KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?
Abisola: My dream is “House of Yele”. I would love to have various establishments that house upcoming fashion designers, regardless of gender, race, socio economic status, etc. I would love to have mentorship programs running in this house, financial aids, emotional support and so on. Making up your mind to depend on what you create to fend for yourself is not an easy task. It is scary and requires a lot of courage. In House of Yele, my dream is to help upcoming designers assuage self-doubt and fear, while teaching them the skills and giving them the knowledge they need to succeed in the fashion world, and believe in themselves.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?
Abisola: My Grandmother was a tailor, but I did not spend a lot of time with her. My aunty, Mrs. Funmilayo Shoyoye filled up that gap in my life. She learnt tailoring from my grandmother, and I spent a lot of time just watching her. I did not actually pick up tailoring until I was 16, but I found it hard to drop since then. In summary, the women in my life inspire me, the pride in my father’s eyes when he looks at me and sees his mother inspires me. Every woman out there crying for a fashion solution inspires me, my heritage, prints, culture inspires me, and everyday I know I do not do this just for myself, but for everyone who also draws inspiration from the pieces I create.
KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?
Abisola: I moved to the United States about two years ago and the first thing that hit me was the culture shock. When I create my designs, it is from the standpoint of where I come from, and my culture, and finding a balance with where I am today is difficult. Understanding the culture of the people I wish to serve, as well as what they want or need, has been a challenge. Another Challenge is treating what I love as a business. Sometimes I wish I could just make the clothes and give them all out because I want every woman to look beautiful, but then I remember not everyone is my target audience, and I need to get paid, so what I love CAN thrive! And of course, most creative challenges: Funds! I do not want to expiate on that because it speaks for itself hahahah.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?
Abisola: My darling husband, my family and great friends! They not just inspire me, they push me to be better, they encourage me, they appreciate my work, and sometimes they make me want to cry!!!
KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.
Abisola: Dream as far as your mind can take you. The only thing standing in the way of success is the state of your mind. Trust God that through the process, you would learn, you would grow, and you would even be a source of uplifting for others. BE CONSISTENT, BE ENCOURAGED, BE INSPIRED. I am giving this advice to myself also. I should write this down somewhere lol. I love to laugh!