There is a new girl making news in the fashion industry, with her just launched collection of Ankara bags at the Michael Josephs center which witnessed a huge number of who is who grace the event. Stella Kigo is her name, Tamalaki designs is her brand which involves making Ankara bags but with different fabrics name it, leather, lesso to even wool.
She has been taking orders and customizing it to the customers specific liking and design. At only 23 years old and still in campus as Varcity we had to sit down with her so she’d tell us her secret to her new found business.
From the moment she introduces herself, you can tell that she’s ambitious, soft spoken and looks very young. We immediately begin the interview;
What is your business all about?
Tamalaki design is a brand that involves making Ankara bags from different fabrics ,to owners specific liking be it wool or leather or kitenge or any material the customer brings along, many people even brainstorm with me during the creating of the design so as to get exactly what they really want.
How did you get started and what motivated you?
How I got started was funny, I sat down out of the misery of being broke and the fear of not knowing what my life entails ,I wanted something tangible to do on the side.
What do you want out of this experience ,plans for the designs?
I want some insanity from this….its my dream to start a conglomerate for Tamalaki, I see Tamalaki as a parent company of so many other ventures. Tamalaki designs is just the beginning of a great dream.
What do you consider your greatest achievement until now?
My greatest achievement so far has to be almost finishing my undergraduate and taking up the many adventures in life and of course being able to be my own CEO in a developing country, I’m seeing big things ahead so watch out this space.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
What’s enjoyable about what I do is knowing someone somewhere will be satisfied with what I do, that they’ll look fashionable, happy its makes me feel really appreciated when people order them for their friends and family its just really satisfying.
Describe to me the most exiting minute of your journey and the most anxious?
The most anxious and still interesting part of my journey was the day I was launching the line at urban fusion event ooh man I was a nervous wreck I wanted everything to be perfect with no hitch I dint sleep for two days , couldn’t eat but it all turns out great, guys always asked how comes I was that calm, but they don’t know how deep down I was struggling to keep from having an anxiety attack , but the launch went as planned the models were set with their bags and I loved being on the run way and people appreciating the collection, most exiting night for me.
How is a typical day in your life?
A day in the life of Miss Kigo, interesting. I go to court in the morning till around 3 then I go to the workshop if I have orders for the bag line and later on I go to class from 6pm.
What’s the biggest thing you struggle with in your business?
My biggest struggle right now being a new venture is breaking into the market and finding an effective marketing strategy that is different from the rest but similar to the best.
How does managing your own business affect your relationship with your family and friends?
The new business being my first born requires I dedicate huge amount of my time to it. i don’t have as much time as I used to but some understand why am not around as I used to be but some just let go of the friendship, it can be really depressing when that happens.
Talking of family are they on board with your business venture?
My family is kind of supportive but they are very strict, both my parents want me to concentrate in school but I assure them I can do both, they are still waiting to see.
What are you pursuing in school?
I am a fourth year student at Catholic University.
What’s the one thing you wish you understood before you ever got started?
The one thing I wished I knew was penetrating the market is not easy that one needs to work so hard to get his or her niche.
Do you think your good at what you do?
I’m good but I can definitely get better, its all about learning and growing with your business always focusing on the future and what’s best for your business.
As a young, stylish and motivated entrepreneur any important man in your life?
Hehehe man, NO comment but soon I will get back to you on that one.
What would you never leave home without?
I always have a body splash, my phone and lip balm in my Ankara bag, and I always try to carry my own line so as to advertise and market them, people always stop me to ask where I got my bag and I tell them its my designs and magic happens.
Here are Tamalaki designs;