“How could you stoop so low to become an apprentice in a sewing shop? It’s not a professional job! You’re going to end up in poverty! You are a disgrace to the lineage of this family!”
If you’re reading this blog, I’m pretty sure, you’re surprised at the comments above. What if I told you that in most Nigerian households, it is not uncommon for most parents to choose the career paths of their children. It’s usually the big 4! aka Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer and Accounting.
In most cases, you literally stand the chances of becoming the black sheep of the family, if you choose otherwise or challenge your parents’ decision, especially if your family is financially buoyant. Learning a trade such as sewing required the odds to be in your favor, inorder to succeed, lol ! It’s attributed to people of poverty status. Lord help renew our minds! Can you imagine my dilemma? Considering that I’m a lecturer’s kid daring to explore the art of sewing.
All hell, let loose!!! Lol!!
At this point, it was quite clear that I had to make my career path work! This career path of sewing! I had to map out my plans. Literally, plan A to Z, y’all ! This nigerian_chic had to be armed and dangerous for the journey ahead! Lol!
One of the best revenge in life is to never, ever, give up!
I sewed like it was my last breathe, with every energy, like an athlete on the run to the finished line. From sunrise to sunset, my love for fabrics grew daily like young love.
My family must be so proud of me and my love for fabrics. Absolutely not! This was one of the most trying times of my life. For the most part, I lost the affirmation from most of my family and close friends.
Did I have fears of the unknown? Or worry about failure? Hecks yea! I buffered my worries by challenging my creativity to be the best of my God-given talent and, satisfy my clienteles. The more criticism I received, the harder I worked and, the more my clienteles increased in number. I began to form solid relationships with my clients. Relationships that expanded the horizon of my art. Soon, I went solo and opened my sewing shop, of course with the blessing of my boss, Mr. Eddy.
My shop was located on Bonny street, Port Harcourt. I started with one sewing machine , in few months I had 4 apprentices and lots of clientes. This nigerian_chic was making money! I made sure to save every dime in my bank account. I was saving for my future, I guess. I barely attended church service, I wasn’t so much of a Christian but I had a strong conviction that I was on the right path to destiny. I made sure to pay my tithe though, that is 10% of my monthly income. Most people in the neighborhood were excited to see a successful young girl in the sewing business. Most of the clients wondered why I chose sewing, some encouraged me to go to some university. I laughed so hard, because they had no clue that I had just gone through university.
I hard all these dreams of starting a fashion school, clothing line, attend fashion shows,etc,,you name it! Lol! I sewed my own clothes and stopped shopping for any. I had sewing contracts (wedding, asoebi, school wears, custom made, etc) locally and outside the state of my residence. I had my little boy friend at the corner -no judgdement zone guys! I’m just keeping it 100% real! I wasn’t into clubbing and partying, for the most part I attended the weddings of my clients, of which I felt honourable to be invited.
One day, one of my high school friends visited my shop. Apparently, her aunt’s house was right across the street from where my shop was located. She heard the rumor of how I ditched the NYSC for sewing and wanted to see how well I was faring. Our conversation was quite long, as we reminisced our high school days. Suddenly, she popped the question, “have you thought about relocating to the United States of America ?” Immediately, my countenance fell! My friend had just mentioned the forbidden word. I responded, “that is a dead dream; I don’t want to talk about it!”
…..to be continued!
Thanks for your reading,