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EUNICE INYANG

Abuja based fashion designer, Eunice Inyang is the CEO of Uniqcouture, a top fashion house known for its unique designs. This elegant and hardworking woman could best be described as an entrepreneur.Indeed, she is an inspiration to young women. Her success story is not complete without mentioning her frustrations in getting a job at the civil service, which motivated her business ideals.

Inyang, who hails from Akwa Ibom is a Chemistry graduate from University of Uyo. She is married and has two lovely children. In this interview with Abuja Metro, she recounts her journey into the creative business, secret of her success, future prospects, family, among other details.

What were you doing before you ventured into fashion business?

I taught in a government secondary school in Warri, Delta State where I also served as a youth corps member. After my graduation in Chemistry from University of Uyo. Thereafter, I relocated to Abuja in 2012 as a married woman. I sought for a job at the civil service, but every effort to get employed proved abortive. Though, I have been involved in bead making, while in secondary school, I got trained by my aunt whom I visited in Lagos. Bead making really sustained me as a student in the university. But I discovered it’s not a lucrative venture after setting up a shop, so I had to close it down and enrol in a six month programme in fashion academy here in Abuja. Since I have always loved craft, I worked with a woman in Wuse, before setting up my fashion outfit.

How has business been so far?

It hasn’t been easy, but my passion drives the success. Initially. I had to source for clients, which propelled me to make ready-made wears to exhibit in my showroom, which attracted my clients until the business progressed to what you see today. Actually, I didn’t start big as it is today, but I have an admirable space to execute my business and I must appreciate my lovely husband, Iboro Inyang, for all his support and love he gave me the platform to excel in business.

While growing, did you ever envisage becoming a fashion designer?

I have always loved technical drawing in secondary school. Sometimes, I found myself sketching women wears in the classroom. Honestly, I didn’t know my flair for drawing would take me this far. My parents had always wanted me to read a professional course, so I studied chemistry instead of writing JAMB always because I had wanted to become a pharmacist as a child. However, my passion for creativity motivated me into fashion business.

After graduation, I wanted to study for my masters, but I wasn’t encouraged since I was unable to secure a job with my degree certificate. At that point, the Holy Spirit ministered to me to learn a skill. Honestly, it takes a hard way to discover your destiny in life, though some people are lucky to finding their destiny on a platter of gold. In all, I give God all the glory for discovering my talent.

Are you fulfilled in what you do?

I appreciate God for making my dream a reality. I have been able to pay some of my staffs far from what a level 08 officer in the civil service earns. And we have a good working relationship like a family. I have six tailors, three sales attendance, one receptionist, two bead makers, and two trainees.

Who are your major clients?

They are mostly women from the northern parts of Nigeria. I have more patronage from them, because they love wearing trendy ankara made in our traditional designs daily.

How do you get inspiration on your designs?

Though, some customers bring their designs, but I get inspired on the colours and design of a fabric, which also motivates my creativity to match accessories to compliment the design. Sometimes, I could sleep over a particular fabric to get my desired style by sketching, which determined the finishing.

What is the hallmark of a good design?

The clothe should fit the body shape of your client. And a designer should be able to create designs that will fit different individual body shapes perfectly, before beautifying the cloth.

What is the worse business mistake one could make?

It’s setting up any business without formal training. A lot of fashion houses within and outside Abuja have closed down, because of lack of knowledge or experience. Some people may go into it as a business venture without been passionate and before you say Jack Robinson it’s has folded. But, when you are gifted in your chosen profession, you will always have testimonies to share.