Adesola Adams is the Creative Executive Officer (CEO) of Herdamce Concept, one of the youth-driven fastest-growing fashion brand in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Adams studied Linguistics and African Languages in Nigeria’s premier varsity, University of Ibadan where he emerged the best in his class. In this interview with TheEcho’s Babawale Oke, Adams speaks on the future of his business, challenges encountered thus far and how he aims to positively impart humanity. Excerpts…
Let’s meet you, Sir.
I am Adeshola Adams, the Creative Executive Officer (CEO) of Herdamce Concepts, a Nigeria-made fashion brand, and an academic enthusiast.
Can we know a bit of your educational background?
Born and bred amongst a community of people who subsist on hope to break socio-economic barriers, I attended C.A.C Primary School, Sango, Ibadan. Thereafter, I attended Polytechnic high school, Ijokodo, Ibadan where I developed keen interest in creative writing and grandiloquent use of language. That was the main impetus for my pursuance of Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics in the premier University of Ibadan, years after my secondary education. I was given several awards as the best graduating student from my department in 2018.
So, why the focus on fashion when you’re naturally inclined to language and academics?
Fashion at first was a means to survive until it became a way of life. After I graduated from secondary school, the thought of a career path where in I can apply dexterity and creativity filled my mind. Two roads diverged before me and I took both to travel by. Fortunately for me, so far, each has been providing impetus for the other. The focus is on Fashion because of the passion I have for it and future I see in it coupled with my philosophy that looking good is a prerequisite for effective use of body language. That’s how Herdamce Concepts came to being, speaking values, taste, and class through bespoke designs that appreciate the body and appearance.
How has your education helped you in fashion designing?
Education is an eye opener and a mechanism for focal development. Being educated reflects in my customer management and Outputs packaging, and the structure of my career. I have had the opportunity of meeting people who have inspired me with lucrative ideas on how to turn profession to business. Thanks to many of those eye opening ideas, I have registered my brand with Nigeria Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). There is no doubt that my level of education and exposure is really helping me grow.
Is there anything you’re aiming to do differently in the profession?
(Takes a deep breath). You know I am still growing. I believe as I grow, more things will come to mind. But, for now, I want to be known for uniqueness, timely delivery, and quality outputs. I am looking forward to establishing a post-secondary school tutorial and vocational Development Programme. I am on a mission driven by action to realise a vision.
What have been the challenges faced so far in the profession?
Now, I won’t be speaking for myself alone; I’ll be speaking for most young entrepreneurs like me. The major challenge weighing us down is the issue of finance. Money is needed for publicity and procurement of quality materials. This profession is very competitive and it takes expertise to survive, especially when almost every female corps member is now a tailor. Even when one’s skills naturally attract customers but there is no substantial capital to expand the production capacity, it often leads to a level of pressure. So, enough capital to acquire sophisticated tools and other resources has been our major challenge.
What are the practical steps you’re taking to overcome this issue?
Although, I am hoping for opportunity, I am not waiting. I am thinking and learning business ideas. Apart from personal effort to judiciously manage the available resources, I try to apply for grant opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs. And, by God’s grace, we will hit the luck one day.
Any business that will survive the 21st-century competitiveness must be impact-driven. What impacts are you driving at with fashion designing?
Just as I mentioned earlier, I am on a mission. A goal-oriented mission to contribute to sustainable development especially in Nigeria. Also, Apart from changing the stereotypes about native wears through my works, with relationship with customers and people generally, I redefine the concepts of ‘tailor’ and ‘native wear’. I have learnt major weaknesses of the profession and that’s where I am building on; I help customers save time and resources by ensuring cost-effectiveness, payment for quality, and Credibility. I am a proud tailor, an educated one; even if I become the president, sometimes, I will create time to sew.
Who is your mentor in the industry?
In the fashion industry, I have had the privilege of being mentored by Ore Osoba (Kingreo) who is the founder of Coz design. I found his piece of advice very helpful at the point of need. For a long time, I have been looking up to Evans Akere (Vanskere) as my role model and really wish to be mentored by him.
What are your parting words?
‘Anyone can follow but it takes a special kind of human to Lead , and being entrepreneur is being a leader’. I believe nobody lacks the potential to grow; you only need to be steadfast and resilient. More so, you can not become a Baba, even if you do B.A twice; know what to do to get what you want, and do it diligently. To cap it all, there is always a God-factor. He is always the present help in time of need. I wish every young entrepreneur like me working hard to achieve their goals good luck. We shall meet at the top one day.
Thank you for you time.
You are most welcome.