Speaking of ‘fabulosity’, we explore a niche much loved by Royalty and a craft made all the more popular by Kate Middleton. Our newest Creative is all about quality and class, both of which are evident in her line of accessories.
A true entrepreneur, she creatively channeled her training in a similar field into a new and trendy enterprise that she runs with her twin sister.
Receive with me, another contributor to Nigeria’s creative economy and fab designer, Esther of Sisterhood Crafties. I must say that she rocks her own designs so well, you can’t but fall in love with them.
Can we meet you?
My name is Esther Egbunkonye – wife, mother, and the Creative Director of Sisterhood Crafties. I graduated in 2006 with a degree in History and International studies.
Give a brief introduction of your business endeavour
At Sisterhood Crafties, we offer fabulous, classy and uniquely designed hand crafted Fascinators/ Saucer hats, Ankara neck & ear statement pieces. We also do bouquets for your bridal train. The business name was inspired by my twin sister and I, plus the fact that our products are designed for females.
Do u see yourself as a creative individual and at what point did this happen?
Yes, I see myself as a creative person because I love crafting beautiful things with my hands. It comes to me so easily, I guess it is inherent!
What source(s) do you draw your inspiration from?
The Holy Spirit inspires my imagination.
Describe your journey so far.
I had learned the basics of millinery in 2003 when hat making was the in-thing. Then sometime in 2012, I got inspired by a speaker who spoke extensively about working with your talent. That is how I started creating something unique and and different from the knowledge I have in millinery.
The journey has been both peaceful and challenging. When I started out, I got few orders through word of mouth and referrals. These days, my customers are from all parts of the country
Did you receive any training?
Yes, I was trained by my elder sister- Zuella Hats in 2003.
Has your work received any recognition before now?
Yes! My work has been featured by Mrs. Anu Adewunmi-Aloba of Alexander McCathy Luxury Wedding Blog.
Did you get discouraged at any point?
Yes, I got discouraged when prospective customers were skeptical and afraid of transacting business online. Meanwhile, I do most sales online.
What has kept you going?
The customers I have designed for so far are absolutely satisfied with my work. That gives me joy and affirmation.
What sets your work apart from others in your niche?
The originality, uniqueness, quality and creativity of my work. Other people design the regular fascinators you see in the market, but mine are different. I am yet to see a designer of my kind in Nigeria.
Where do you plan to take this to?
I plan to take Sisterhood Crafties to a higher and more sophisticated level than it is now. I also plan to make it a global brand.
We encourage collaboration on this forum, so what are your other areas of interest?
Good customer service
What hurdles have you encountered and how are you dealing with them?
The greatest hurdle is insufficient power supply but I handle that by switching over to alternative sources of power. Another is dealing with prospective customers from other parts of the country who are new to online business, but I always find a way around that.
What habits of yours would you say contributes to your creative output?
I love unique, classy and quality things and I have practically channeled these into my work.
How do you see the level of creativity and innovation in our society?
It’s really growing fast and the level can be compared to international standard, especially in the Fashion and Style Industry as well as the Wedding Industry.
Do you have a mentor in the business or people whose works you respect?
I admire the works of Jane Taylor; designer of Kate Middleton’s fascinators and saucer hats. I also admire fascinators by Sam.
How would you encourage aspiring creative business owners?
They should be consistent, believe in themselves and stay abreast with the latest trends in their field.
Thanks for reading and be sure to drop your comments and inquiries in the comment box below. We so love feedback!
Esther can be reached on BB Pin:2B639E1F and mobile : 08028325046, 08104959110. Do check Sisterhood Crafties on facebook: www.facebook.com/sisterhoodcrafties
“I am yet to see a designer of my kind in Nigeria” – Esther