Make no mistake, Sharon Ojong has put in the work. Needless to say, she’s more than solidified herself as an expert on all things fashion, styling and communication. She shares with Racheal Abiriba just what it takes to be a multi-hyphenate millennial.
Media maven, blogger, and now you’ve added your own fashion brand to the mix. How are you able to juggle these different career hats?
I believe if you love something, or want to do something, you will create time for it. You might not see the perfect picture or have all the tools you need, but you will start somewhere. I trongly believe I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
You left your previous job as a TV Producer to start your fashion company. How difficult was it setting out on your own?
I started my first business when I was 23 and always knew I would one day have, or be a part of a clothing brand with my name [on it]. While working as a producer on Spice TV, I was managing my personal business on the side; we had clients and projects I was working on. Living and working in Lagos, most of us work two, three or more jobs to keep our dreams alive, or just survive another business day.
What motivated you to start your own fashion company?
I felt it was the right time.
With all the risks associated with starting a business, have you at any point wished that you could leave it all and go back to salaried employment?
Oh yes I do! Sometimes, but I’ve never given it a second thought.
How can SMEs in the fashion industry take advantage of influencer marketing and what are the benefits they can get?
Influencer marketing has become one of the fastest and simplest way to introduce new products, increase sales, and create more brand awareness.
You recently debuted a series called ‘Stand Out’. What’s the project about?
It’s about helping other people achieve their dreams. It makes me happy. With the Stand Out series, I hope documenting and sharing my journey into building and managing a business will inspire and empower the business sense of young professionals, creative entrepreneurs and small business owners to explore self-efficient ways to start, build a profitable brand or career in the creative industry, and stand out from the crowd.
How do you think Stand Out could impact on the Nigerian Ffashion industry?
The Nigerian fashion industry is fast growing with enough room to nurture and accommodate young talent. I believe education is power and if most of these young people are given the right knowledge or guidance, they will contribute immensely to the growth of the industry.
The fashion industry is notoriusly competitive, how are you able to survive and stand out as a new fashion brand?
By staying true to my brand statement.
Who inspires you?
What are some of the key lessons you’ve learnt so far?
Consistency is key.
What advice would you give SMEs that hope to leverage social media for growth. Even on a limited budget?
Stay active on social media, use all free social media features, get familiar with free apps that can help you create content within your small space while you grow your business, and use Google. Every tool you need to know or skill you need to learn, you can do that online for free. Just Google!
This interview was first published in Genevieve Magazine September Issue, click HERE to purchase