace of God, I will get there. I have plan to attend international beads making seminars/trade fairs to showcase my beads.
Tell us your growing up?
I grew up in Ekiti Okitipupa, Ondo state. I had my primary and secondary education in Ondo state. I studied Psychology at the University of Ado Ekiti. From there, I went to a university in the UK, where I had my Masters in Information System. I’m a certified data base administrator.
What are the challenges of doing such business in Nigeria?
We have exchange rate problem. Clothes are not like food, we only buy them when they are needed. Hence, we don’t really make sales. Also, people prefer to go to Lagos (Eko) to buy fabrics, because of their impression that my clothes are expensive. I try to convince them.