START ANYTHING NO MATTER SMALL , IT WILL ONE DAY BECOME BIG. DON’T LOOK DOWN ON WHAT YOU DO , ONE DAY YOU SHALL RISE!- Miss Aysha Halilu
This is Matan Arewa, a forum where we aim at showcasing talented and upcoming Arewa role models to the world. Our guest today is Aisha Muhammad Halilu, a fashion designer and a chef. Enjoy reading.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background
My name is Aisha Muhammad Halilu popularly known as lady Ayshert, I’m from Kebbi State living in Abuja. I acquired my primary and secondary school education in Kebbi State. I extended my education to Kebbi State Polytechnic (WUFPBK) where I studied computer. I am now awaiting for my admission at Danfodio University Sokoto.
Can you tell us how you get your idea or concept for the business?
I got my idea through social media and it happened when my best friend got married and flew to Malaysia with her husband. She started a business and I helped in posting her stuffs and advertising for her. From then, it caught my attention and I realized even I can do it and have my own clients. The first step I took was changing my personal instagram handle to a business handle and I created my own website because I studied Computer Science.
What was your mission at the outset
My mission is to become the most famous business tycoon that deals with everything about fashion, from creating to editing, and on the other hand I want to become an executive Chef.
What service(s) or product(s) do you offer?
I am an Oriflame consultant so I offer cosmetics and can help you turn cosmetics into routine money. I also sell different types of collections like fabrics, fabrics like ankara, swiss lace, Australian lace, veils, jewelries, hijabs, gowns, abayas, throw pillows, turban hats, cuff-links, shoes and bags. I’m also a crocheter and I crochet in most cases, I make crocheted scrunchies and headbands. I also offer jewelries made from beads, key holders
What or who inspired you to start a business?
My inner self, I always used to ask my self when will I start something?, then I finally decided to just start at that moment, it is never too early to start something. It happened in 2016 when I started learning to make different things but it all started with beads making. Dreams do come true but you have to make it reality which you have to work hard in order to achieve it.
*Who motivated you to start a business?*
I have a lot of people that motivate and support me from family to friends and with all the strangers I deal with daily that turns out to be clients. I will like to use this opportunity to say a big thank you for your support.
*What can you say is the biggest drawback you’ve experienced since you started?*
Alhamdulillah, I haven’t experienced any of such failures.
*What about your biggest success?*
My biggest success is realising the talent that Allah gave me at my teenage age, not everyone has that opportunity. Alhamdulillah now and always.
*Who were the mentors that encouraged and supported you?*
The king and queen that built a castle for me (dad & mom), they are the best i can pray for in this world and the hereafter. And Subhanallah, Allah gave them to me without even asking, indeed Allah is great!.
*What are your business goals?*
My main goal is to help females use cosmetics and make money, look good and make money (oriflame). I don’t know what the future holds, but in the next 10 years, i see myself as a business tycoon with different companies that deals with fashion.
*May your wishes come true. Tell us about the uniqueness of your business that makes you believe in it’s expansion?*
The uniqueness in my business is that I deal with every type of class- from high class, middle class to low class. la_fashion_trends offers all, iya kudinka iya shagalinka.
*What are your responsibilities as a business owner?”*
I don’t have any assistant yet so I’m always with my phone and my data is always on, I do everything, replying to all mails and Dm’s. You know talking with strangers is not at all easy, you have to work at it and be patient. Some come and go with “In na tashi zan miki magana(smiling), but those that stay and buy are more than those that go just like that, I say Alhamdulillah for that.
*What made you choose this particular kind of business?*
My love for Fashion and the zeal that I’ve got in me. I know that will take me to a lot of places.
*If you had one piece of advice to a person that is just starting out, what would it be?*
There is something you have to know about entrepreneurship, you as an entrepreneur have to know that you are the heart of your business. Make it a passion before you make it a business. And when you start, try to have goods for everyone, don’t limit yourself with just one class, you won’t grow that way. There will always be ups and downs, be patient and don’t give up, they come and go. Success doesn’t happen overnight.
*Is there any time that things didn’t go the way you wanted?, what was the event?*
It happened in 2016 when I registered into oriflame but due to the place i lived, nobody was interested in purchasing them, they kept saying they are expensive, this and that. I tried so many times to give up but the inner me did the pursuing, it couldn’t let go and so I kept moving. Now when i look back, I smile and say Alhamdulillah.
*What is the accomplishment that you consider to be most significant in your career?*
That I get to create website under vpricex and to have my products added there, i got five customers on the day i created it. Always Alhamdulillah.
*What is your biggest piece of advice for female entrepreneurs?*
My advice is; start anything no matter small, it will one day become big. Don’t look down on what you do, one day you shall rise!.
*What three tools (apps, books, podcasts, etc.) would you recommend to anyone trying to start a business?*
YouTube (of course diy’s), pinterest and Instagram, they help a great deal.
*Who is your role model?*
*Who is your pillar of support?”*
My father. He provided a crafts room for me and gave me capital to start. I love him so damn much.
*To what do you attribute your success?*
It takes hardwork, patience, and the inner me that never gives up.
*How do you advertise your business?*
I use social media to advertise and I like meeting new people.
*What is your favorite day of the week?*
Monday of course. I discover new things that day, going for delivery and all. So, that is my favourite day of the week, I like getting to work.
*What is your favorite song, book, quote, food and gift?*
My favourite song is ‘Try everything’ by Shakira, that song is the perfect description of me. My favourite book is ‘You can be the happiest woman in the world’ and quote is ‘A chef must think like a scientist, organise like an accountant, inspire and motivate like a warrior, move like a track star, plate like an artist and cook like grand mama’. I don’t have a favourite food, I’m inlove with spices. As for gifts, I like anything that comes from heart.
*How do you achieve work-life balance?*
Well, it was hard at first but I’m now getting used to it, it takes a lot of hardwork to do all this. I am a dreamer, a doer and a thinke, I see endless possibilities everywhere.
*Do you think women feel intimidated in business?*
No, I don’t think so, we are full of creativity.
*Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?*
Paul Bocuse, he is named the father of culinary art in france. He was a french chef based in Lyon who was known for the high quality of his restaurants and his innovatives approaches to cuisine. He was born on 11th February, 1926 at collonges-au-mon d’or, France and died on 20th january 2018 at collonges-au-mon d’or, France. Aged 91 years, he had 3 Michelin stars and his cooking style is nouvelle cuisine. I wish to eat the food he makes and work under him in Paris. But he passed away.
*What is your taste in fashion?*
I don’t have rule for fashion, if there is one rule for fashion, it is pretty much the same rule as for everything else in life (don’t go against yourself, don’t go against your own nature, it’s only going to show). Just dress like you are already famous. Everyday is a fashion show and the world is your runway. Dress shabbily and people will remember your dress, dress impeccable and they will remember you.
*How do you relax?*
Create a recipe in my pan, take a nap and play with some makeup.
*What would you say about Matan Arewa Forum?*
It is a very good forum, you people are doing a great job promoting our business, your contents are lovely. I see you going far and starting something bigger.
*Thank you for that. Assuming someone asks you ‘who is a Northern Nigerian Woman?’, what would be your answer?*
A Northern Nigerian woman is a woman who creates her own success, craft the life she wants and to live her own authentic purpose with passion as she guides others along the way.
*How can people discover more about you and your work?, using your social media platforms*
My home address;
1. Berry street, mab global estate gwarinpa abuja. Nigeria
2. Argungu road, Gwadangaji quarters, birnin kebbi, kebbi state.
Instagram; la_fashion_trends and for cuisine is lady_cuisine.
Website; http://www.aishahalilu.wordpress.com or http://www.lafashiontrends.vpricex.com or
I also write a cuisine book on Wattpad as lady_cuisine
Twitter; lafashiontrends or lady cuisine
This is the link to my WhatsApp business group;
Follow this link to join my WhatsApp group: https://chat.whatsapp.com/8HEUqUlhX7kCl1LnxiKixw
*Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview*
Thank you, it is my pleasure.