With the month-long Vlisco Women’s Month campaign in March 2015, Vlisco celebrated and paid tribute to successful African women who have made their dreams come true. As part of this initiative Vlisco created the Vlisco Fashion Fund. Its aim is to empower and encourage young female creative fashion professionals from West and Central Africa and unleash their true potential.

Tailors, designers and stylists were asked to submit a business plan of how they would make their dream a reality. Olajumoke was one of the winners and receive funding of $1000, a fashion business package (fashion book, buste, sewing machine, tailor kit) and Master Classes and Fashion Training in Ghana to get invaluable business advice from the Vlisco team to help bring her dream to life. Below you’ll read more about Olajumoke and how she liked meeting the other winners!

Please tell us a little bit more about yourself as a designer
As a designer I want to be known for creating prints that are inspired by my rich culture and heritage together with strong silhouettes that shows structure, fine lines and geometry to bring about contemporary designs. Every collection tells a story on the rich and cultural diversities of the African people and as a brand our objective is to show awareness on the existing relationship between fashion, culture, history and art in Africa, to give form to our own designs and to remain an ethical brand that supports artisans in Africa. Our key to success is creativity, originality, supporting local craftsmanship, promoting African art and culture.

How did you experience the Fashion Fund Winners trip?
It was an excellent experience for me. The hospitality was top and everyone at the Vlisco office in Ghana was very friendly. The programs were also high standard, and I’ve taken a lot from them to add to my business. Also, meeting the fellow designers was awesome.

What is the most relevant part for you? Why?
I can’t point out one specifically, but in all I think day 2 was awesome with Inge, which included the introduction in design principles and Vlisco print in fashion. Also meeting designer Christie Brown was inspirational.

Did you get new insights and learnings that you can immediately use for your business?
Yes I did. A lot from the creative aspect to positioning my business under Vlisco, and also the financial planning was very helpful.

How did you experience meeting up with the other winners?
It was amazing meeting with fellow winners, especially because we are from different countries and cultures. But one thin was common that we all shared, and that is the challenges of being a fashion designer in West Africa.

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