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Temitope Williams-Adewunmi: Why Haven’t You Pursued Your Dream of Becoming a Fashion Designer?

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Ok… so you have always wanted to become a fashion designer…for any of the following reasons:

You have always loved sketching clothes as soon as you were able to hold a pencil;
You used to make clothes for your dolls;
You know you have the talent and everyone knows that – they even come to you when they need styles for their aso-ebi; … or the one I get often…
You were just tired of your tailor and you knew you could do better. It’s the classic tale of ‘I tell her one thing and she churns out something else and we keep going back and forth!’ (This was my story…)

You know it. Everyone knows it. You just have to become a fashion designer! You have the gift, you have the talent and you know you will make a lot of money from it. And you keep promising yourself that next year you will definitely take this up!

December comes and you write your goals for the coming year, and top of of the list?! “Finally pursue this dream of mine!” The new year hits and you are all fired up! Google becomes your best friend. You start your research “How to Become a Fashion Designer”, you start making calls and you even visit some fashion schools because you want to learn how to sew.

And then the holidays are over and reality hits. Work or school begins and the momentum you built over the holidays starts slowing down. Before you know it, the excuses start pouring in. You begin to convince yourself that “now is not the right time”. Why? You tell yourself…

• I have an extremely busy schedule and simply cannot create the time!
• Won’t people think I’m crazy?! Leaving a good job for fashion?!
• I have a family to feed, how much money can I possibly make from fashion;
• I think I am too old and don’t even know how or where to start from;
• I don’t have the money so let me work some more to gather more funds;
• The good fashion schools are too far and I cannot give up my weekends;
• I cannot get distracted now, I am at a crucial point in my life;
• I’m about to get that promotion so now is not a good time to leave.
• I cannot do this, what if I fail?!

And the excuses keep piling up. And yes, these are good and valid points which make all the sense in the world… or are they?! Maybe… just maybe these excuses are just a cover for the real reason you have refused to make that move – FEAR! And worse, you have refused to admit it to yourself!

Yes we all face these fears.

• Fear of failure;
• Fear of the unknown;
• Fear that people will laugh at you;
• Fear that people won’t like your work;
• Fear that you are too old;… I can go on and on…

I can, however, assure you that there is one thing wayyyyyy worse than fear and that is the regret you feel years down the line when the world has moved on and you are still stuck in the same space. You think you have missed that opportunity (emphasis on the word “think”) and bitterness sets in. You blame everything and everyone around you, including yourself (if you have the guts to blame yourself), for missing that opportunity.

But guess what? It is never too late to make the move. So what if you fail? Big deal. You try again or worse, you backtrack and go back to your job or get another job – you will not be the first to do so. But at least there is that satisfaction you get knowing that you scratched that itch and bled in the process; knowing that you discovered after trying it out that it was not for you. At least, now you know.

But then again, you really do not need to dive into the ocean and give everything up in a flash! Baby steps they call it. Test the waters first. Use your spare time (and yes everyone has some spare time no matter how busy they are) and start something on the side no matter how little. Could be selling your sketches to designers or even your colleagues who need fabulous styles for Asoebi Bella, working with your tailor to bring your sketches to life and selling them to colleagues or even learning how to sew. The best thing is your market is all around you! Everyone loves a fashion designer because everyone must wear clothes! Do that until you build that confidence to take the full plunge!

Oh… and one more thing… try not to give in to procrastination! Yes it is difficult and I, for one, am extremely guilty of it! Take this article for example. I have been meaning to write about this for ages and this is what?! July already! I just kept postponing until I said to myself just now “Argh! You know what?! Just do this now!” And it is exactly 2.18am!

And that is literally all it takes! For you to say to yourself “Argh! I’m doing this now!” Not tomorrow, not when I get home, NOW!

So there you have it! I’ve made my move! How about you?! Tell us why you have not yet made that move into the fashion industry!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Photographerlondon 

Temitope Williams-Adewunmi  is a fashion entrepreneur well versed in various areas of the fashion industry, its relationship with the business community and the business of fashion. She runs Martwayne (www.martwayne.com), a company devoted to giving people “Power Through Fashion” and helps fashion enthusiasts ‘turn their love for fashion into a viable business’.

31 Comments

  1. Ibinabo

    July 2, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Well said, but mine is a restaurant I want to own… but no time to learn more skills. any ideas?

    • Dr. N

      July 2, 2015 at 11:11 am

      Weekend classes maybe? Once a month classes? Just do something. Lol

    • Ibinabo

      July 2, 2015 at 3:08 pm

      Thanks

    • Martwayne

      July 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Weekend Classes are available, as well as weekday classes.
      Please contact Martwayne on:
      Tel: +234 813 298 7824
      WhatsApp: +234 809 787 6075
      e-mail: [email protected]
      Pin: 2AC0E9AD

      Enjoy the rest of your day.

    • bb

      July 7, 2015 at 6:34 pm

      Find an restaurateur to shadow at work – you learn quickly that way.

  2. mamahenz

    July 2, 2015 at 10:51 am

    On point, i have been thinking of how to go to a fashion school for years, those that have weekend classes, but every time i push the thought to the back of my priorities. I can sew a perfect dress without a sewing machine, but just to find time and hone my skills is a big problem because i do a regular 9 to 5 job which i get home sometimes by 7pm. i wish i knew how to juggle them together, my job is a good paying one but sewing has been in me long before i married 15 years ago. right now i feel i am too old to leave my job and go start something. hmmmmmmmm, maybe i should…….

  3. patsychy

    July 2, 2015 at 10:52 am

    my dear,thanks for this inspirational article.am that friend that knows fabrics,what goes with what,asoebi styles followers,had it in mind to learn how to sew.had tailor friends both Senegalese and Ivory coast guys.though am working but I think I will use my weekends for now to start learning….Fashion designing has been my passion since I was a child…..thanks for nudging me in the right direction….

  4. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015 at 10:56 am

    God bless you for the write-up

  5. Paloma

    July 2, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    I have a sewing machine, i trained for it, but sch, work etc is taking a lot of my time jare, mine is no time oooo

  6. fola ade jewels

    July 2, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    this is one of the best and priceless article on this blog, Fashion is my passion. I am does people who are multi -talented. i can write novels and poems, sketch clothes, draw, sing but fashion comes without stress. presently i just graduated from university age 20, i had poems on 54artisitry.com, publish a book and currently working on a poem collection. my problem is my parents. my father wants a stable job and i hate jobs and am better of showcasing my creativity. i am waiting till when am full out ( Thank God i will be going to Canada for masters) till then, keep up the good work and i just got an idea to sell my sketches. but what if i am not acknowledged? is that selfish of me?

    • Francesca Isimenmen

      July 2, 2015 at 8:45 pm

      Fola dear, please follow your dreams and all you’re passionate about. Don’t let your parents distract you. They won’t be there when regrets sets in much later.
      Utilise your stay in Canada. It will be an added advantage for you.
      24yrs ago when I was your age, I wrote stories, articles, decorate, make cakes, learnt sewing and above all sing. My folks wanted me in office job which I hated with passion but yet I didn’t have the courage to go for my dreams. 24yrs down the line, I’m suffering it cos I ended up with nothing! But thank God for hope! I’m starting to dream again!

  7. Chika

    July 2, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Thank you for this article, This was for me, i grew up in a home of fashion, (Thats my mum’s work), one of my sisters is presently doing that now, and i make ALL my traditional wears but i always have excuses for turning it into a business. God help me and people like me

  8. Maggie

    July 2, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I definitely know this write up is for me. I really do luv fashion designing, I can sew a dress I jus need a little help from a professional.

  9. Scared Homosapien

    July 2, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Last year, i had tailoring as my only new year resolution. I needed to fill out my weekends cos i had no boyfriend to take my time anymore. I pursued it with all my mind, alongside my main job (i’m a public servant).
    To God be the glory cos i can now sit down and cut and make my own dress. The only thing i couldnt do was make for others, which was my aim (extra money), but hey, i’m saving money from making my own dress. And do you know what? I learnt everything free of charge, from my tailor who was extorting me, hahahaha. He felt i was joking when i told him i wanted to learn. He then said “if you can be coming saturdays and sit here with me, i will teach you.” I showed up the next saturday, to his utmost surprise. He is heaven sent!

  10. Oluwakemi

    July 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I really love to go into fashion designing. Please, how I contact you?

  11. nammy

    July 2, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    I don’t know why oh!

  12. lite.on

    July 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    my dad is never in support of it at his own thinking am choosing to be a tailor over education. i really hope someday i d get to it when i can afford to sponsor myself to a fashion school.

  13. Mrs. DJ

    July 2, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Wow…
    This is where I am right now… I have stuck in this 9-5 jobs for years. I need to do something differently but fear of the unknown, raising kids and time management is a challenge. Thanks for this piece. I will be in touch with you short and see if we can work sometin out. Thank you again. Good luck to all aspiring fashion designer like myself

  14. bethel ekemita

    July 2, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    This is the article have been waiting for. Great motivation. Thanks

  15. creamie

    July 2, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    God bless you..actually dis write up was put tgda for me……went to a fashion school in 2006, didnt round up, cos i was combining the training with sch den, so i couldnt do it for long…. i have so much passion for fashion designing, always googling like she said, my hubby got a sewing machine for me recently, i do my amendments myself but i dont know how to cut a fabric…. still praying for the time to go back to a fashion sch for finishing touches…cant wait!!!

  16. Tope Williams-Adewunmi

    July 2, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Yaye!!!!!! My first article on BN! Nice 😀 I am soooooooo glad the article helped. Don’t worry, I plan to write more to help you make that move no matter little it is.

    To be honest, you don’t have to give it all up or resign your job. Just take each day as it comes and make your decision from there. Age is not really an issue. I wish I had gone into fashion a lot sooner but hey, I won’t beat myself up over that. All that matters is that I’ve done it! Besides, I know someone who went back to school to get a degree in Law and she’s now a practising lawyer…and she had a great job as well… so who am I to say anything. Really, only you can set your barriers…. and there should not be one. It is tough yes but you can find a way around it I’m sure.

  17. Tee

    July 2, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Ma, you are talking directly to me…started a fashion school but stopped, just need encouragement to start again, I keep putting the thought off…is there an email I can reach you on PLEASE

  18. Addy

    July 2, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    This is the very best article on this blog so far and am sooooo motivated! I have a regular 8 to 5 job but then am braving up to take my lesson classes seriously and am so excited! fashion here we come!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Lade

    July 2, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you Temitope, this article is truly inspiring. I’m that person that has procastinated for years. It’s better late than never and I’ve made up my mind to start before the end of the year. This article is affirming the fact that this is the time to go for it. God bless you.

  20. Tosin

    July 2, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    I am amazed at the responses, wow.
    Just commenting to wish everyone well. Make some time to do things you love, in fact, be selfish and do only things you love and leave the rest for others (who love that thing) to do 😀
    Life is beautiful, don’t spend it in traffic, on ‘onning and offing’ gen, or trying to impress random people.
    And hugs to Temitope.

  21. TM Obende

    July 2, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks for writing Temitope, I do enjoy reading your articles. @ co-readers. Temitope is a bundle of good energy and I must say her energy is contagious if u let it. I have met her and taken a few courses at Martwayne…..bottom line is “all things her possible if you give it a go”. I thank God for meeting you Mrs Tope.?

  22. Francesca Isimenmen

    July 2, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    Thank God for hope and a second chance to pursue my dreams!

  23. Diesel

    July 3, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Good job Tope… Martwayne – where creativity get down to business.

  24. Mi'De

    July 3, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for this insightful and inspirational article. It was like I read a gospel that touched my soul, lol. I am a fashion designer and my challenges can be summed up into a novel. Sketching designs has always been something I liked, initially I sketched my designs for free and gave it out to friends. Over time, a course mate in University encouraged me to start producing my designs, it’s been fulfilling. I am not where I want to be yet, still learning and growing my business, thanks to books and entrepreneurial programmes. I don’t get the full support I need from my family and even people I once considered friends. Reading this has made me realize my dreams are not wrong and wanting to create art in the form of clothing is not wrong.

  25. id

    July 3, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Welldone mrs temitope.
    Will send this Link to a banker frd,,we talked at length today abt fashion and am pretty sure d article will go a Long way to encourage her.
    am into fashion myself n had to take d bull by d horn immediately i left NYSC in 2012..Now,am exchanging my products for money…lol
    fashion biz is a good biz

  26. Temitope

    August 7, 2015 at 10:47 am

    OMG…..every line just described me. My mouth just fell open as I read. Hmm. Refreshing. Thanks
    You have no idea……

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