The boss of the newly opened Royal Rack, an upscale clothing outfit on Toyin Street, Ikeja, shares her success story with the Editor, FOLORUNSHO HAMSAT, in this interview.
How did you come with the idea of Royal Rack?
Actually, I re-branded the name from Olsha Kollection. Olsha is the combination of my names, Olayinka Aisha, but due to the difficulty associated to the pronunciation of the name by some of our customers, I decided to re-brand it and change the name to Royal Rack. I came up with the concept because I came from a royal family; in fact the next king in my town in Osun State would be from our own quarters.
Tell us about your array of collections
Yeah! We deal with unisex outfits. And what we do mostly is that, we collect fabric and we would pick a style for you; and we would also tell you what the fabric is good for and aside, we also sell varieties of fabrics. Importantly, we fill the vacuum for you especially when you’re disappointed by your tailor. We have ready to wear outfits that are unisex especially on weekend. We got different styles of unisex outfit of all age groups that you can just step in and pick up one and before you know it, you become the cynosure of all eyes.
How and where do you source for the fabrics?
Not really, I do more of sewing while one of my cousins supplies the fabrics. I’ve not really gone deep into fabrics. But for the Atiku fabric, I do travel to France to get them and also do lots of Swiss Atiku fabric but for the female ones, I’ve not really got into it fully but plans are on to get into it and ordering them myself.
How did you delve into the business?
Smiles….I’m an entrepreneur; I love hospitality business and fashion. In fact, I will say fashion and hospitality are my two loves because I used to do a lot of fashion while I was in school. I like going into something I have passion for. The reason why I go into tailoring is not far within the reach. Before, I wasn’t really into tailoring, all I did was to sell gown for them to make but it got to a point that I realized that I’ve been selling my ideas to them because I used to be the one to sketch for them and I started discovering my creativity to an extent that, each time I go to an event, my friends would say Aisha, who is your tailor not knowing that I was the brain behind the style. So, later on, I decided to add tailoring into the business.
Did you have any training in tailoring?
I’m actually under training now because I’m in fashion school. Some of my tailors are from Ivory Coast and they are so professional.
How has the response been so far from your clients?
The response has been so awesome and encouraging. And of course, challenging; so we have a lot to do in order to certify the appetite of our clients.
Do you breed models as well?
No! I don’t. But we have ladies that model for our outfits. Also, we are clothing some top actresses in our outfits.
When are you opening Royal Rack?
We are doing the opening on the first Sunday of May 2016 and after the opening, we are planning to have a fashion show and it’s going to be periodic since we have gone into designing now.
Who are your major targets among the three classes; lower, middle or upper?
We are open for all classes because our outfits’ prices vary, and they are for all classes.
Who is Aisha as a person?
Oh! I’m a very friendly person and simple. I’m also a sociable person but of course a bit reserved when it comes to picking a friend. And more so, I tend to keep a very low life because my husband is a very low key person.
A La Karte restaurant which you operated was a household name, do you intend going back into it in the future?
Yeah but not really, most people call me A La Karte because of the popularity of the restaurant but since I’ve been married, my husband doesn’t really like the restaurant of a thing because like every other man, he has his reservations about it. But I’m looking up to do something relevant to that in the future, something like food packaging.
Now that you are getting serious with Royal Rack, has it taken away anything from you; perhaps your privacy or social function?
Yeah! It has really, because I have more time to always be here to ensure that I satisfy my clients and making sure that I give them the best. It has actually taken much of my time and deprived me of socializing.
Do you brand your collection?
Not for now, because we are raw beginners in the business. But as time progresses, we hope to do more to register our brand.
What are the qualities you look up to in choosing a friend?
I pick friends that are God-fearing even though it is difficult to know God-fearing people. But I like friends that are sociable because I’m sociable. I go to parties and I like to be at where I will develop my intellectual skills.
Who is your major aspiration in the business industry?
I have a lot of people I’m looking up to in the industry, people that I respect so much but one thing is that, I love doing my own thing in a special and unique way; I want to build my own brand and create my own style because I don’t want to be a copycat.
Share the personalities you’re looking up to
I appreciate Folake Coker and Lanre Da’Silva as well.
What should we expect from the opening that is coming up in May?
It is going to be wonderful because a lot of celebrities will troop in.
Tell us about your marital life
I’m married to a very wonderful man I’ve always praying for; Captain Taiwo Akinpelumi, he is a very supportive man. I’m also a very hard working woman. I do tell women that we should be financially autonomous so whatever the men give us should be an addition. We shouldn’t depend wholly on men, it gives us no honour as wives.
You don’t look stressed, what’s your secret?
I take life very easy. I think I got that from my mum.
What plans do you have in the next four to five years?
By then, I see myself going abroad for fashion show. I see myself having my brand off the shore of the country and I know God will make that possible.
What’s your message to potential clients?
We implore them to try us. We will dress and style you so you look like kings and queens. We will stand you out with style because your fashion routine tells who you are without speaking a word. We are also going to style some actors for the exhibition of our jobs; that is in the making anyway.