Animashaun Aminat Aderayo is the CEO of Switt fashion and leather works which is a Nigerian company founded in 2012. A Company make use of quality leather and fabrics such as Ankara, Aso-ofi, silk and satin to produce handmade shoes with matching bags and accessories for women, as well as high quality leather footwear for men. she created the brand name ” De’rayo” and launched her vocational institute “De’rayo vocational Limited” which is into training of youths and youth corp members to be experts in a field of their choice in the fashion industry.
She had her Diploma in marketing from Olabisi Onabanjo university, studied French and have Delf certificate in French,studied B.sc. Entrepreneurial and business administration at Nigeria National Open University.
She also studied Entrepreneurial Development at Enterprise Development Center, Lagos Business School. Derayo is also the co-founder of Prospects for Girls Foundation, an NGO that train and empower young girls in Africa. The young entrepreneur who believes Nigeria will be great again shares her inspiring story in this exclusive interview.
When I was at age 6, what I do most times is to stitch fabrics together. I remember vividly when I was in JSS 2, I told my Mum I wanted to learn fashion designing at her friends’ shop which I resume there after school each day instead of going to extra lesson. I did not know then I would become an entrepreneur. All I noticed at a tender age is that I enjoy marketing. I can market a product I don’t have with word of mouth and people will demand for it. I started out selling book stands, scarf and fashion accessories among others.
I enjoy marketing which I later studied at Olabisi Onabanjo University at 2004.
I am Animashaun Aminat Aderayo the creative director and CEO of Switt Fashion and Leather Works based in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. The company was founded in the year 2012. The company makes use of quality leather and fabrics such as Ankara, Adire, and Aso-Ofi to produce handmade shoes, with matching bags and accessories for women, as well as high quality leather footwear for men.
I created the brand name “De’rayo”. I’m also the CEO of “De’rayo Vocational Limited” which is into training of youths to be an expert in a field in Fashion Industry. I studied Diploma in marketing from Olabisi Onabanjo University, studied French and have a Delf Certificate in French; I studied B. Sc. Entrepreneurial and business administration at Nigeria National Open University.
I also studied Entrepreneurial Management at Enterprise Development Center, Lagos Business School. I’m the co-founder of prospects for girls foundation, an NGO that train and Empower young girls in Africa.
Inspiration behind Switt Fashion and Leather Works
Switt Fashion and Leather Works is a manufacturing company that is into production of Shoes, Bags and Accessories with quality leather and fabrics such as Aso-Ofi, Ankara and Adire.
We produce for other brands both locally and internationally. We produce for 18 Forever a London base brand and Redefine Africa in Pennsylvania USA and brands in Nigeria.
The inspiration behind Switt Fashion is to see quality products produce here in Nigeria by us for us to the world and for the fact that I want to reduce the rate of unemployment which I known setting up a factory will help to employ certain number of youths and the factory success can also be a source of motivation to Nigeria Youths, that it can work here in Nigeria against all odds.
The challenges are enormous, but have confirmed that greatest opportunities are gotten from greatest challenges. Firstly is acting as the Creative Director and CEO at the same time is not sustainable, inadequate power supply
Empowering Youths and Corpers
Empowering Youths and Corpers is our company Corporate Social Responsibilities CSR and it is actual one of my core passion to see lots of youths create jobs for others, so we can all reduce the rate of unemployment that is alarming, and the best place to catch them is during NYSC, I also visit orphanage homes to train orphans on Ankara craft and the company also gives out scholarship to youths with interest by training them for free. I want to change the narratives; I am a shoemaker with a difference. I want to groom young entrepreneurs that value culture, education and also produce quality products to the world.
Tell us about your other project and activities.
De’rayo Vocational Limited is a provider of fashion and craft education to all levels. We balance the know-how of design production with an international vision. We offer training on shoemaking designing, bag making designing, texture designing, fashion accessory designing, fashion business, fashion marketing and merchandizing. We offer diploma certificate in all our courses. We provide state of the art learning facilities, equipped practical rooms our vocational center is located at 61, Adesam Plaza Dikat, Ring Road, Ibadan. We also do online training which you can enroll on our website: www.dvi.institute.
I got a scholarship from World Bank (women x) extraordinary women where I was trained at Lagos business school, enterprise development centre for free. I was also awarded personality of month by JCI (Jimson Chambers International) Oluyole Chapter, Ibadan, Nigeria. I have participated in many exhibition and conference.
My brand in the next five years
We would have our stores nationwide and export to other countries. Expansion of our factory which we will be able to employ (50) fifty people and turn our vocational limited into a conventional universities where we produce certified shoemakers, bag makers and curtisam.
No, not at all, there are ups and downs which I believe every profession has. I enjoy what I do a lot that is why it is difficult for me to turn my back at it. My burning passion boosts my moral sometimes when I’m down.
Who and what inspire you to be better
My Mentor – Mrs. Atinuke Fadahunsi Smith, (Datina Designs) she supports me and my mother Mrs. Aderonke Animashaun. I learn from afar my role model as well Mrs. Sola Babatunde (OSC College of Fashion). My inspiration comes from seeing quality products made in Nigeria and promoting our culture to the world. Our traditions and culture is very rich which we need to tell our stories through them, our designs celebrates Africa culture and tradition.
Being a Woman of Rubies
I am a woman of rubies because I nurture the next generation of creative leaders and thinkers, I nurture my God given abilities. I dream and yearn for a better Nigeria which I am doing my part to make Nigeria great. I believe in making sure everyone wins which reflects in all my daily activities. I support all women businesses and mentor aspiring youths to become an entrepreneur.
Final word for women all over the world
The expert in anything was once a beginner.
Do not let anything stand in your starting, start something, start somewhere, just start, follow your dream and passion. Don’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream, you’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.
Credit: Guardian Woman