Patricia Onumonu is the Lead Designer and creative director of Trish O Couture; a lagos based internationally driven fashion house. With over a decade of experience that has evolved into interior and home decorations, Patricia Onumonu has become a widely recognised brand, breaking grounds in the fashion space and is excitingly our lady boss of the week. Enjoy our chat with her!
Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
My name is Patricia Onumonu, Lead Designer and creative director of Trish O Couture; a lagos based but internationally driven fashion house. My love for art, fabrics and clean finishing led me into fashion and I’ve been a fashion designer for more than a decade. I started out buying and selling fabrics, then dabbled into menswear before finally settling as a womens wear designer.
My brand and business have evolved into interior & home decorations; all because I have a natural flair for fashion and art.
What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you choose to be one?
Being an entrepreneur at all is daunting then add being a female, a wife, a mother. Let’s just say my hands are always busy; my mind is always at work; I’m always creating or solving. I wouldn’t say I chose to be an entrepreneur, it just came to me naturally. It’s like a family career goal; my parents were entrepreneurs; my siblings are as well. We are all hustlers.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
Well, like I mentioned earlier, my business has expanded from couture, bespoke and ready to wear to home & interior décor. I believe there’s a fine line between fashion and interior décor. It’s all art. I love art. I love to make things beautiful whether people or space.
My designs are more elaborate because I pay attention to trends and the needs of my customers. I am constantly evolving, growing and getting better.
What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
God is my source. I have a great support system in the form of family. I have a great team in the form of staff and most importantly, I consider myself a resilient person. I work hard; I never rest on my oars and I still am on the journey to success.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face?
I’ve always believed that women have to work twice as hard to prove themselves in any field especially being an entrepreneur. Women are natural multi-taskers, whilst this is a strength, it has its down sides. One of the challenges of being a female entrepreneur is usually balancing work and the home front. It’s not an easy feat.
What values and principles have helped you so far?
I believe in hard work, I believe in consistency. You reap what you sow. I believe in due process. Trust the process. There is no short cut to success; you must do the work and while you do the work, you must have faith for the delivery.
Why did you decide to go into this particular line of business?
Fashion comes naturally to me. I didn’t choose it, it chose me. My mum was once a seamstress and a fabric retailer. I’ve been in this line of business for a decade, made mistakes, changed, grown, evolved into home and interior décor.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?
There’s been all sorts of challenges. Nigeria is a factor, a challenge. The economy affects the state of your finances and can affect customers buying from your business. Poor electricity affects your output and hiring labor. Artisans can be unreliable and difficult to manage which in turn affects your output. I keep going because I’ve chosen to rise above difficulty. I am determined to win. Besides, if I give up, what would I be teaching my kids? Life in itself is filled with challenges and it’s how you deal with those challenges that makes you who you are.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
My 5 year plan involves having multiple retail outlets internationally.
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
Be consistent. Keep working hard, don’t stop believing.
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