#LadyBoss- “I believe that doing business is a game, the greatest game in the world if you know how to play it’’ – Oluwaseun ikusika, Founder & Creative director, S.K.I.

Oluwaseun ikusika is a Nigerian serial entrepreneur, speaker, business administrator, an aspiring lawyer and a fashion stylist with over 3 years’ experience in business. She is the founder and creative director of 3 thriving businesses in the fashion and entertainment industry; S.K.I Fashion, S.K.I Music and Style by S.K.I. She is currently an undergraduate of Law and Business in Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom.

Her passion to see people’s life change for the better on a powerful daily continuum had been the underlying factor that drives everything she does. She longs for a world where everyone has equal opportunity to a better life. 

 

WHO IS OLUWASEUN IKUSIKA?

Oluwaseun ikusika is a Nigerian Serial Entrepreneur, Speaker, Business Administrator, an aspiring Lawyer and a fashion stylist with over 3 years’ experience in business. She is an undergraduate of business and law in a prestigious university in the UK..

Oluwaseun is the CEO, brand strategist and creative director of the S.K.I brand, a brand that comprises 3 thriving businesses. S.K.I fashion, where she makes tee-shirts, tracksuits and hand bags. A record label called S.K.I Music worldwide (formerly called BmEmepMusic) where she supports up and coming artistes in Nigeria. A styling brand called StyleByS.K.I where she provides fashion advice, coordination of outfits for models and individuals.  

Oluwaseun loves to educate, motivate ladies to start up their business, she helps them with business ideas and strategy. She has won three different awards for her brand. She earned her awards from Nigeria Teen Choice Award, Nigeria Hype Award and Ondo State Social Award.

She believes that ‘Doing business is a game, the greatest game in the world if you know how to play it. With your willingness, organization and discipline, you can lead your brand to an economic success.’

S.K.I And the idea behind it

The name S.K,I name was derived from the name people call me, it’s a short abbreviation of Seunfunmi King Irawo. Fashion is part of my lifestyle. Asides the fact that I did a fashion styling course 2years ago, I  believe that I am one of the people who don’t find it difficult to create styles.  

I started drawing bags and clothing designs since I was 15 but I kept it to myself because I didn’t understand it at that time. Although I have always admired some  fashion brands. When I started business 3years ago, I went into the entertainment industry by starting my record label, I pulled out a concert show with my artiste in my home town which cost me a lot but it was successful with over 1,500 attending. I was really motivated with this, then I prayed to God to show me what to do next. 

The following morning after this prayer, I found a quote on the internet which says ‘Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is everything around you,  life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. You can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people use’. The moment I read this quote, my life changed! I told myself I will create my own designs and I promised myself to influence it till people start using it. I am glad I did this, I am glad I found my purpose. 

Why did you choose entrepreneurship? OR would you say it chose you?

To be candid, I would say both! Entrepreneurship is part of my family and I think it is also one of the right paths of my life. My mom has been in the business industry since she was young, she loves doing business and I would say how she does it gave me the motivation to start mine too, entrepreneurship chose me through my mom, I also choose it by applying to study business alongside law. I did this to understand more about business life and so I can teach my fellow ladies more about entrepreneurship and I am proud to say it really helped me.

Collections and upcoming projects

My recent collection for S.K.I fashion was named after me, I called it the signature because I created it to represent me and every strong woman out there. I had my brand logo on my S. K. I handbags for the first time. The signature was a collection I planned for a whole year, I took my time to create those designs, I kept drawing and changing it from one design to another until I got the perfect one. 

I have another upcoming collection for S.K.I very soon which is going to be the second version of the signature collection. The second version is going to be for both male and female. To be honest, I have lots of upcoming projects which I am trying to execute one by one. I am planning to add another business/ collaboration to the brand before the year runs out, I am also planning a pop-up sales party for the brand by December/ January. 

What challenges have you face on your journey and what lessons have you learnt

I believe that no matter what you face in life, challenges will always come up. It is not always about the challenges sometimes; it is about the lessons you gain from it. We can only grow when we face challenges. I have faced so many challenges in my business. An example of a challenge I face is distance challenge, the fact that I have to operate my businesses in Nigeria while I am studying in the UK. It was hard for me at first because I had to take care of so many things from afar. Although, I’ve got a brand manager, personal assistant etc. but there are still a lot of things I have to do to keep the business running. The distance challenge has taught me how to be strong and believe in myself. It made me believe I can operate my business in any part of the world and still be successful. 

What do you do when the going gets tough and how do you handle failure?

It’s been God for me, it is so tough to handle different businesses from afar but God has been helping me and I have been helping myself too. I am the type of person who doesn’t give up easily, I believe so much in myself and my brand. No matter the circumstances, I will always pull through. The pandemic experience we had this year affected my brand in some ways. I had to cancel my collections at the beginning of the year, it was really frustrating, I had to cancel my collections because of the lockdown but I came back stronger after the lockdown. 

I learnt a lot while I was home and this has been helping me. I believe a failure from the past shouldn’t be the end to a dream. 3years ago, I didn’t know I would come this far but I believe in myself. Failure is part of the business process but we all don’t like when it happens. I accept failure when it happens, I make sure I learn my lessons and re-write the winning rules again. There is no point in looking back, it’s a waste of time, the future is what always interests me. 

How do you Practice self-care?

I Practice self-care by knowing my worth. Knowing my worth helps me maintain a healthy relationship with myself, it helps me boost my self-esteem and confidence. The way I praise my brand and remind myself that I matter and my needs are important has always given me positive feelings towards myself and my brand. 

What life mantra or philosophy has brought you this far?

It’s three things for me. 

  • Ready for the challenge
  • Ready for the experience
  • Ready for the success

 

Any advice to women in our community?

 I want all the women out there to understand and believe that they have strength and power in them, they should listen carefully to their internal ego. Stand up for what you believe in even if it means standing alone, you alone can do it if you believe in yourself. Let’s all accept our strength and use it for constructive purposes. Keep pushing.

 

 

The 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 lead@leadingladiesafrica.org, and she could possibly be featured.

 

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