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The making of ‘House Of Sanfa’-Soyinka

Miss Nasirat Soyinka

Miss Nasirat Soyinka, a certified Educational Technologist, from the prestigious University of Ilorin, Kwara State, an indigene of Abeokuta, who grew up in Yewa South, Ilaro, Ogun State.
She is an expert in buying and selling and also in modern dress making.
Though from a polygamous home, this has not deterred her from building an enviable niche for herself in the business world, through thick and thin, she leads Creekvibe’s Oludaniels into her success story.
Excerpt

Where did you learn the skills of dressmaking?
I started my dressmaking training while I was in the university, occasionally I go for free training session organised by some individuals and groups of which I was given certifications.
Due to multi-tasking of final year and its struggle to succeed with flying colours, I had to let go of some aspects of my skills acquisition programs, so, I decided to focus on academics.
Alhamdulillah, I was lucky to have been posted just after my convocation, to Bornu state, but we were camped at Katsina because of the insurgency in Borno, after camping, I got reposted to Oyo State, Ibadan, where I went back to learn the act of dressmaking at Koogat Fashion Institute, while I was still a corp member.
At what point did you think you could make dress?
The point I decided to go into it. I purposely had rejected serving in Lagos with big companies’. I decided to go out of my comfort zone and do something for myself at that point I gave my all, I was dedicated. I never allowed anything to break my resolve! I had used my NYSC allowance(s) to pay for my fee at Koogat Institute during my youth service days, with supports from friend’s home and abroad including my family members. My boss was patient with me,because I was paying in pieces, I can’t remember how many times I paid.


How long did you learn?
Can’t really say how long, after my training at Koogat for six months, I stayed back to help my boss for few more weeks.
After my youth service, I came back to Lagos and enrolled at another fashion school in Magodo, where I was properly trained on pattern making in fashion designing,it was like a course.
I moved to Regi Seams, where I learnt Pattern Drafting. It was an advance class for me which boosted the confidence in me. From then till now have been collecting jobs from individual/groups, I still work from home, Alhamdulillah God’s love is sweet and progressive.

Who talked you into fashion designing?
No one,fashion designing has been my dream job, right from my young age, I have always wanted to handle sewing machine, I had been nurturing this idea as a growing child when I said to myself ‘I will learn this vocational’. And God has blessed my hands and knowledge on this skill. I’m grateful.

Aside from sewing what else do you do?
Buying and selling is another thing I do. I am a fashion entrepreneur, recently. I also launched another part of my business SANFA HOMES where we deal in quality beddings, home decorating items, anything interiors to create a sweet memory and make your home an interesting haven.
What are the challenges behind tailoring and how can it be contained?
Fashion designing is like a broad field. There’s no island of knowledge as we learn every day. There are different challenges and strokes for different folks. My challenge presently is working from home with no apprentice to work with. I do everything myself, at times I may need someone to check how far I’ve gone on a particular style before final touches. That alone is entirely a different ball game. I can’t really emphasis on the challenges that steers others, it solely depends on the individual involved, my challenges may differ from the next dressmaker’s. The only thing I can say is that tailoring/designing is not a one-man business, no one can face it all alone.
What benefit is tailoring association to its members?
Though, I do not belong to any association yet.They sometimes help in providing sewing equipment’s and funds to make learning easy and also provide a conducive environment suitable for training trainable youths.
How expensive are your designs?
(Smiles), actually, all designs are worth the price! Charges is based on time spent on a particular design, some design could be tedious to achieve. I would say I charge based on designs and time interface to get a design done.
Where will ‘House of Sanfa’ be in 5-year?
No man builds behind God, and God is the owner of the foundation, so, in 5 years, by His grace, we shall surely be soaring high. Amen.
How did you arrive at the name ‘House of Sanfa’?
While in my 300 level at the University, Iwas amulti business-oriented person. I had launched a scarf collection back then. So, I wrote some couple of names and ideas. You know, generating names and forming of name to make a whole is not that easy? It was then I had drafted down this particular name SANFA which I later saw and that was it. It was sweet in my ears. So because of the other businesses, I said let me add HOUSE to the SANFA making it a mother brand so as other business can still breath under the name. That’s it.
Do you have clients outside Lagos, outside the country?
Yes! I have clients outside Lagos and based on referral I have sewed for couple of friends outside the country.
How did COVID -19 affect your clientele?
If I say Covid-19 didaffect my clientele, I would be lying. Please believe me, the only thing I suffered from COVID-19 was lack of strength and motivation to sew, many at times I’ve got a lot of sewing jobs, but no inspiration to match pedal. But presently I am beating up my ass to sit up.
Single, but not searching?
I am engaged, Ma ShaAllah
Who is your favourite musician?
Tope Alabi, her music is inspirational. The lyrics are everything to me.
What is your favouritecolour?
White.
What’s your favourite food?
Yam and fried egg. Better yam o! She emphasized.
Which is your favourite food restaurant?
I hardly eat out.
How do you calm your nerves after a hectic day’s job?
Shower, eat good food and sleep.