HOW I DID IT: 21-year-old founder of a clothing company
Derin Fabikun (a.k.a Miss Fab) is the 21-year-old founder of Fablane by Derin, a Nigeria-based women’s wear clothing label. She’s solving problems through what she loves doing and smiling to the bank.
Derin started her clothing outfit in 2009, at the age of 19. She’s a graduate of management from CovenantUniversity. Want to know how she’d it? Read on……..
Could you tell us about yourself?
My name is Derin Fabikun, 21 year old graduate of Covenant University. I’m a very easy going, fun and huge family person.
How did you start up Fablane?
Designing for me, started as a hobby. I’ve always had a passion for Fashion. Back in university I used to make outfits for myself, adding to already made dresses I had. Then it graduated to making tunics for my sisters, then friends and friends of friends.
Why the name “Fablane”?
The name Fablane by Derin was actually inspired by my last name Fabikun, my first name Derin and my nickname. (Everybody around called me miss fabulous because of my mode of dressing back in university and my ability to patch things together.) So practically- Fabikun, Fabulous, Fablane!
Did starting Fablane require a large start-up capital?
Well not exactly.
How did you obtain startup capital? Savings, loans, investors?
When I decided this is what I want to do. My Family contributed a lot and also personal savings.
What kind of person does it take to do what you do?
Passion and Flare is the key. A dedicated and extremely patient person.
In your opinion, how have Nigerians responded to your clothing line?
Nigerian Women are very fashionable and always like to be involved in the latest trend. So basically I have gotten all sorts, but mostly positive. A lot of people were amazed at my abilities ‘cause I was 19 when I started Fablane fully.
What are the some of the challenges you face running Fablane?
There is little encouragement for upcoming designers as such. We have to fight for to get to the top because most of the already established Nigerian designers probably had to go through this similar hustle to the top. So it seems there are little room for us upcoming ones to prove ourselves. There are also issues of importing fabrics, and employing trusted and committed workers.
How did you establish your fees?
Cost of production plus my profit.
What are your favourite pieces from your latest collection?
I love the off-shoulder ruffled dress. It’s very chic and elegant.
What is the future plan for Fablane?
My vision for Fablane is that my designs and products can be worn globally by successfully young and young-at-heart women who believe in expressing their unique individuality through dressing.
I hope that my designs can be worn from runways, to red carpets, to casual relaxation, walks round the park. From dinners, to lunches, to conferences.
Colours are important to my designs, as they have a way of communicating the wearers emotions and passions.
My label will be an iconic brand that women who understand the importance of looking fabulous will associate themselves with.
I see my designs on international and local runways and on the covers of top fashion magazines.
Have you encountered any major challenges and how have you overcome them?
Well challenges come and go, but being strong and determined helps overcome any thing am faced with. Also putting my head up at all times. I am super positive.
Tell us about your journey so far in the fashion industry
My journey so far as been filled with everything imaginable. Ups, downs, highs and lows. But I love what I do so it keeps me going. I love keeping my work environment fun because I’m fun loving and down-to-earth.
Being overly serious scares me, and that’s not my approach towards life and work. But there’s definitely time to bring out the boss shoes. My accomplishment as a designer so far is giving women one less thing to worry about- looking beautiful, fabulous and confident.
Being able to do these things brings me satisfaction. Over all, my Work is blessed.
What are Fablane success tips?
What matters most to me as a designer is my customers satisfaction, being able to patiently interpret what I feel in my heart on paper and then converting it into a piece.
Patience is a virtue. And what matters most to me in my piece is the detailing. At Fablane By Derin, customers come first and we pay attention to details. I let God be my boss. I take each day as it comes.
What’s your unique value proposition
Design and Usability, Newness and getting the job done.
Advice for Emerging Entrepreneurs
Have a dream, have faith in your dream and work hard to achieve it.
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How I Did It is an UNDER35CEO Series that talks to founders/young entrepreneurs about how they started and grew their businesses.