Tania Omotayo brings a fresh feel to the emerging Fashion industry in Nigeria. Her newly established fashion outfit, Ziva Lagos, is surely set to redefine fashion in the minds of its overs. In this interview, the goal-driven Boss Lady tells us how she is aiming for the big prize in spite of the ‘new-comer’ challenges in her way.
Congratulations Tania on the Launch of your clothing brand Ziva Lagos; how do you feel at the moment?
Thank you so much. I feel amazing and it still feels like a dream – I really didn’t expect to get the reactions and feedback I’ve gotten so far. But mostly, I’m really just happy people like the product.
Amazing! So for those who don’t know; who is Tania Omotayo?
I never really know how to answer this question. In my opinion I’m just a young woman living my dreams, focused on building my businesses.
So what inspired the name Ziva Lagos? Definitely has a nice, distinctive ring to it.
It actually took me a really long time to come up with the name. Ziva was among the names I shortlisted, and it has also been one of my favourite names for a while. It wasn’t until I looked up the meaning and I was sold – Radiance, God, Light and Brightness. That’s the type of energy I want to bring in my life, and that’s what I want to bring to the people – Ziva – it was perfect!
You had a successful pop-up in December 2016, and another in April 2017, Ziva Lagos seems to be growing rapidly; what are your future plans for the brand?
I have to agree, its growing much faster than I expected. This has meant a lot of expanding and a lot of production, but I am focused and I’m enjoying it. In terms of future plans, I‘m working towards a big announcement soon.
Who is the quintessential Ziva Lagos woman?
My Ziva woman ranges from girls in school, to young women in their 20s and to working women. This explains why my pieces are so versatile, an 18-year-old or even a 55-year-old woman could wear it. I would say the quintessential Ziva Lagos woman is a forward-thinking trendsetter.
How do you draw inspiration for your collection? And can we just say that the photo shoot in Zanzibar was fire.
Aww thank you, I had a blast shooting in Zanzibar, it is so beautiful. I get inspiration literally from everything and anything. It’s actually quite scary. I could be having a regular conversation with you about the weather, and see something that will start putting together an image of an outfit I need to make in my head.
How would you describe yourself, and what drives you?
I would describe myself as a typical Gemini, God fearing Foodie lol. What a combination. No but really food motivates me. And God drives me, just knowing that He will always believe in you and He will always be there, no matter what, keeps me going.
Before Ziva Lagos, what were you doing?
I worked in the Media and Entertainment industry for the past 3 years. Funny enough, I didn’t actually do much in fashion aside modelling until Ziva.
Name three women who inspire and motivate you?
My Mother and my sister-friends. I know it’s not three people but I am inspired daily by the women around me, I have the most amazing friends.
So far, what are some of the typical challenges that crop up in the daily course of running your business?
I think my biggest challenge right now is time constraint. Ensuring that I keep to deadlines whilst expanding production can be difficult, and working with third-parties, they don’t really take deadlines as serious as I do. It can be a headache, but I have been able to manage so far, so, so far, so good.
As a young entrepreneur, how do you ensure that your team is adequately motivated to produce the right results?
You have to set a good example, and it is very important that you do. I believe in practicing what you preach, when your team constantly see the excitement and motivation put in on a daily basis, it tends to rub off on them. Plus, I’ve worked for companies and I know what it feels like to not be motivated in a work environment, so I make sure I focus on keeping the team motivated.
Who are some of the designers that inspire your entrepreneurial drive? And what fashion brands do you admire?
Answer: Zara is hands down, number one! This is in terms of their model and what they have been able to achieve over the course of the years. Amancio Ortega (Founder of Zara) is my inspiration.
You’re obviously a very stylish woman; what inspires your style on a typical day?
My style varies and I’m very versatile when it comes to fashion. This is all dependent on the mood or perhaps even the location I’m in.
In your opinion, what are the key things that young entrepreneurs need to be particularly mindful of while starting up?
IT IS NOT EASY!! I think a lot of times people underestimate what it takes to start a business, and then they are so quick to give up. It takes a lot of work, motivation and devotion. Another important thing is to start small! People tend to get investors, or borrow loads of money, and sometimes even use their whole life savings to start a business, it doesn’t have to be that way. Start small and start with what you can afford, then just keep building and growing.
If you got the chance, what favourite female celebrity would you love to dress and why?
Rihanna, simply because I’m obsessed with her.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5years – personally and professionally?
You know what’s so scary, I can’t even see it because it’s that big. I have big dreams and plans, I want to build my own production factory for mass produced clothing, I am working towards having a menswear and kids line too, amongst other things. So hopefully in five years I have accomplished all of this.
The Leading Ladies Africa Series is a weekly interview series that focuses on women of African descent, showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes women empowerment and gender inclusion for women of African descent.
Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to [email protected] and we just might feature her.