Ikomi desired to develop new connections with like-minded women of all ages who wished to aid just about every other grow and could possibly have their very own corporations, she states, simply because she is a co-founder of an African-impressed style brand in Nigeria, her residence state.
“The persons I have fulfilled so significantly on this journey have been remarkable,” Ikomi states.
This year Ikomi was honored with a 2022 Innovator Award, offered by the Females Who Empower, in the younger alumnae undergraduate category together with a $22,000 dollars prize. She entered the opposition final yr as very well, but didn’t acquire.
“It displays that currently being an entrepreneur does not mean that you are going to give up when you really don’t get what you want. You just preserve on pushing and pushing,” Ikomi suggests.
They often realized they preferred to do a thing in the trend entire world, Ikomi suggests.
“Fashion has been a wonderful way for me to specific how I feel, my identification without automatically stating anything,” she claims. “We all do adore trend. We all also want to embrace our Yoruba culture, [and] which is a thing we’re able to do with a fashionable twist.”
Ikomi was born in Kano, in the northern part of Nigeria, and grew up between Lagos, Nairobi, Kenya, and South Africa because of her father’s travels in company banking. She attended a range of worldwide colleges and grew to become common with meeting persons from distinct cultures.
In 2012, she enrolled in a college in Virginia, but did not feel like it was diverse more than enough for her. She resolved to transfer out and selected Northeastern for its diversity and the co-op method.
“I believe that I improve the finest by issues at instances, and I felt the co-op plan would actually allow me to see how it would be to be a complete-time employee ahead of I graduate,” she says.
Though at Northeastern she was an adviser and the president of Northeastern African College student Organization. She graduated from the D’Amore-McKim School of Business in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and organization administration.
Her 1st task was in corporate interaction. In 2018, Ikomi moved from Boston to Brooklyn, New York, where by she at this time resides.
When both of those Temidola Ikomi and her sister Ama Ikomi graduated from higher education in 2017, the females in her spouse and children decided that it was time to get started a manner company again in Nigeria.
Ama Ikomi went to New York University Stern School of Company and took on the accounting and finance of their new business. Temidola Ikomi focused on advertising and promotion. Their more youthful sister Anire Ikomi, a graduate of Parsons College of Design and style, can help with the brand’s public impression.
The day-to-day procedure of the business is overseen by their mother, Abby Ikomi, who is the creative director of Irawo and life in Lagos whole-time.
Ikomi claims she will get her entrepreneurial character from her mom. In every state they lived in, her mom had a enterprise: hair, household furniture, jewelry.
“I assume that’s how I am, also. When I’m pretty passionate about some thing, I give it my all, and I want to make positive that it is productive,” Ikomi says.
Functioning with her family members was a little bit tough the to start with year, she suggests, due to the fact they required to have an understanding of the dynamics concerning by themselves.
“Because it’s loved ones, you can just be pretty blunt and be truthful. And in some cases which is what you need to have in the organization,” she claims.
They attempt to retain their aim on what is the best for the business. They all take part in the artistic development course of action, brainstorming collectively about the brand’s messaging or the up coming lookbook, Ikomi says.
At the exact time, Ikomi suggests, they are a Nigerian family 1st, and her mom will generally have their unconditional regard. The business enterprise arrives after that.
In the 1st calendar year of operation, they determined to take part in just one of the major fashion displays in Lagos identified as Come up to make a grand entrance to a rather saturated current market, Ikomi suggests. Irawo Studio also participated in the Glitz Fashion 7 days in Ghana.
“We did all these fashion shows to assistance us embark [on this journey],” Ikomi claims.
She describes the Irawo garments as African-impressed womenswear that is modern-day and stylish as nicely as quite comfy and experienced. She says, Irawo clothes are for trailblazers who are chasing their desires in their individual way. They can be moms, college students or functioning skilled ladies.
“We want to definitely bring out your inner star,” Ikomi claims. “We constantly say, our pieces are investment pieces, meaning no matter of the trend, it is continue to something that you can have on, for quite a few, quite a few many years.”
They also make bespoke items for milestone birthdays, weddings or marriage receptions.
The business carries out all components of the creation system in-household, from conceptualizing the materials and garments’ style to execution and transport to consumers. A team of in-home artisans layouts all the cloth designs, which permits Irawo Studio to completely handle their supply chain, Ikomi states.
In 5 years, the company firmly recognized alone within the West African marketplaces, Ikomi says, with most significant gross sales in Nigeria and Ghana. They have also observed progress in the U.K. and U.S., primarily in New York City and Atlanta, Ikomi claims. They ship world-vast as well.
Their purpose now is to broaden additional on the U.S. market place in an genuine way, to increase gross sales and get into a lot more shops.
“We have utilized influencers to support us break into the U.S. industry,” Ikomi says. “We do a lot of paid marketing as well.”
This working experience with launching and managing Irawo Studio taught Ikomi that an entrepreneur wants to have a full 360-diploma see of their business enterprise.
“You actually need to have to be fully geared up to know your enterprise within and out,” she states.
That is why she moved back again to Lagos in 2019 for a 12 months and a fifty percent to superior understand the functions of the small business and its bills.
Ikomi nonetheless continues doing the job in marketing and advertising and communications outside of Irawo Studio.
“I believe in remaining extremely perfectly-rounded and employing what I am finding out on my task for the business enterprise,” she states. “It’s not automatically about selecting just one, but it is about producing time for what ever is significant to you and prioritizing your time.”
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