Nene has always loved cutting up 3 fabrics and hand sewing them to make funny looking dresses for her dolls. Sometimes when there were no old clothes to cut up, Nene would descend on any fabric at home which usually left her mum mad.
Several times she got into trouble as a result of cutting up new clothes to make dresses for her dolls. Nene’s Mum would often get so upset and wish she never allowed Nene spend an entire two months with her grandmother when she was six.
It seemed Nene never returned the same person. Her grandmother was one of the oldest seamstress in Calabar and Nene had more gotten more than a holiday with her. She had picked up a new hobby which over the years turned into a raging passion.
By the time Nene got admitted into the university she was already making extra cash from mending clothes and making simple blouses and dresses for her colleagues. Most times, there were complaints and series of back and forth but Nene managed to promptly attend to them. One of her friends even suggested she attend a vocational training during one of the school breaks but Nene didn’t see any need for it. After all, one close look at a style and she could figure out how the pattern was cut.
In her final semester at the university, a friend invited her to an event. It was an entrepreneurial workshop where the facilitator spoke spiritedly about passion and being innovative. Nene was glad she had attended.
In no time she graduated and began searching for a job. But no matter how hard she tried, she just could not seem to find one.
Therefore, Nene resorted to expanding her previous business in the university. Her parents rented an apartment in a busy highbrow area of Lagos which was converted to a fashion designers shop. Being an influential woman, her mum was able to get her several rich customers in no time. Soon her business place was a beehive of activities.
However, less than a year after she began, Nene had lost eighty percent of her customers and even close family and friends refused to send their fabrics to her. She could not seem to understand what was wrong? Apart from the back and forth some of the customers complained of, which she always attended to, she couldn’t think of anything else. Sewing was something she had always done as a child so she wondered what could be wrong?
What do you think is wrong with Nene’s business? Why was she experiencing a loss of customers? What could she do better? All these and more would be discussed in the concluding article.
Ngozi Eneh Ojo a writer and business consultant is the Lead consultant at Afromums