Guest-Bedroom Fashion School
It all began with me one day learning how to make my own clothes from a dear friend of mine.
If you asked me at the time though, the idea of starting my own business with my skills and knowledge was still unimaginable.
So I decided to do some homework before I got into anything. I attended local fashion shows, learned from professionals, and did all the research I could—all I knew was I was good at making clothes, but the quality I was striving for did not exist in Nigeria at the time.
After attending The London College of Fashion, I returned to Abuja and felt finally ready to open up a business where I could teach people sewing skills in 2010. It was hardly a business though, because I was teaching 5 students with 5 sewing machines in the little guest bedroom of my home.
But word got around and before you knew it, the small bedroom business became too crowded and we had to move into a bigger facility.
Alumni Fashion Shows
By 2015, the little fashion school that started in the guest bedroom grew big enough to hold fashion shows and events for the alumni every year.
On average we would have 200 attendees for smaller events, and nearly double the number of guests for bigger ones.
People from all over the community would come to see the beautiful garments our graduates had made with what The Fashion Academy taught them.
The shows really solidifed our standing in the community of Abuja as a thriving environment for aspiring fashion creatives, both for improving their technical skills and broadening their business perspectives.
10 Years in Business
In January 2020, we celebrated The Fashion Academy's 10th anniversary.
There are currently more than 200 businesses run by TFA alumni that have a solid, loyal customer base both in Abuja and around the country.
Existing competitions have had to up their games because they saw that we were training people the right way from the start and it didn't take very long for them to get really good at garment making.
These 10 years in the business were not always a rosy walk in the park. In fact, we face challenges pretty much all the time, like having to generate electricity on our own to keep the classes running without interruption.
But at The Fashion Academy, we overcome those challenges. We create our own value in the market by constantly investing in our people and infrastructure so that we can provide the best possible learning and business environment for our students.
Our cause remains exactly the same as 10 years ago—we help people thrive in life, through fashion.
Evolve: Transforming The Community
Having been in the fashion industry for more than 10 years as mentors, I and my team at The Fashion Academy saw a real need for transforming people's perspectives on fashion as a viable career path.
Because being able to make beautiful clothes and make profits is TOTALLY possible, with the right help and support system.
As a solution, we launched Evolve in February 2020.
Evolve is an annual event that aims to invite more people to join our growing TFA community of fashion entrepreneurs.
We ran free masterclasses by bringing in experts in retail and fabric merchandising, and many more relevant figures in the fashion industry. We also had practical workshops and a marketplace for TFA alumni to advertise their businesses to the event guests.
In just 2 days, we saw over 250 people, many of whom became the new members of TFA—and our community of empowered fashion professionals keeps growing through the constant support and mentorship from The Fashion Academy.