Aduragbemi Animasawun Euba was born into the family of former Juju musician, Reverend Idowu Animasawun a.k.a Apola King, and the late Deborah Animasawun. Today, she is the C.E.O. of Signatures by Adura, a one-stop fashion store located at Aleshinloye junction, Tunbee Arcade, Ibadan. Signature by Adura specializes in bespoke tailoring and sales of other fashion accessories and a one-stop fashion store. Adura is a Bsc holder in International Relations, from Lead City University, Ibadan. She has a diploma in Public Relations from the then Ogun State University, now Olabisi Onabanjo University, also have a diploma certificate in styling and fashion business from the London College of Fashion. I love fashion, fashion is my passion and that's why I'm in the business of fashion. In this exclusive interview with Ibadan Media Crew, she reveals her passion for fashion, some of her winning strategies in business, and her taste for quality which makes her stand out in the fashion industry as a fashion entrepreneur. Enjoy the interactive section
Fashion Is An Expression, It's Something That Has To Come From Within
Why Signatures by Adura?
Signatures by Adura is the brand name, you know, your signature is something that is specific to you.
You run a one-stop fashion house, can you tell us which one is your strength, your core product or service?
Our core service is Bespoke tailoring, for both male and female, we also make ready to wear, we sell fabrics, bags, jewellery, anything you need to look good. Signature by Adura is a one-stop fashion store for those that prioritize their outwards look and wouldn't mind investing in it.
What is your definition for fashion and
Really, fashion is an expression, it's something that has to come from within. You have to make looking good a habit or lifestyle, no matter how we try to help you look good, it may not really show if you yourself do not feel good, because fashion starts from within. The plan actually is to help you look and feel good.
I've actually come across some celebrities on the internet, Instagram & Facebook especially those that posted some of their pictures and tag you as their designer. Do you only sew for socialites and celebrities or is your service is for general market?
I wouldn't say is for the general market or for everybody because we focus on quality and not quantity, so I wouldn't say it's for everybody. It's for anybody that values quality and wants to look good. You know we have different kind of people, those who value quality and some people value quantity. Our outfits are usually very precise we pay attention to details, we don't do cheap quality materials and that is why we have some celebrities as a client as you said, people like Gloria Bamiloye, Lady Evangelist Funmi Aragbaye, Iyabo Ojo, Desola Afod, Yetunde Are, Motirayo Olowosibi, Olaife Ajewole (Woli Agba's Wife) and many others have worn our outfits. So, I will say it's not for everybody it's just for those who value quality, prioritize their looking good and wouldn't mind going for it. Spending money on yourself is an investment like people say you dress how you want to be addressed. So, to dress well and be addressed well you have to invest in your clothing and accessories i.e how your look generally. So, our styling/clothing is just for those who values quality, those who want to look good, feel good, and those who are ready to invest in their outlook. I'm not saying you have to break the bank. It's like an affordable luxury, we are not going to chase you away with high prices, no no no, but we don't come cheap, I would call it an affordable luxury brand.
What is your strength that stands you out in this business because there are several people and fashion houses out there?
(Smiles…) My strength is being able to style
women of all body shapes and body sizes. It's
not all designers that can do that. So, I have the
ability to be able to conveniently style women
of any size or any shape and it always comes
out well. That's my major strength.
I have many returning customers because
whatever we make for them suits them
perfectly, so they never want to change their
designer, so that's my strength. Being able to
understand your clients is very key, it helps in
styling. So personally, you have to understand
the character or the personality of whoever
you are making an outfit for. The personality
and the outfit have to go together. Your outfit
needs to match your personality, so while you
come into my store, I'm meeting you for the first time, I would be able to ask you questions
about what you like doing and then I would also be
able to figure out some things about you that
would help us in helping you look good. So
those are my two major strengths. The styling
of anybody's size and shape and giving you a
style that will suit your personality or any
event you intend to go to, you know you just tell
us what you want. We promise you that we'll
always deliver, and that's why we have a lot or
You've been in this business for how long?
The fashion designing business, I started it nine (9) years ago but being a fashion entrepreneur, anybody that knows me in my University days; I had a small car then. My car was full of good fabrics, hair, perfumes, clothes you know a lot of things so I've always been a fashion entrepreneur since I was in 200 level in the university. I remember back then my mother used to take me to China Town in Ikoyi, Lagos where I started my fashion business, we used to go and buy Ankara. My mummy would just take me and we'll buy everything that has to do with fashion that we can lay our hands on and then we pick, then bring to Ibadan. My mum actually taught me fashion and business, she taught me how to put prices on things, though she wasn't a fashion entrepreneur. But she taught me business. My foundation in the fashion enterprise was from her.
I was doing my IT (industrial training) in
former Trans International Bank. I would buy
things as a young girl and take it to the bank
and sell to my bosses, my colleagues, and
friends. After my IT, I went back to school
and just continued with my fashion
business, so I've been doing the fashion
business since 2002.
Officially can we say it's now 10 years?
No, it clocked 9 years in October 2020
Can you share some of the challenges
you've faced in the business?
I have tailors working for me, I style, I sew, but because I'm also a very busy person, I don't have enough time to sit on the machine and sew, but I design as well. I put my tailors through on how to sew. I forgot to mention that I first learnt tailoring in Aleshinloye market, it was odd because everyone felt I was daddy's girl, you know carrying your car to Aleshinloye market then as a young girl was odd. I knew that's what I wanted to do so as early as 2001. I learnt sewing in Aleshinloye market before I went for further training. So, back to our discussion, the challenges I face as a fashion entrepreneur is managing tailors. Managing people is generally not easy, I have quite number of staff, is not easy managing them. It is always from one issue to the other and then this is why you have to always be on your feet because at the end of the day, when anything goes wrong, customers isn't going to face your staff, they are coming to face you, you have to be calculative, you have to constantly be on your feet so that nothing goes wrong and that alone it draining, ehmm… also, be patience with clients, you know women have different body shapes and another issue, for instance, a customer might comment 'oh my cloth looks fine but oh I still want it fitted on the back' or the burst that alone takes a lot of patience. You know you can't fight your customers, you can't argue with them, you have to give them what they want, so, managing staff, managing customers and then the Nigerian factor, power outage, you know sometimes you might go days without power supply, you must be on generating set which consumes fuel, and sometimes you spend more than you bargained for and you still can't go back to the person and say give me more money, so the Nigerian factor is also a major challenge.
Your advice for people generally, what do you think they need to work on?
Oh! for people generally? people should prioritize looking good, it's very important to always go for quality, like don't be caught looking bad and scruffy, it's a normal human instinct, when you see someone looking good you relate with them nicely, but when you don't look good, hmmmnnn… just prioritize your looking good, it's very important and if you ever have a choice to pick between quality and quantity always go for quality because quality would always stand you out and last long. If you want to have an outfit that you would keep, you wear and then you go back to and it still looks good. There's no point wasting money. I see going for quantity as wasting of money, prioritize looking good. Prioritize going for quality and for some people who don't even know their style, we can help you find it when it comes to fashion. I've met a lot of people that are confusing and I asked, what do you want, they don't know what they want. So, I realized some women are actually confused with their fashion sense because they don't have a good designer that would help them find what would suit them.
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