She quit sending applications for a white collar job in her Country to start up a fashion business few years ago, and now it’s worth a fortune. Grace Barnabas-CEO of Badasky fashion house, really found her career as a fashion designer fulfilling.
She currently sells readymade dresses and thousands are buying into it. Oyeniran Taiwo Adeyinka unravels the Badasky’s success secret in his interview. Grace spoke with him about her fashion house,her past, and the future.
Could you please give a brief introduction of yourself to my readers in case a few of them may not be familiar with you?
My name is Grace Barnabas, but popularly called Badasky. An indigene of Kaduna State , came from a family of four , two elder brothers and a younger sister . Am also the CEO of Badasky fashion house.
You have a degree? But what motivated you to go into fashion designing?
I have a B.Sc. In Mass Communication , am a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University,Zaria,Nigeria. I had and still have so much passion for fashion, since as a kid I told myself I will be a fashion designer, I will only attend school for the certificate, and so it happened.
Tell us how you started your business?
I had my fashion training before going for NYSC , as soon as my service year was over , I knew what next to do. I told my self I won’t submit any CV to any one. My parent supported me with the little they had ,I started with one machine. At first i had no employee. Then, I did all the sewing ,with one receptionist to support me. it wasn’t easy,but over time I employed some one to join me so we can meet demands. My passion pushed me through the difficult and hard times. But thank God today I have six staffs under me , and I have trained more than thirty student in the past years till date.
Fashion designing industry has become highly competitive today. This had made it important for the ones pursuing a career in this industry to work harder. How do you stay up to date with fashion?
To stay in a competitive business and succeed ,one have to go the extra mile , apply the little details that people ignore in the profession. Yet most importantly, develop your own pattern and style, do not follow trend , also knowing how to handle customer relationship is very important too . If once is able to put all these together you will always be a step ahead of your competitors.
What skills are important for a successful career in fashion designing?
To be successful in any business, one needs a practical knowledge of it. A good designer should know how to sew , even if you don’t intend to do the sewing yourself, he or she should also know how to sketch (it doesn’t have to be perfect) but atleast one should be able to express what he or she intend to make to a client on a paper .Also,there are some skills that are not learned in the class room but are important in the business. You needs to develop those skills with time, such as knowing what fit your client , colour combinations , fabric that fit a style , and a customer relationship.
You learned fashion in Nigeria and never worked for anyone else.Why did you launch your own brand straight away?
Yes, I attended a fashion school for 6months. I never worked for any one because it’s some thing I told my self long ago while in the University, that I will be my own Boss. Knowing what I wanted from little helped me since I already knew the direction I was heading to and knowing I could start small and grow some day gave me the courage.
Have heard about some softwares used in making fashion designs. Have you been able to use software to produce designs?
I started making sketches since in primary school. So I use my pencils and colours to make my sketches , but it would be an added advantage to learn the software designing of which I have considered .
Was there anyone in your family who made you feel like designing?
No one in my family sews or design dresses.
In what general area of design do you work?
I do specialises in female wears only. Mostly ready to wear like the wedding dresses.
Who is your target market?
My target market are females who are not scared to look fashionable. I like adventurous client and also I target potential brides to be.
What successes have you achieved since you started?
Success is a relative term, but so far I know I am far better than who I was years back.Skilled wise, I have improved over the years. I have workers , I have a training school and Badasky is gradually becoming a stronger brand not only in kaduna. Our customer base have extended internationally.
Have heard of customers complained about services received from fashion designer. Have you had any low points?
Our only down side is when it comes to picking calls. I know several people have complained to me about that. But we have improved.
Where do you see yourself in business in the next 5 Years ?
In the next five years I see Badasky as a well known brand both nationally and internationally. Badasky should be mentioned among best designers in Africa with a large customer base. In the next five years our training school would also be one of the best in the country.
Do you have a role model in fashion?
Yes, my role model is zuhairmurad. He inspires me a lot.
Grace (L) ,at a Fashion Event
How can potential customers reach your company?
Customers from Facebook, instagram and other social network can easily reach me via the contact on the bio. My office is located by stadium round about along constitution road ,the first upstairs there,at the middle 3rd floor. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org , my instagram handle is @badaskyfashionhouse.
What advice do you have for individual still in fashion school or those who are planning to attend one?
To succeed in the fashion bussiness, first it should be about passion and interest but not the money. Your passion would push you through your hard times. Secondly you need commitment and determination to grow. Lastly, patience and tolerance is important to maintain your customers , as customers can be difficult atimes .
Thanks for your time Grace. Wish you more successes in business.
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