Attaining a slim figure might be the dream of some women but getting to that size comes with its peculiar challenges, one of which is finding the right size for a slim frame – very slim figure. Ironically, this challenge also affects women on the other side of the spectrum; full sized women. what’s a girl to do? It was the universality of this challenge that inspired Jennifer Akpabio to be a bridge between the need for great outfits and women of all sizes.“I am on the slim side and finding my perfect size in clothes I liked was a bit of a challenge which made me develop interest in adjusting my clothes with needles and later my Grandma’s sewing machines,” Jennifer says. “90% of the time I got dressed in the outfits I’d made or adjusted, people often complimented my dress sense and asked where I got them from. This motivated me to start a clothing line that sorts to serve people of various body shapes and sizes.”
Jennifer called her clothing line Indulge247, a nod to the purpose of her brand. “The Idea of the brand is to carter for every woman of every size; yet maintaining an average budget with good quality. “We stock UK sizes from 8-18, we love to indulge everyone 24 hours everyday of the week, hence choice of our name,”Jennifer enthuses. “One Unique thing about Indulge 247 asides being a brand created on the basis of fulfilling customer needs is the fact that our wears are easy, breezy and dressy wears that covers you from work to party O’ clock.”
Rome was built by laying one single brick after the other, and sometimes one builds a fashion empire by starting out from their room, as was the case with Indulge 247. The retail store started out from Jennifer’s living room where she had racks, hangers, storage boxes, a mannequin, a garment steamer and a mad passion to succeed. Over the past two years, indulge247 has grown to have a flagship store on Awolowo road, Ikeja, a store front on the SME MarketHub and a staff strength of nine which includes 4 production staff, 3 sales assistants, a store manager and an intern staff. The growth has been inspiring but every empire has its challenges.
Inconsistent Power supply, security, running cost, and regulatory taxes have been the hurdles Jennifer has experienced.There has been a silver lining in the clouds of challenges; E-commerce. “We are thankful for GTBank who has helped us by creating the SME MarketHub, providing us an opportunity to reach a larger number of people, learn tips on how to better our business from the Merchant Academy and a platform where we don’t have to pay for any adverts and still get featured and advertised! This has indeed helped our database and sales as clients who have shopped with us on the hub have become loyal and visit our flagship store.”
Today, indulge247 has attained a level of success largely and this is attributed to multiple sales point which include the SME MarketHub, the brand’s website, flagship store, social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), retail exhibitions and the brand’s zeal in keeping up with the ever evolving world of fashion trends.
Jennifer is not done building her fashion empire, she hopes to add men and babies to her client base in the future, “the Indulge 247 dream is to be the biggest indigenous clothing store catering for women, men and kids at the long run with several flagship stores and its own complex where we can have a full production house, show room, warehouse and academy. It’s a very tall dream but we are already on it.”
Having gone through many of the motions and hurdles of a Nigerian hustle by running a business for 31 months, Jennifer has her two cents on starting a small business; “it is simple. Great businesses always have humble and simple beginnings, be focused despite the challenges, be passionate, persistent and consistent about your business, a lot would discourage you but your passion for your business would keep the fire burning and the time to start is now.”
You can find outfits by indulge247 here: SME MarketHub