Can you tell us a bit more about yourself? (Background, aspirations…)
Did you think you would become the person you are when you were younger? (Personally and professionally)
Could you tell us the Eki Orleans story? How did it happen?
I remember meeting up with a friend and talking about work and I recall her talking so passionately about her work as a film director, that I came back home feeling quite deflated and knew from that day onwards, that I had to create my own future, something I really enjoyed doing. So, the next few weeks I came up with the idea of designing my own scarves, combining African prints with Indian silks – two cultures that play around with colour beautifully. Two years later, with no experience in fashion or print design, I then started designing my own prints on silk. I am a true believer of just trying and learning along the way. I have learned so much from my first prints and dress designs and I feel I have now found my identity in fashion.
Why fashion rather than another branch?
You can express yourself in art. You can tell a story in your designs. It becomes an extension of you.
How do you see yourself personally and professionally in 10 years?
What would you recommend to someone who wants to create their own business in fashion?
You need a lot of passion, focus and determination. It can be very lonely at the start and you have to develop a thick skin, as you will get a lot of rejection at first but the longer you prove to the industry that you are here to stay and are developing your craft, you can succeed.
What is your main goal with Eki Orleans?
My main goal is to create a brand with a social conscious and a brand that women want to associate themselves with. I would then like to grow to become the biggest African fashion brand and build an empire that can create jobs for working mothers. Being a mom myself, I know how the work industry operates and likes to make you think like you cannot combine motherhood and work. Once I am big enough, I would like to offer jobs to women who want to work part time or need to work from home, as there is a market to cater for these women.