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Popular Fashion Designer, Nike Adegoke, Talks About Her Success Story

Nike Adegoke is a beautiful fashion designer who loves to make other women look beautiful. She is talented. She is creative. And she knows what her clients want.

No wonder she has become hugely successful in her business.

A few days ago, CityPeople Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE got her to talk about her success story. Below are excerpts of the interview.

How has the fashion business been over the last few years


We’re grateful for the opportunity to be able to do what we do in this creative, but highly competitive industry.

 Over the past years, HMK Apparels, under which we have the label, Bling It On by HMK, has experienced growth and more exposure.

It’s a tough one being an entrepreneur in Nigeria, mitigating factors aren’t in place to cushion the effects of the harsh economy on businesses, but we trudge along and do the best we can within the capacity and available resources.


For me, I am restless being in a comfort zone, once I feel like we’ve crossed one hurdle I’m already looking for the next. It’s not an easy feat but it’s a passion and I absolutely love what I do, so it softens the edges, despite the challenges.

 Today, the Nigerian fashion business has grown into a huge industry where even with the influx of thousands of fashion entrepreneurs, the demand is insatiable. It goes to show you that the average Nigerian loves fashion, which means the supply can hardly meet up.

 In Economics, that’s a good problem because it means more business for the industry. The rise is not only in demand however but also in the quality of items demanded, so this keeps us on our creative toes, literally.


So, over the years, we’ve come to understand our ideal customer at Bling It On. This has helped us create a tidy niche. It’s imperative to do so as you don’t want to be all over the place trying to do just about everything fashion.

 Our customers know that we understand their needs, so they approach us with confidence and trust. We keep growing though as we’re not where we want to be yet. We move with the tide and keep abreast of the ever-growing fashion needs of our customers.


What has been the staying power of your brand?


 Among, but above every other factor, Integrity has pushed us this far. You cannot do well in business if people can’t trust you.

 Second, to this is Customer service. These two factors give you an edge in any industry you may find yourself engaging in business. It’s a given that you can’t possibly make everyone happy but you must see that you do all that you can to leave a smile on the face of your customer as they shut the door behind them.

 Then of course we put out good quality products that we can vouch for. What I can’t wear, I can’t sell so it’s not that complicated really. 

Our online presence has also helped a great deal. Most of our customers are those who shop with us online, we only have just about 15% of all our customers walk in. To keep being relevant you’ve got to keep churning out interesting and eye-catching products and this we try to do as often as possible, but it doesn’t end there.

 Your pictures may look great and catchy but the customer has to be happy with their purchase once it gets to them, so we don’t just make them look beautiful we’re also big on quality.

 Then again, we listen to our customers, their criticisms become our guiding principles.

Ever since this business was birthed, I’ve not stopped working on ways to give our customers even better experiences.

 One such instance is when we had challenges with getting our products to customers abroad but that became history with our partnership with DHL, whereby we joined their e-commerce platform to get items to customers at the cheapest rates available.


So, as expected, we experience new challenges but we make it a point to look at solutions and take whatever we can learn from such experiences and do better. This is why I love Mondays; for me, it’s another opportunity to do more and improve our services.


Tell us about your brand and how it has evolved over the years...


 The brand, Bling it On, began as a cottage industry about 7 years ago. We began by taking fabrics from people to embellish them with rhinestones. Soon came the days when putting stones on Aso oke became a thing and we did a whole lot of that then.


 We worked from home for about two years and mostly for online customers and soon enough we began to grow too big for my home so we moved to our present address and by this time we had grown from just putting stones on people’s finished clothes to making the dresses from scratch using our own fabrics which are known as Ready-to-wear.


I settled pretty nicely into the RTW niche as it allowed me to be more creative than I formerly was. Though I have never trained as a tailor, I draw most of these designs and meet with my tailors to bring to life what I have in my head.

 It’s an interesting marriage between me and my tailors really as more often than not, they doubt the possibility of what I want to create but they end up loving it once it comes together, and as they’re settling warmly into producing that I’m already moving on to the next.


From picking the appropriate fabrics to creating the designs to training those who embellish them with rhinestones or beads, it’s a journey that I find enjoyable.  It’s a lot of work but the end results justify the means.


Bling It On has launched so many designs I cannot count and we also have improved greatly as it concerns the total package.

We’re your model example of starting small and growing the business.


Who are your clientele?


 Our clientele is majorly made up of Women who love to stand out. Women who love their outfits to catch attention.

It’s just as simple as that. I’ve had people tell me, ‘I can tell your designs in a crowd!’

 It’s in the detailing, the uniqueness. We cater to women of varying age ranges but mostly women who know fashion and love fashion. As they say, these days, if you want to give the ‘rich Aunty vibes’, we’re your go-to.

 The total package is classy, so I’d say women of class. Of course, the men aren’t left out too. We’ve had many men who have ordered our designs for the women in their lives and they’ve always come back with great feedback.


Who is Nike Adegoke?Tell us her story, and how she turned her passion into a big business?


Growing up was pretty interesting in Ibadan. I went to Sacred Heart Private School and then on to Queens’ School Ibadan for my secondary education and I grew up in Ring Road. My childhood wasn’t privileged but it wasn’t lacking either. Back then there were no obvious lines of demarcation between the children of the super-rich and the average kids. We all went to these schools together and mingled, and our parents allowed us socialize even outside school within limits.

 This shaped our social lives even before we knew this was happening, no wonder I enjoy being around old friends no matter the gathering.


I trained in Banking and Finance at The Polytechnic Ibadan but now I’m a fashion entrepreneur. I’d say I got my training early in life watching my mum get dressed for parties and church. She loves fashion and I learned from her how to match colours, what outfit to wear to what event and what was appropriate, and then as a teenager my grandmother taught my sister and I how to run stitches on her very old sewing machine: those ones you turned the wheel with one hand but l didn’t begin to show real interest in fashion till I was old enough to go to tailors on my own to make dresses.


I would sit with them to describe exactly how I wanted an outfit to be and I often got asked if I ever learnt tailoring.

For a long I was doing other things, exploring other businesses till I went back to a childhood passion I didn’t know i had. If I wasn’t doing this maybe i may have become a make-up artist, something some of my friends believe I should have explored long ago because of my early interest in it ever before makeup artistry became a thing in Nigeria.


When I’m not working or socializing I love to write. I also love to just stay home and bond with my family, more especially the kids, they’re growing pretty fast, and quite vocal and I’m enjoying getting to know them as they approach adulthood and also learning from them.

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