#10Questions With The Lady Boss, Arewa Adesanya, CEO, ÀdìreWorld – “I Decided To Go Into Àdìre To Create Beautiful Patterns That Tell Nigerian Stories’’.
Arewa Adesanya, Founder, ÀdìreWorld, a Textile Designing Company, uses Fabric to tell stories that promotes and places the Nigerian Textile industry on international platform. Arewa has overtime grown grown her business whilst also running an academy that trains people on textile designing and we are totally here for a woman that empowers others! scroll down to get inspired.
Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
I am Arewa Adesanya. I am passionate about Fashion and Art which is what led me into Textile Designing. I am AWESOME! ÀdìreWorld is a Textile Designing Company that uses Fabric to tell stories that promote and Place Nigerian Textile on international platform. We add colors and Beauty to human basic need “clothing”. We work with Photographers, Fashion Designers, Interior Designers, Furniture Companies, Stylist, Companies and Private Individuals who wants to create their own Clothing Line or Design for Events, Decoration, and Collections etc. Also, we have an Academy where we train people who want to be Textile Designers.
What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you chose to be one?
Being a Female Entrepreneur is really interesting for me. Women by nature are Strong. They have the ability to Multitask and do excellently well Women Nuture and multiply whatever they are given. Bringing all these “Super Power” into running a business, is just AMAZING.
In our business, we introduced the Adire Branded T-shirt for Companies; this is a branch of Printing that is mostly Male Dominated. I get questions like: Are you sure you can deliver? Sometimes, I meet people who are more interested in working with females. Over time, I have learnt to put my gender behind me and just get the Job done. I focus on delivering excellent job and put us at the Top of the list.
I wouldn’t say I chose to be an Entrepreneur. Firstly, I chose to solve a basic need problem and along the line I became an Entrepreneur. However, being an Entrepreneur is a Full time Job. It is not something you let your mood swing decides for you. Being an Entrepreneur to me is Constant Innovation that makes life better for people, Taking Risks, Learning, being updated on Information, Perseverance and Resourcefulness.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
One of the new innovations we introduced is “Putting people in Charge of their designs”. We created a platform where people are in Control of the designs they get, which means they are not at the mercy of the designs they meet at the market, they can now sketch a pattern and we bring it to life for them. Another innovation we introduced was Branded Adire T-shirts and Shirts for Corporate Organizations. So instead of the normal plain shirt, why don’t we add patterns that tells stories about the brand on the T-shirt.
What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
Constant Innovation, Networking, Character and God. These four factors have been my driving force. To constantly create beautiful designs that tell a story and appeals to our customers. Networking is meeting People. You can’t build a brand on your own without people. You need people to buy, people to refer you. Most importantly how you satisfy and leverage on the people you have is also an important factor. Thirdly, Character comprises of how you treat people, how you respond to people. It comprises of Discipline & Humility. Character will take you far and help you retain your customers. Lastly, my success story is not complete without God. I believe God is the Father of Creativity. Àdìre World is nothing without God.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face?
As a female entrepreneur in a male-dominated industry, earning respect has been a struggle. Your competence to deliver a job is questioned. I was more determined to put in the work to create my own reputation for being a hardworking, disciplined, honorable business person in my own right.
What values and principles have helped you so far?
Values that has helped me so far are; Integrity, Honesty and Commitment to Excellence.
Why did you decide to go into this particular line of business?
I believe Clarity comes with Action. Before I went into textile designing I was selling chin chin in 100 level (2014) and at a point the stress was much and I wasn’t finding fulfillment in what I was doing, so I stopped. In 200 level, I went into Broadcasting and got trained. I became an on-air-personality for my school (Tai Solarin University of Education), at a point again I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. So I sat down and wrote out things I enjoy doing. I wrote out my Passion and Strength in a tabular form. That was how I merged Fashion (my strength) and Art (my passion) together and the only Career who can give me both is Textile Designing. As a kid, I grew up seeing my mum travel to Cotonou to buy fabrics to resell in Nigeria and I have always paid attention to the patterns on the fabrics she buys.
I grew up loving Fabrics and starting a company that produces more fabrics, gives me the nostalgic feeling of how I used to admire the fabrics my mum sold then. I decided to go into Àdìre to create beautiful Patterns that tell Nigerian stories and can be shipped Worldwide changing the narrative of what people think of Nigeria. Also, I believe ÀdìreWorld can help revive Nigeria Textile Industry and a country with over 180 million citizens can provide for its own basic needs “Clothing” and this will help reduce the Billions of dollars that is used to import fabrics into the country. That is one of the reasons we started a Textile Designing Academy where we teach people on how to design fabrics.
Since its inception 2 years ago, we have been able to train 200 people Nationwide. I believe I can’t do this alone that is why we collaborate with non-profit organizations to be able to reach to more people. That way we are also reducing unemployment in the country.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?
One main challenge faced is Funding. There is no funds to Textile Designers and that is why after training people, they can’t start immediately, cause of lack of funds. If the government can make funds available for Textile Designers, this will help grow the industry remarkably. We have the numbers in terms of population and there is possibility of shipping Worldwide but all these can’t be done without Funds.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
Our 5year plan is to be the most preferred Textile Designing Company in Africa putting Nigeria Textile Industry on the hallmark where you can find the BEST TEXTILE DESIGNS IN AFRICA. Also, to have Africa’s Best Textile Designing School where we have people travel from different parts of the world to learn Nigerian Textile Designing. Having a well structured Academy session that makes our students the Best in Textile Designing.
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
To Female Entrepreneurs that wants to be Textile Designers, my advice is that you should be the Best at what you do and that should be the first reason you should get into the job, not only because you want to be an entrepreneur. Keep developing yourself, be of good character, have integrity and watch God elevate you.
The LLA Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.
If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could possibly be featured.