Olaniyi Omodara is the founder, designer and principal craftsman of @evaapparel Extra Valuable Apparel (EVA), a footwear company in Akure, Nigeria. He is a self-taught craftsman who started making slippers for his family in the early 1990s. Omodara is now producing “bespoke” shoes, customized for a client and made to order.
His vision for EVA is to “manufacture world-class leather products through superior designs and quality materials. Enjoy his story…
What was your inspiration for starting up the business?
My main inspiration so far has being God almighty, because my skill is self-thought skill. Secondly, my love for good shoes motivated me to set up this enterprise.
When, where and how did you make your first move?
My first move for foot wears was in the year 1993 when I lost my slippers which I made with materials from my environment. The punishment for misplacing my slippers actually prompted me to find an alternative which made me discover that I could make a foot wear. I officially got my business registered with the CAC in the year 2012.
What are your milestones/success?
Continuity in production has being a plus to the standard of my products and its ability to compete with world class shoes. My shoes are distinct due to its attributes of it being comfy, trendy and neater than all other Nigerian handmade shoes and a geometric growth in customer base. Just recently my story was featured on https://youngafricanleaders.state.gov/nigerian-entrepreneu…/ i trust that this will give me an international exposure and a platform to market my products internationally.
What have been your major obstacles?
The obstacles or shall I say some of the challenges I have had to and still deal with are;
1) Energy is one big one in Nigeria, I generate my own power half of the time I am in my factory which is quite expensive.
2) Double figures interest rates on bank loans.
3) Insufficient awareness that could encourage enough human resources which is always a barrier to increase in rate of production.
How has social media helped your career?
Social media as being of a great help to my products in the aspect of sales and marketing as it has made reaching out to people all over the world easier.
Word of inspiration to others who want to start up a business?
My advice for others who want to start up a business is to start with what they have and never wait for that perfect time that will never come_Olaniyi Omodara
Find out more and contact EVA on.
www.extravaluableapparel.com (under construction) & firstname.lastname@example.org
Social media accounts:
facebook: extra valuable apparel