I recently got to thinking about the many friends of mine who have recently had babies. Some of them happen to be Nigerians and of course in my ever hyperactive mind, I could not help but think about what it would be like having a maternity wear for the Nigerian pregnant woman. Think about it guys. We’ve got Nike (Ogunlesi) with Ruff n Tumble, Folake Kuye Huntoon with Wewe Clothing and Lisa Folawiyo for Jewel by Lisa, all creating lines for the little ones.
But, what about a line for the hot Nigerian mamas while they are still preggers? A line that uses ankara/lace/adire/aso oke to create inspired maternity clothing that is fitted, sexy and fashionable for the Nigerian pregnant soon to be mom?
My thoughts were not too far off because a quick research showed Liz Lange had done it so well in the USA. How could I forget Liz Lange?! Liz started her maternity line with no idea how to run a fashion business, little cash and a lot of naysayers. Today her business is gigantic!
Here are some steps she took for the designers out there contemplating this idea:
1. She identified a market, that of pregnant women
2. She identified the problem: pregnant women want to feel sexy, fashionable yet appropriate and NO ONE, no retailer out there was responding to their needs!
3. Having identified the problem, she directly contacted pregnant women, mostly celebrities to wear her designs. Her first client was Supermodel Cindy Crawford.
4. Cindy rocking Liz Lange lead to loads of press and Liz’s phone ringing off the hook because many moms wanted the same thing Cindy was wearing!
5. Liz then pounded the pavement in the garment district till she found a manufacturer willing to help her make some small lots (quantities) for her small clients.
6. She began gaining momentum that way and then NIKE the sports apparel company contacted her. After a partnership with NIKE, her real take off began when Target contacted her to design for their customers.
From 5 employees, Liz grew to 50 employees and ultimately a multi-million dollar company.
The video clip gives you so much info. on running a fashion business, her mistakes and successes, importance of the right price points in a tough retail market and the importance of balance, especially when your business takes off.
Any takers for maternity wear for Nigeria’s pregnant women, all the hot mamas? “Why not you Uduak,” you ask? I have never been pregnant and have a little ways to go before I get there. So consider this your freebie idea for being a LadybrilleNigeria reader! (Smile)
Be inspired from Liz’s highly informative interview and go make it happen with your own fashion businesses, whatever they may be! Have a great weekend!
~Photocredit: Liz Lange.com