Datapwa Sandra Ezekiel is the Chief Executive Officer of Legacy Tye and Dye, the only indigenous tie and dye textile designing company in Adamawa State.
Datapwa holds Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) degree in Industrial Design from Modibbo Adama University Yola, Adamawa State. In this interview, the young entrepreneur shares the secret behind her business, challenges and how government can help young entrepreneurs grow.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
My name is Datapwa Ezekiel popularly known as Auntie Mai Rini I’m from Demsa Local Government Area of Adamawa State. I’m the first in the family of 4. A graduate of Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola Adamawa State. I study Industrial Design (Textiles). I graduated in 2016
TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
Legacy Tye and Dye Concept is a tie and dye textile designing company is devoted to the idea that clothing should reflect a person’s personality. Through patterns, we create tales and give people control over their style.
Àdìré, Tye and Dye t-shirts, shirts, purses, and scarves are a few of our products. Along with other professionals, we collaborate with event decorators, backdrop photographers, fashion designers, and interior designers for businesses.
In 2020, I launched my tie-dye business. I had already begun studying tie-dye in school at 300 level. But in 2013, I traveled to Osogbo, Osun State, for industrial training, where I improved my abilities.
When I was sure this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I registered my business fully this year.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GO INTO TYE AND DYE BUSINESS?
Redefining Nigeria’s textile sector was the driving force behind the creation of my company. I entered the textile sector because I have a passion for the arts and a strong sense of fashion. As a result, creating Àdìré and Tye & Dye for me is similar to creating “a wearable art work.”
In terms of my designs, I am quite deliberate. Every design has a purpose, and every use of color and color combination is deliberate and fits the brand. Furthermore, I think that what you wear reveals a lot about you. Before someone speaks to you, your clothing communicates. In light of this, I create clothing that complements the individuality of my clients.
This occurs after a succession of inquiries and responses, as they listen to what they want onlookers to believe about them while establishing their brand through the attire. Moreover, my entrepreneurial spirit served as inspiration for launching my own firm.
In my lifetime, I have also admired successful people. I have a great drive to achieve since my family has a history of being successful businesspeople, and I also want to help my community by doing so.
WHAT WAS YOUR INITIAL STARTUP CAPITAL?
My initial startup capital was just 20k
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE CHALLENGES OF THE BUSINESS?
Well, the inflation of the supplies is probably one of the biggest problems I have in my business. The majority of the textiles we use are imported, and because of the exchange rate, the costs are erratic. Although there are fabrics created in Nigeria, some of them are of a worse quality than the ones we buy.
Logistics is another problem, and logistics companies aren’t doing anything to help. The majority of my supplies pass through Lagos, and getting them to Yola is a major hassle. I am disappointed so frequently.
One thing that disturbs me is that certain customers, especially those who have already received their items, have a bad habit of paying their bills late.
HOW AND WHERE CAN PEOPLE GET YOUR PEODUCTS?
Customers can get their Àdìré and Tye and Dye materials and Tshirts via our social media handles (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) I post every of my work.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR LEGACY TYE AND DYE?
I want Adamawa State to produce dré and Tye and Dye at a higher rate than any other state. I’m working on a project right now where I want to start tying dye to various items like bedspreads, duvets, throw pillows, and more (Like everything African).
HOW WILL YOU SAY THE GOVERNMENT CAN HELP YOUNG ENTERPRENEURS LIKE YOURSELF?
Government should encourage entrepreneurs who are passionate about doing business in a way that benefits society. Young businesses will prosper by giving non-profit financing to young entrepreneurs. Similar to what Governor Ahmadu Umaru did last year, which is really admirable but he should do more to accommodate more adolescents, more centers for skill acquisition should be built.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE?
They should pursue their ambitions without giving up on their dreams, seek out mentors, and create specific objectives since anything is achievable with perseverance and vision.