Tosin Olukuade is the creative director of FC Accessories, also known as #Acessorizing Lifestyles brand. The jewellery and accessory design entrepreneur is making waves in the fashion industry, creating sought-after designs and changing the way the business is run.
Tosin’s jewellery and accessory brand consist of a wide variety of manufactured pieces, including earrings, bracelets and necklace that are inspired by cultures and traditions.
Tosin, who is a graduate of Political Science from the University of Lagos, was inspired to establish FC Accessories owing to his love and passion for fashion.
“Fashion has always had my love for many years, even from when I was a teenager. I was particular about my looks, and a humble background wasn’t a deterrent to that,” he says.
To translate what he had passion for into a business, the political scientist established FC Accessories in 2017 but finally registered the business in 2018.
“Having been in the business of fashion for about two years ago, the concept of ‘less is more’ became more fascinating to me. For the fact that I have been a lover of accessories for many years, I decided to create a premium accessory brand to cater to the very discerning and stylish individuals,” Tosin says.
The young entrepreneur was able to raise about half a million naira from family and friends as well as from his personal pocket to kick-start his business.
He has not taken loan from any loan deposit bank since starting.
He says the business has grown since starting and will continue to grow despite challenges. “Looking at our growth, I would say that we have fared well, despite the challenges we have faced. I am positive the business is on an upward trajectory, with the future holding a lot of good in store for us.”
Currently, the business has three employees who are all full-time staff members.
Tosin tells Start-Up-Digest that he sources his raw materials from markets that offer premium quality. “We source our materials and products from distinct destinations that offer premium quality. We go to every length to discover these sources, some in the far-east, some from Italy and other parts of the world,” he explains.
Responding to questions on what the business is doing differently to survive, he says that FC Accessories is leveraging collaborations with other online stores to drive sales of its products.
“Our strategy is to increase our number of collaborations, thereby helping us to cut down on overheads, while we expand the brand’s reach to many more outlets,” he says.
“Also we are engaged in some selected fashion fairs and expos that afford our tribe greater brand recall and we have unique offerings that stand us out in the fashion space,” the young entrepreneur adds.
He states that with the right policies and infrastructure, Nigeria’s fashion industry has the potential to lead on the continent.
The political scientist-turned-entrepreneur says that the fashion industry can help diversify the Nigerian economy away from oil because of its broad value chains.
“The fashion industry is one of the top sectors with a broad value chain. We have sourcing, production, designers, tailors and finishers.
“With all these, the fashion industry has a high multiplier effect on the economy, and any serious government will pay special attention to it as a veritable economic driver,” he notes.
On the challenges facing the business, Tosin says that infrastructural gaps remain the major issue.
He notes that poor power supply has continued to drive his business production cost up as it operates an online store.
He also adds that poor internet service is a bane to the business.
Tosin urges the government to bridge the huge infrastructural gaps in the country to drive industrialisation and increase survival rates of businesses.
On his advice to other entrepreneur he says, “With patience, a lot of grit and doggedness, creativity and innovative spirit, a lot of enthusiasm and a can-do spirit, one can make it work as an entrepreneur.”
“It is a very challenging terrain, and sometimes are very lonely path, but at the end of the day, if one doesn’t give up, one would earn the reward,” he concludes.
Originally posted on BusinessDay.