Clothing Today’s Multi-dimensional Mums
Omolade Oshinubi is the managing partner and CEO of Mollyplus Maternity. She is also the Co-founder and CEO at Olive Maternity, an exclusively online maternity store for working moms. She is an aspiring fashion retailer and consultant with a rare passion for clothing and styling today’s working mums. She runs Molly plus, a one-stop maternity and baby shop that meets the needs of today’s contemporary working class women by providing them with comfortable trending maternity wears, nursing wears, as well as products for their babies. Mollyplus maternity collection is essentially designed to celebrate a woman’s pregnancy new body curves…
“We stock a wide range of maternity products from maternity dresses and maternity tops to maternity corporate trousers and many more,” she says.
Her inspiring story has become a reference point for other mums desiring to own or run their own businesses successfully. It all started during her first pregnancy, when with her busy schedule as an event planner and fashion stylist for men’s business wears, she wasn’t able to find stylish clothing for formal meetings.
“As my due date drew near, I couldn’t find maternity clothing with form and structure or find a one-stop shop to buy all I needed for a safe delivery and for my new born. It was quite frustrating as I went from one store to another without success. So, I decided to take my destiny into my hand by opening a one-stop maternity store in Lagos,” she said.
But aside solving her maternity wear problems, the outlet also addresses the needs of working class mothers with taste for fashion even while pregnant.
“I simply stepped into the gap and became responsible not only for myself but for many other women that have bought into our vision and products since inception. It is heartwarming that this action paid off because we became responsible for buying collections, merchandising, sales and marketing. It’s interesting that today, years on, we are still one of the stores that specialize in stocking maternity wears in Nigeria,” she says.
Since it is customary for pregnant women to worry about losing shape and feeling outdated or unattractive on account of their condition, Olive Maternity fills the gap.
“We know the essential need of today’s women, as more often than not, she’s balancing work, friends, family and an active lifestyle. That’s why we are focusing on providing the mom-to-be with a variety of dresses and more that meet her wardrobe needs. Our collections offer a range of essentials that keep her looking professional, sophisticated, and supported throughout her pregnancy. Whether she’s in the boardroom or at business dinners, with friends, she knows that Olive Maternity keeps her looking good. And this is our story,” she explains.
Given her background in advertising, and brand strategy, coupled with the experience gained at a menswear company, she returned to school and bagged a Masters degree in fashion business at the International Fashion Academy (IFA) in Paris, to enable her learn more about fashion design and management. But she didn’t stop at this, as she also went ahead to develop her design aesthetics in the world’s fashion capital.
Her deep desire to satisfy women’s clothing needs made her relocate to Texas with her family upon graduation to start Olive Maternity.
Omolade is a good team player. Thanks to her growing up in a large family, where everyone watched one another’s back. This, she says, has fanned her natural love for people.
“I remember staging a dance during a neighbours’ 40th birthday party with a song that my mum taught me. While growing up, I learnt so many things including how to swim”.
She became an event manager in 2006, when she started her event management before becoming a personality manager and wardrobe consultant. As a wardrobe consultant, and personal shopper, she was in charge of grooming men at weddings. A job she did very well and got lots of referrals before the opportunity to care for babies and mothers presented it self.
“Since 2008, when Mollyplus was birthed, I have never looked back. My team and I enjoy working around mums’ budgets, delivering at their doorsteps, and giving constant advice and access to healthcare professionals.
“Our main concern at Mollyplus is to help expectant mums maintain and enhance their beauty through what they wear, read, eat and do. We go all out to study what the average African or Nigerian woman who is beautiful, strong, intelligent and daring needs. And we order for fabrics, styles and designs to flatter her body.
“Since we started, we have taken giant strides to add value to Nigerian mums’ lives. It’s been very interesting, exciting and worth the while. But we have a long way to go, as we strive to make mums happy at every stage by offering quality services to them.
She feels fulfilled at what she does. “Gratification has been both ways,” she explains. “First, we offer employment and give opportunity for the staff to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skills. If today’s young people will discard the ‘get rich quick’ mentality, and spend time developing themselves, as well as work hard, they will surely enjoy a good harvest and live the good life. I believe that hard work still pays. For Nigerian business owners and executives to compete effectively in the competitive global market, they must pursue excellence in every area of their work, attitude and behaviour,” she says.
In coping with tough times, she advises CEOs and business owners, particularly women to begin to look inward and consider the option of sourcing for commodities locally.
“We must all play our part in ensuring the economic development of our country by reducing our dependence on imported products and begin to patronise local manufacturers.”
In her view, balancing home and career is not easy. However, she has had to learn through the process, growing her skills, while giving quality attention at home.
“It has not been easy, but I am being deliberate about it. I have learnt to take every day as it comes.”
When she’s not working on the business, she can be found having fun with her husband and children. She enjoys cooking, listening to music, strolling and reading. A lot of her money goes into buying books. She also enjoys touring beautiful landscapes and taking pictures.