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I started out with selling imported female wears to my flatmates – Akosile Foluke

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Akosile Foluke is the brain behind House Of Lawof, a female fashion brand that clothes women, empower female undergraduates, coach aspiring female entrepreneurs and blog about fashion. The graduate of Chemical Engineering is passionate about the empowerment of women in the fashion industry. Foluke continually uses her social media platforms to seek support for young budding entrepreneurs in her field. In this interview with Women of Rubies, she talks about her brand ‘House Of Lawof’, projects, and her goals.

Growing up
My mother give birth to me after all hope was lost medically, people that know the circumstances surrounding my birth call me a miracle.I am a very simple but principled adult. I have gone through some very rough patches in life but God sustained me. I will say basically Foluke is just a simple next door girl.

Inspiration behind House of Lawof
Though I was referred to as being stylish during my school days at the University of Benin ( I even received an award to that effect), it never crossed my mind to go into the fashion business. I was looking forward to graduating and getting a job in the oil and gas sector.

Starting this journey was a calling, I was lying on my bed in school when God ministered to me and directed me to start female fashion business. I started out with selling imported female wears to my flatmates, course mates, friends of friends without a thought that someday we will have a clothing line with our label.

Impact
The part of my work where I will say I have impacted most is the scheme I started in the year 2016, House of Lawof Female Undergraduates Fashionpreneurial Scheme (HOLFUFS).

What this scheme is all about is that we reach out to female undergraduates that are willing to start a female fashion business in school but don’t have start up capital and help them to start up by giving them goods at production cost and on credit. They get goods from us at the prices we produced them, put them up for sale at their own prices and pay us after they have sold their goods. I am happy to see female undergraduates key into this opportunity.

I started House of Lawof as an undergraduate, making money in school made life easier, after school I didn’t need to join millions of youths waiting for white collar job. I decided to start this scheme so that several girls too will not be stranded in school financially and can also continue making money after school without waiting for someone to employ them. We also do drop shipping; we allow women that need a side business but don’t have the time to use pictures of our products to source for customers. When they get customers, the customers pay them, they remove their profit pay us and also shift the delivery to us. It’s a very convenient way of making money on the internet, all they have to do is to get clients while we do the leg work.

Aside this, we also do a yearly House of Lawof essay competition for undergraduates, the winner goes home with a cash price. These are the little impact of my work.

Challenges
House Of Lawof in 2016 started a made in Nigeria female clothing line “Foluke by House Of Lawof “. Our clothes are ready to wear and they come in various designs and sizes. At first the major challenge was how to convince Nigerians to wear Made in Nigeria clothes but thankfully presently more ladies are buying and wearing Foluke by House Of Lawof . The only challenge we are facing now is publicity, with the right publicity we will conquer more grounds.

My Drive
My drive is to become a Nigerian brand that will be acceptable all over the world. I look forward to the day when people will proudly wear Foluke the same way they wear Gucci all over the world.

Other Projects and Activities
I have a couple of projects that I am working on, there is an aspect of fashion that fashion entrepreneurs in Nigeria are not paying attention to, myself and my team are working on bringing that aspect to light. When we unveil the project we will let you know. Also, we are working towards having a fashion show where made in Nigeria wears can be showcased for the world to see this year.

Greatest Reward
My greatest reward for now is when people say “if not for your name/label on the clothes, I won’t have known they are made in Nigeria, they are really beautiful”If you see me at such moment you would think I won lottery.

In five years…
I leave that in the hands of God. Like I said earlier I never knew a business I started with N20,000 would grow this big, so I let Him lead and I follow. Though I have plans mapped out but, in my life, and entrepreneurial journey, God’s Will remains the ultimate.

Recognition for Women
I am passionate about the female gender, luckily my business is female oriented. Women are getting more recognition all over the world, though it can get better but in all I will keep pushing for women’s recognition in my own little ways.

My Inspiration
My inspiration is God and my family.

Being a Woman of Rubies
What makes me a Woman Of Rubies…my passion to make as many girls/women as possible to become financially empowered.

Advice for Female Entrepreneurs
Keep praying, keep pushing, be honest, don’t give Up, the sky is your starting point. For aspiring entrepreneurs I will say just start, start without capital, start with the little you have, start from somewhere, always remember that time waits for no woman.


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