Tonibonoj – from my mind to the Catwalk

Posts Tagged ‘UK designers

Hello beautiful people!

It’s been a little while but I’m back!

So much has happened since my last post; finally got sample 1 of my collection completed! Huge Yeah!!!

It’s a dress – that’s all I’m saying at the moment :). I love it and I’ve had really good feedback from those who’ve seen it – so encouraging. Now we need to complete the collection and start some serious marketing and hopefully sales.

So you know this blog is about my journey from the idea to your wardrobe right? I’ll let you in on a couple of my learnings in the recent weeks.

    Reality over dreams

Surfboard on beach Creating the sample creation can be quite a tedious process and that’s just sourcing the fabric and trimmings. I learnt the hard way with sample 1, found a fabric I loved for the design but then realised there wasnt enough of it for the sample; a blessing in disguise as the fabric couldn’t be sourced quickly enough for spontaneous orders. So whilst I’d oomed and arrhed at this particular fabric, there was no point going ahead with it knowing “Department Store S” on Bond street could require 100 pieces with a 6 week turn round and half of that time spent would be just waiting for fabric to arrive; that was a no-no! So it was off to source a similar fabric, asked for 300 mtrs within a week – if the fabric store is confident enough to get you that quantity, then you’re on the right path to finding a fabric you can be confident to use. And that my dear friends is what I did to find the fabric that made the cut for our sample 1. It is possible that I probably would have known this as part of a 3 year fashion design course but as we’re learning on the go, I take this as part of my lot :). Lesson learnt, so we move on!

    Keep your Business Plan dynamic

Close-up of rolled up Indian banknotes on a chessboard with chess pieces Horizontal
 

In all my learnings whether in Marketing or as part of my degree, one thing I always heard was that the business plan is a moving document. I had not realised how true that statement was; I can definitely attest to it now.

I have a friend who’s launching her own business also and we serve as accountability partners to each other – the business we’re running now have developed compared to the ideas we started with. With more research comes more understanding of the product and the environment our businesses will operate in and it therefore makes absolute sense to be fluid enough to ensure that the business plan adjusts accordingly otherwise, our projects might never see the light of day or even last no longer than a season – no one wants that.

So any fashion entrepreneurs out there with similar experiences to mine or something I havent even mentioned that we could benefit from? Please share.

I’m off now and will come back before the end of the week with some fashion related (as opposed to business focused) post.

Be good and have a fruitful week ahead!

Much love

T

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First things first, I cannot believe this is happening to me! The last few months have been nothing less than amazing, a rollercoaster ride and begging God daily – we cannot stop this ride now, please.

Lets get to a better introduction, my name is Tosin (toes-in), I am youngish years old, and a budding International fashion designer and label owner. I guess the fact I have a business makes me a business woman too? Nothing sounds sexier than that; Entrepreneur, nice.

I don’t have the same background as most fashion designers because I spent a long time using the left side of my brain doing non creative stuff like completing A’ levels in Physics, Maths and Computing Studies, followed by a degree in Information Engineering and Technology Management then 10 years working with blue chip companies gaining experience in IT, Management Information and Marketing as well as accumulating several certificates to help me perform my job better. So you see what I mean when I say ‘I’m not your usual fashion designer’? So how did I end up where I am today?

Well, earlier this year I lost my job in the city, I was very ill and for the first time since I was 17 years old, I had time to think of what I would really LOVE to do next. When you’ve had a job since you were legally allowed to, and suddenly lose your job (which I later found out was very central to me), there is an initial feeling of shock and despair (well there was for me), add denial too. I wanted to go find a new role immediately but I couldn’t. Whilst I got myself better, I had a light bulb moment of styling my own work wear, usually these thoughts come and disappear as soon as they arrive because my busy life wouldn’t have allowed it; I was always rushing from one thing to the other. In my previous job, commuting to London meant very long days, so having time to think outside of my job, role as a wife and Sunday school teacher was a luxury!

Back to my light bulb moment, well I had more time on my hands so I began to enquire about tailors I could work with to design my outfits. Soon enough I wondered to myself why I couldn’t make these clothes and sell them. I had a niche idea (which I will tell you more about later) and was certain there would be many people who would want to buy these outfits. That was it, I started drawing and loved my drawings even as amateurish as they looked. I prayed about it and trusted God to make things work alright.

I slept on the idea for a few more months but was lucky to speak to a fashion designer friend of a friend – that was fantastic! She suggested I attend a short course at one of London’s art colleges and contact my local college re: Sewing or garment construction. This was the best advice ever and if you’re like me, coming into the Fashion Industry with little knowledge of it and would like to pursue a fashion designing career, I would really advocate this route. Sewing courses can be really cheap or even free at your local college so unless you want to major as a seamstress, the most important knowledge worth paying for is how the industry works; releasing collections, understanding the customer, trend research, the fashion calendar and important people who make the industry tick just to mention a few.

If you are young or not in a hurry to run your business as I was, then go ahead and get a degree from a University; find one that is very respected worldwide and whose students have gone on to successful careers. In London, I can suggest London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins College of arts; they are both renowned colleges worldwide. Do your research, competition will be high for entry places – good luck!

So there we go, a little introduction about me. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment, it would be nice to know your thoughts, did you find any of the information useful? Or maybe you have questions, let me know.

I will be back in a few days, until then I will leave you with this thought:

You only have one life, live it to its fullest. It sounds corny but it is true. Follow your passion and when you do, you’ll never have to work again because everyday will be like enjoying your hobby!

Catch you later!

Much love

T

xxx



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  • tonibonoj: Ha ha ha, glad you got me on your mind! T
  • tonibonoj: Thank you for stopping by! So you're one of those lucky in betweeners? Smart Casual ahn? Interesting comment you make about not making an effort. I'm
  • mbabazi: OOPS. i pasted you link ,silly me . http://mbabaziannet.blogspot.com/