Founder of Nigerian fashion brand Irawo Studio, Innovator Award

Temidola Ikomi, a 2017 graduate of the D’Amore-McKim School of Company, really missed the Northeastern local community, so she joined Gals Who Empower

Ikomi desired to develop new connections with like-minded girls who wished to support just about every other develop and could have their personal corporations, she says, since she is a co-founder of an African-impressed trend model in Nigeria, her household country.

“The folks I have met so considerably on this journey have been remarkable,” Ikomi states.

This year Ikomi was honored with a 2022 Innovator Award, presented by the Ladies Who Empower, in the younger alumnae undergraduate group together with a $22,000 money prize. She entered the competitors past year as well, but did not acquire.

“It exhibits that being an entrepreneur doesn’t suggest that you are heading to give up when you really don’t get what you want. You just preserve on pushing and pushing,” Ikomi states. 

A woman stands on a balcony overlooking a tropical beach with palm trees and green-blue water
Temidola Ikomi

Jointly with her mom and two sisters she owns a Nigerian vogue model known as Irawo Studio. Irawo means “stars” in Yoruba, one particular of the a few principal languages spoken in the state.

They usually realized they needed to do some thing in the fashion environment, Ikomi claims.

“Fashion has been a wonderful way for me to convey how I experience, my identity with no automatically declaring everything,” she says. “We all do really like style. We all also want to embrace our Yoruba lifestyle, [and] that is some thing we’re equipped to do with a modern-day twist.”

Ikomi was born in Kano, in the northern portion of Nigeria, and grew up between Lagos, Nairobi, Kenya, and South Africa due to the fact of her father’s travels in company banking. She attended a variety of intercontinental schools and became common with meeting folks from diverse cultures.

In 2012, she enrolled in a faculty in Virginia, but didn’t really feel like it was numerous ample for her. She decided to transfer out and chose Northeastern for its diversity and the co-op program. 

“I believe I improve the very best through challenges at occasions, and I felt the co-op system would actually allow me to see how it would be to be a comprehensive-time employee in advance of I graduate,” she claims.

While at Northeastern she was an adviser and the president of Northeastern African Scholar Organization. She graduated from the D’Amore-McKim School of Enterprise in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in internet marketing and company administration.

Her initial task was in corporate communication. In 2018, Ikomi moved from Boston to Brooklyn, New York, the place she now resides.

When the two Temidola Ikomi and her sister Ama Ikomi graduated from college or university in 2017, the gals in her relatives made a decision that it was time to start off a fashion company again in Nigeria. 

Ama Ikomi went to New York University Stern College of Enterprise and took on the accounting and finance of their new firm. Temidola Ikomi targeted on advertising and promoting. Their youthful sister Anire Ikomi, a graduate of Parsons University of Design, can help with the brand’s public picture. 

The day-to-working day procedure of the enterprise is overseen by their mom, Abby Ikomi, who is the resourceful director of Irawo and life in Lagos complete-time.

Ikomi suggests she will get her entrepreneurial mother nature from her mom. In each and every region they lived in, her mother experienced a business enterprise: hair, home furniture, jewellery. 

“I feel which is how I am, too. When I’m really passionate about a little something, I give it my all, and I want to make sure that it is profitable,” Ikomi suggests. 

Functioning with her loved ones was a bit tricky the first yr, she says, since they required to fully grasp the dynamics among them selves.

“Because it’s family members, you can just be pretty blunt and be genuine. And at times that is what you need to have in the business enterprise,” she says.

They try out to continue to keep their focus on what is the very best for the business enterprise. They all take part in the imaginative improvement course of action, brainstorming collectively about the brand’s messaging or the upcoming lookbook, Ikomi suggests. 

At the identical time, Ikomi suggests, they are a Nigerian family members to start with, and her mother will generally have their unconditional regard. The business arrives soon after that.  

In the initially year of operation, they made a decision to participate in one of the major trend reveals in Lagos termed Crop up to make a grand entrance to a alternatively saturated marketplace, Ikomi claims. Irawo Studio also participated in the Glitz Manner 7 days in Ghana.

 “We did all these style shows to assist us embark [on this journey],” Ikomi says.

She describes the Irawo outfits as African-inspired womenswear that is contemporary and stylish as effectively as extremely relaxed and qualified. She suggests, Irawo garments are for trailblazers who are chasing their dreams in their very own way. They can be mothers, students or doing work skilled women of all ages.

Kenneth Proto

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