16 Oct Desola Falomo: I Started My Business Without A Plan
Desola Falomo is the Creator of the TwentySix brand, a fashion outfit based in Lagos, Nigeria. Asides managing her brand, Desola also works full time at her co-owned Interior Architecture company, Rattan Design .
In this interview, Desola shares the reason why she set up the TwentySix brand.
The brand started with an opportunity. Having comfort style is very important to me, so I think I started off selfishly by making clothes I would wear and that also resonated with a lot of people and I am glad it worked out. I got asked by a friend to start selling on her store and that was it. I came up with a name, packaging and out with my first set of products within few weeks. I will admit I went into it blindly, without any expectation, plan or foresight. I always want to create things, I was just happy and open to anything that gave me a chance to do that. I Started three years ago, a month before my 26th birthday, hence the name. Safe to say I have immortalized that age, 26 forever.
We make simple, easy to wear styles in interesting prints and textures.I started with making just skirts and we grew to experiment with different styles – dresses, skirts and blouses e.t.c. We emphasize on our prints, the colors, patterns and also texture as well, we aim for prints that look like if they were intentionally designed, with great quality and also nice to touch.
I enjoy the little joy we give people with little details, like the pockets we put on our dresses that improves the wearer’s functionality or our wrapped packaging with a personalized postcard, someone described how she enjoys unwrapping her order and how it feels like a gift from a friend. We never want to loose those nuances, they keep us going and wanting to do more. If I could go back in time, I would invest in doing a lot more research and not just make assumptions. What I would have learned by seeking the right questions would have saved me time and money.
Getting the word out
Social media is one huge marketplace. Also, we leveraged on word of mouth marketing, through a friend telling another friend and another. My first reaction after I made my first major sale was, “We did that? How can we do more?” If I could go back in time, I would invest in doing a lot more research and not just make assumptions. What I would have learned by seeking the right questions would have saved me time and money.
Unique Selling Point (USP)
To be completely honest, in the fashion industry there isn’t anything new. Same styles and trends are often regurgitated. I have made it important for the brand to stay true to itself while being able to experiment and adapt as the market evolves. It is also crucial TwentySix maintains a personality that our audience can identify with so they know us for what/who we are – it is our unique selling point.
Dear Business Toddler,
The advice I always give is to be technical as much as you are creative with your business. Learn as much as you can on your own. Record everything, have plans and strategies. Your business will be more productive if you know your numbers and can project. Take good care of yourself and do not ignore your mental health.
If you’d like to share your startup story with MzAbiola, click HERE.