(By Ayoola Suzan Adekunle)
“I remembered there was this lady who had a shop not far from my house, where she displays bridal stuffs –bouquet, fascinators and so on- and I had always passed and admire them. So when it was time to learn a skill, her place came to my mind first, since it was in line with what I love already. So I enrolled with her for about four to five months.“
Oluwatosin Amakhabi is the creative Director of Thosyn 502, a total fashion outfit, with special fingers for fascinators and other bridal accessories.
Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Amakhabi Oluwatosin. I’m from Osun State, married to an Edo man. A Second class Upper graduate of Sociology from Covenant University. I am currently into making of fascinators for all occasion, corsages, bridal bouquet and professional makeup artistry. I’m venturing into fashion soon…training in progress.
Please tell us how you started. Where or how did you learn your skill?
It started with my love for weddings. I loved everything that has to do with weddings, from the bridesmaids’ dresses to the hall décor, makeup and so on. I paid attention to all of these details anywhere I can find wedding pictures-from magazines to events on TV like Metro File and News Line. It was more like a hobby. So after NYSC, and many months of searching for job, I decided to learn a skill. Then I remembered there was this lady who had a shop not far from my house, where she displays bridal stuffs –bouquet, fascinators and so on- and I had always passed and admire them. So when it was time to learn a skill, her place came to my mind first, since it was in line with what I love already. So I enrolled with her for about four to five months.
So, how long have you been in business as ‘Thosyn 502’?
I’ve been in business for four years now, but I was doing it alongside my office job which I later resigned in January 2012 to face Thosyn 502 fully.
The name ‘Thosyn 502’ How did it come about?
The name was coined out with my ‘then fiancé’ who is now my husband. We wanted a scripture that depicts beauty and we came across psalm 50:2, and Thosyn is my name ‘Tosin’ spelt another way.
Ok now, let’s go into a little bit of history. Can you tell us about fascinators? When exactly did they come into fashion, particularly Nigeria fashion?
Fascinators have been in fashion way back from the 15th century in Europe, but it was of a different form and they were not known as ‘fascinators’ then. The name became popular in the 21st century when we began to see fascinators on Runways and weddings, Horseracing events around the world. It became popular in Nigeria in the early 2000’s, when they were mostly used for weddings, but the trend is changing now as it’s being used for events aside weddings. And it became even more popular after the Royal wedding in London.
Do you think Fascinators have come to stay? How long do you think they’ll last in Nigeria fashion and what plans do you have to remain relevant despite that?
No fashion or trend stays forever, it keeps evolving…from shoes to clothes and even hairstyles. So, it’s a point of duty to keep myself updated as the fashion of fascinators evolves. So, whatever it evolves into, I’m still relevant because I’ve moved with it. It’s just about moving as fashion moves, so you don’t remain there.
How long does it usually take you to handle a bridal job?
The length of time to do a job differs, depending on the number of orders…from a day, a week, two weeks, a month. It depends on how full my hands are and how much the order is.
I know you get jobs a lot. Do you have staff or apprentice working for you at the moment?
For now, there is not apprentice. We are working on that. We’re working on training people where people can acquire skills and be independent. Our staff strength is just three for now.
Do you accept jobs outside Lagos?
Yes! We accept jobs outside Lagos. We’ve done a couple of jobs for clients in Benin, Port Harcourt, Abuja….We send them via courier or just arrange on how to get it across to them.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to start the same business you’re doing?
For anyone who wants to start this business, my advice is ‘be updated’. Keep growing and learning. There is nothing you cannot create. If you can think it, you can do it. Never let anyone or anything discourage you
It’s a great time with you Tosin. Thank you for your time
You are welcome Khume. Thank you too.
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