Elegant, Well Spoken and Courteous are words that come to mind when I think of Omowunmi Akinnifesi. It was such a joy to watch her win the MBGN Crown in 2005, following in the footsteps of Agbani Darego in the export of such exceptional poise.
2016 witnessed the launch of Omowunmi’s clothing brand,
launching her fashion and business side. Her one of a kind thoroughness and relational skills are brought to fore in running her fashion business, making her quite aspirational!
I catch up with this amazing woman at the #gtfashionweekend, introduce myself and ask for an interview. She graciously obliges me, despite her tasks manning her stand and attending to customers.
I ask Omowunmi about how winning MBGN 2005 and reigning as Queen positioned her to be all that she is right now. She answers, ‘It was very eye opening. I matured very quickly because I learnt about business, influencing people, adding value and making impact, you know, all of those things that you learn in life along the way. I learnt them very fast, as it involved in many projects. Right now, I have my clothing brand. I’m not sure I would have done it if I hadn’t done MBGN. Because I may not have had the confidence to do it. Because at MBGN, as normal, I had to wear a lot of clothing, do a lot of fashion shows and people complimented me and told me I was good at it, and asked me to consider going into fashion. Yeah, it gave me the platform to be able to do that kind of thing.’
On the key ingredients for success as a woman and as a lady, considering the technological age, the availability of information and the the general acceleration of pace in these times, she maintains,
‘Confidence comes from within, whether technology does its bit, whether space does its bit. Confidence comes from you. It comes from self belief. When you do a deep soul searching to know who you are and whom you serve, to know your purpose in life and even if you don’t feel like you know your purpose, for some reason, you need to understand who you are as a person, your character, your attitude, your personality and believe in that person and believe that person can achieve what she sets her mind to.’
I ask her how poise is different from confidence and she replies,
‘Poise is being out together; being elegant. Its having an air. It’s etiquette. Poise is etiquette. Confidence is different. There are people who are poised and are very confident and there are people who are confident that are definitely not poised. They are totally different things.’
#CelebratingWomenCampaign: Celebrating the Delectable Oyinloluwa Aboaba Sunmoni, of Passion, Elegance and Style
On her retail store’s turn around time between getting her designs and translating them into finished products,
she concisely dishes out the store’s operational model,
‘Turn around time for design that is translated into sales and profit is 3 months. Of course, production is 3 months and we use the next 1 month to sell everything. So we have a schedule for the year.’
On her last words for young ladies who desire to be as inspirational as she is, she speaks sagely,
‘Believe in yourself and don’t look for validation from other people. Other people don’t have to validate your ideas or what you’re passionate about. Let it come from within. A lot of people would discourage what they don’t understand. As long as you understand what you want, you will be fine.’
Ladies, hope you enjoyed this edition of the #CelebratingWomenCampaign?😊😊😊
What aspirational woman would you like to see on this campaign?