Formal education does not determine your success in life- Yinka Sanusi
You are welcome to StarsConnect Network, which is a Subsidiary of Jetheights Services. Stars Connect network is a programme that brings together entrepreneurs, business owners, inspirational speakers, pastors, and leaders in the society, upcoming artistes, NGOs, people giving back to the society and the world at large. We conduct interview sessions to find out everything we can about their journey to stardom, we hope to bring together stars who can be of benefit to one another and who can synergize with Jetheights in other to impact the community. Once again you are welcome to StarsConnect.
Sanusi: Thank you.
Can you please introduce yourself to the audience of StarsConnect?
Sanusi: My name is Yinka Sanusi. I’m a graduate of University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. I’m an indigene of Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria and the CEO of D’Ace Tailoring.
Sir, you said you are a graduate and you decided to venture into sewing, did you study sewing at the university?
Sanusi: No, I didn’t study sewing in the university. Let me tell you how it started, I have passion for sewing but I never intend venturing into it. I have a friend of mine who admired the way I dress because I like creating my own style of clothes. I usually go to the market, get some fabrics, go to a tailor, and sketch for them like in form of telling them that this is my own design that i want him or her to sew for me and the tailor will bring out the exact design. So this friend of mine who loves the way I dress told me okay, why not get some materials for him, take his measurement and sew for me. That was how I started.
Tell us about your discipline?
Sanusi: I studied Forestry and Wildlife Management at the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
Okay, which means you are not practicing what you studied in school?
Sanusi: No, I’m not. Laughs….
Are you saying that it is not what you studied in school that matters, or does not determine your achievement or what you will be in life?
Sanusi: Yes, exactly. Like you know in Nigeria of today, you find graduates who studied different courses even those that studied science courses, working in banks and other organizations. But I think the main priority is having a first degree.
From L-R: Mr. Mathew, Jetheights’ Manager, Mr. Yinka Sanusi, C.E.O of D’Ace Tailoring, Mr. Bello Olusayo, Senior Editor, Jetheights.
What year did you venture into sewing?
Sanusi: I started in year 2009, but I will say officially D’Ace Tailoring started in 2012.
What is your favorite part about being a fashion designer?
Sanusi: I will say the satisfaction that comes when you see someone you designed for, the outfit and the compliments that the person gets. I will say this brings a lot of satisfaction.
We went through your profile on social media and saw some top Nollywood artiste, are they your clients?
Sanusi: Yes, they are my clients.
How is it like working with Nollywood actors and actresses?
Sanusi: I will say it’s been wonderful working with them. You know celebrities have their own way of promoting brands, so it’s been nice working with them.
How do you get your inspiration as a fashion designer?
Sanusi: I get my inspiration when I sit down on my own and start imagining designs and try to sketch what comes to my mind. Inspiration comes in different ways anyway and not in a particular way.
How do you select your materials i.e. the materials to use and when celebrities wear these cloths, it makes a lot of sense on them and people admire it?
Sanusi: Yes, I will say it’s in form of a process. You find out that you as a fashion designer keeps on developing every day. So, once you have been into the business for a while, you become familiar with it. It comes easily. Combining materials is all about experience.
The C.E.O of D’Ace Tailoring with the Jetheights’ Staff
When selecting material to use, are these selected materials difficult to work with in terms of the colour and texture of the materials to use?
Sanusi: Yes, talking about texture, some textures are not usually good for designs. So if you have a design in mind, definitely you have to look for suitable fabrics and also colours to go with it. This is very important because most times you might have a very good design, then you might ruin it with getting a wrong texture or colour.
As fashion designer, what skills are necessary for a successful fashion designer?
Sanusi: Basically, you have to be creative which is very important. Once you are creative, it becomes your number one priority.
People talk about D’Ace Tailoring, what are your qualifications as a fashion designer; did you learn sewing from well-known fashion designers?
Sanusi: Fashion designing is not about qualification. When I was learning, it wasn’t like learning fully. I got my skills from different set of people and they are not even known, so it’s not about learning a particular outfit. I have some people that I regard them as my boss because I learnt a lot from them.
What motivates you?
Sanusi: Yes, it is the compliment I get from my clients that motivates me and this keeps me going.
Did your parents give their support when you decided to venture into sewing?
Sanusi: Yes, they supported me when they want to. My parents were actually thinking that I wanted to do it for a while before getting a white collar job. Even when I wanted to establish the company, they still supported me financially. With time, they got to know that I was not ready to take up a white collar job and that was what i wanted to do fully.
Now that Nigeria is currently facing economic recession, many fashion designers complain about not succeeding in the business due to lack of adequate funding and patronage. What’s your take on this and how do you cope with funding and patronage issues in your business?
Sanusi: I will say it’s general, but with God’s grace we are coping anyway.
Mr. Yinka Sanusi, the C.E.O of D’Ace Tailoring at the StarsConnect Studio
How do you handle your customers?
Sanusi: We have different set of people, so you get to understand them. There are some people that will just work in and express themselves like “okay just give me something nice or befitting”. In such case, you try to understand them by knowing their style and what will befit them, because what goes for an old man may not apply to a young person. So you try as much as possible to understand your clients.
What are the challenges you might have encountered before getting to this level that you are today?
Sanusi: Starting up when you are doing a part time business is different from when you are actually starting fully. When starting up, expectations will be very high like getting clients, investing a lot of money in the business, but you are not getting the results immediately. I think that very period for me was very challenging. So with passion and the grace of God, I kept on going.
How do you stay up to date with fashion?
Sanusi: I guess passing through all of this, you understand more and how business grow better and it’s also all about branding. You have to brand your business well which is very important and you also have to keep re-branding. You have to be disciplined in what you do, also have passion in what you do.
What are your plans for the future?
Sanusi: Yes, like I said, I’m still building the brand, a brand that will be recognized within and outside the country, a brand that will be of international standard. That is what I’m working towards.
You stationed your office in Ibadan, why not in Lagos, Port Harcourt or Abuja or any other place where the business can be known?
Sanusi: I’m from Ibadan and I started the business here, also majority of my customers based here while officially starting the business.
Mr. Bello Olusayo with the C.E.O of D’Ace Tailoring
On a closing note, what is your advice for young and aspiring fashion designers reading this interview?
Sanusi: Anyone going into fashion design has to be creative and have passion for it. It is not about you going for it in order to get the monetary reward because if it is about the monetary reward and you don’t have passion for it, you will kill the game easily. So the passion keeps you going. When you are creative and disciplined and with prayers, you will surely get there.
How can people contact you in case they want to patronize you?
It’s nice having you on Stars Connect sir
Sanusi: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
For more information about StarsConnect:
Phone No: 09050888890