By Janice Johnson Pemida
Despite the fact that she has never been to the four walls of a University, this young, skilled and gifted young lady is making waves in her rare chosen career. She is one of Nigeria’s top Tambour Beading Artist.
Jayinspire Media had a chat with her recently and she had a lot of important information to pass across.
Read interview below:
My name is Adetutu Oluwabusayomi Alabi, CEO of Elevenpaz and creative director of Epaz Clothing in Lagos, Nigeria. I was born in November 11, 1988 to a polygamous family.
ON HER EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND
I attended Aunty Yinka nursery and primary school for primary education and Ikeja Grammar School and St Marks College for my secondary school. I never went to a university.
ON WHAT A TAMBOUR BEADING ARTIST DOES
A tambour beading artist does haute couture and custom made embellishments on anything that can be beaded varying from clothing to shoes, bags, accessories and costumes.
ON HOW AND WHEN SHE BECAME A TAMBOUR BEADING ARTIST
Funny enough I never had the intention of being a tambour beading artist but by stroke of luck, I was able to learn. Here is the story, in 2011 I went to look for job as an office assistant in a fashion house. I got there and the designer told me she will be honest with me that customers /clients will look down on me because of the tribal marks on my face. I was sad by that but I just said OK. Then she told me would mine learning how to bead on fabric, I replied back saying I don’t mind, I don’t want to be idle. So I took the job of beading on fabric without any prior experience. So I have been in this profession since 2011 and so much enjoying it because it became a passion for me.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
The journey so far has its ups and downs. You know tambour beading is a rare skill here in Nigeria and some Nigerians take time to appreciate a new skills. There are times I have to get underpaid just because I have liabilities to fend for. At this stage, I am beginning to reap the benefits and rewards of my consistency in spreading tambour beading in Nigeria.
GROWING UP DAYS
I was a daddy’s girl so growing up, I was always indoor or sitting outside with my dad. I also get bullied as child too because of my tribal marks, from primary school to secondary school. I was so hurt that I promised myself that I won’t go to any university because of the impact of the bullying. It really affected me so much.
CHALLENGES FACED IN HER CAREER
Yeah, the challenge I faced most of the time in my line of work was the delay of tools and materials for my students because most of the tambour beading materials are not readily available in Nigeria, getting a good phone that has a good camera and location. I tackled them one at a time because it’s not that easy especially as a startup entrepreneur. Doing them one at a time helped me a lot.
ON WHETHER THERE WAS A TIME SHE NEARLY GAVE UP
Yeah, there was a time like that. What happened then was I didn’t get a beading job or students in a month and I was just frustrated and depressed about it. I almost gave up but I had to call up my mentor, Mrs Tosin Doherty and told her what’s going on. The rest is history.
WHAT MOTIVATES HER TO GET UP FROM BED EVERY MORNING
First of all, I am a single mother and have siblings that still depends on me once in a while. And I also love teaching so I can’t wait to meet new students and share ideas with them. These enough gets me out of bed and tell myself, hey queen rise up and grind.
HER ADVICE TO OTHER YOUNG/ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS
Be you, be honest and don’t hoard your skills. When you share your skills you learn a lot. Don’t believe in the fake it till you make it. It doesn’t help, it has its repercussions. Also, if you want to learn a skill, research about it before contacting the organizer of the skill in your country.
HER HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE
My hopes is to get investors to invest in my line of business because spreading the tambour beading skill is very beneficial in Nigeria. I want to be the Ecole Lesage of Nigeria. Beading for fashion designers in large scale will be my dream come true in the next few years.
Wow! For more information on Tabour beading and possible trainings, you can follow Adetutu using the following social media handles.
@elevenpaz22 and @epaz22 on Instagram
@JOlbusay on twitter
Adetutu Epaz or Adetutu ELEVENPAZ Alabi on Facebook.