#REPATSTORIES : 4 QUESTIONS TO OLATORERA ONIRU

 

Olatorera Oniru was born and raised in Nigeria. She grew up mainly in the USA and graduated    with a Cum Laude Honors degree in Business Administration, Management and Entrepreneurship from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She went on to work for prestigious Fortune 500 companies such as Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a Senior Analyst for the Global Markets and Investment Banking group. After 2 years at Merrill Lynch, she  seized the opportunity to work for the Central Bank of Nigeria as a Senior Supervisor, where she worked for a year and then proceeded to obtain her Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Emory University, specialising in Finance, Leadership and Entrepreneurship.  During this time she initiated the DressMeOutlet business…

Can you tell us more about Dressmeoutlet?

Dressmeoutlet.com is Africa’s most fashionable, quality-focused and customer-centric online retailer. Dressmeoutlet.com retails fashion and beauty products of the highest quality to help our customers look good and feel good. At Dressmeoutlet.com, our customers can  rest assured that they are ordering the best quality products to be delivered rapidly to their doorsteps. We are available 24 hours a day to attend to customers via phone, e-mail and live chat. Over 40% of products retailed on Dressmeoutlet.com are manufactured in Africa. Dressmeoutlet.com has products sourced from designers spread across Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, UK, Italy, France, India and The United States of America.

We all know it’s a big leap to leave the corporate world and venture into business. Please tell us more about how and why you made the decision, and how you coped.

It was an easy decision for me. It wasn’t about money or comfort    which I had in the corporate world. It was about contributing to development goals on a larger scale. I had reached the peak of my career in the corporate world and I wanted more. I wanted much more. I craved to make a bigger impact in the world. I wanted to create more jobs, establish more processes, innovate more and beyond all, I wanted and continue to work hard to contribute to poverty alleviation and to increase Africa’s nations footprints on the global map of developed nations. The fashion industry is a $3.3 billion industry and Africa’s footprint in that global fashion industry GDP is extremely menial.

What made you return to Africa to start your business here?

My heart and mind has always been in Africa. I was born and raised in Africa and while I was away acquiring global education and work experiences, my mind was always centred on how my experience abroad can be implemented locally. I’m grateful for all the opportunities I’m surrounded with today to be able to live my dreams of contributing to Africa’s development specifically, within the fashion industry. At Dressmeoutlet.com, we aim to expand on the appreciation and visibility for Made in Africa Fashion and Beauty products. We continue to come across the most creative designs in fashion, beauty, home-goods and art.  We are always excited to share the beautiful pieces with the world for purchase. The best pieces sell s very fast and we have new arrivals every week.

 What do you think needs to be done for the African Fashion industry to flourish?

Quite a lot. From my knowledge, research and opinion, the industry is still in infancy stages. There’s a ton of work that needs to go into developing the industry to catch up with international leaders. Firstly and without  going into too much details, the basic infrastructure for any business to  succeed in Africa must be in place. Take Nigeria for example, we need better roads, stable electricity, stronger security, better educational systems, less corruption and the list goes on. Secondly, we must understand the entire fashion industry value chain. From cotton picking or cattle rearing to finished goods. We must expand on all aspects of the industry that can be developed locally. At Dressmeoutlet.com we understand 4 things that are agnate to the growth of the company and relatively the industry : an excellent customer care,  quality analytics, pricing Analytics,  Innovation.

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