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.
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.
“We want to genuinely convey out your inner star,” Ikomi claims. “We constantly say, our parts are expense parts, that means irrespective of the craze, it is still some thing that you can put on, for a lot of, quite a few years.”
They also make bespoke parts for milestone birthdays, weddings or wedding receptions.
The corporation carries out all elements of the generation approach in-household, from conceptualizing the materials and garments’ style to execution and shipping to purchasers. A crew of in-property artisans models all the cloth designs, which lets Irawo Studio to wholly manage their supply chain, Ikomi suggests.
In five years, the organization firmly recognized itself within the West African markets, Ikomi says, with greatest sales in Nigeria and Ghana. They have also noticed expansion in the U.K. and U.S., largely in New York Metropolis and Atlanta, Ikomi claims. They ship environment-huge as very well.
Their aim now is to increase more on the U.S. market place in an authentic way, to expand gross sales and get into a lot more shops.
“We have utilized influencers to enable us split into the U.S. market,” Ikomi states. “We do a great deal of compensated marketing as well.”
This expertise with launching and operating Irawo Studio taught Ikomi that an entrepreneur wants to have a full 360-degree watch of their organization.
“You genuinely need to have to be thoroughly geared up to know your company inside and out,” she suggests.
That is why she moved back to Lagos in 2019 for a 12 months and a 50 % to far better comprehend the operations of the company and its expenditures.
Ikomi however carries on doing work in internet marketing and communications outside the house of Irawo Studio.
“I believe in getting really effectively-rounded and employing what I am learning on my job for the organization,” she says. “It’s not essentially about picking one, but it’s about earning time for what ever is significant to you and prioritizing your time.”
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