Monday, 6 July 2015

Why I dumped my law practice for Textile Biz – Abuja Big Boy, Demola Oluwayemi

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Demola Oluwayemi to Asabeafrika....'If i find myself taking a brief on Law and sorting a client out on fabrics, i will do fabrics

Demola Oluwayemi (Formerly Awoyemi) is one of the leading textile merchants in the Federal Capital city of Abuja. His Beautiful Fabrics & Accessories Outfit situated inside Omega Center on Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2 Abuja is a place where elite clients pick their fashion articles like Laces, Embroidery, Jewelry and Handbags. He equally has an annex on Hilary Road, London. However this London trained legal expert who chose to dump his legal practice for textile business has a lot of things working for him among which is the grace of God and a parenthood steeped in discipline and hard work.

He recently spoke to Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog Asabeafrika in Ilesa, a sleepy town in Osun state South West Nigeria during the wedding ceremony of Abuja based business woman and CEO of Honey Bee Textiles Ltd, Princess Bunmi Jegede’s daughter.

What is the secret of your success at Beautiful Fabrics & Accessories?
It is grace. The grace of God is the only thing that keeps us going, for us at Beautiful Fabrics, that has been our watchword; the grace of God keeps you going no matter the odds. So, I think it is nothing but grace.
Who is Demola Oluwayemi in the real sense?
I am one person who works behind the scene; I will rather let my work speak for me and that has been our tradition at Beautiful Fabrics and Accessories. I thank God my work has been speaking for me over the years, this is 28th year in business and we have made a lot of success in the city of Abuja. It a textile and fabric business and our taste are simply the best.

 I studied law but coming back home I had a family business I needed to turn around and here I am in the last two decades plus, we have done that business in a fantastic way. I am proud of my legal background as a trained lawyer and I am also very proud of my work as a textile merchant”

What were the challenges of starting Beautiful Fabrics and Accessories?
Well, my parents were in similar business; so, I understood it a little better than other people that started when I started and secondly, the fact that, maybe initially as a lawyer I wasn’t interested going into the business but I discovered that God has chosen me and given me a niche and I am grateful for that niche. It has taken us this far.
What is the implication of studying law and doing textile business?
I have been trained to adapt to all situations in life and I think that is working fine for me. I am a lawyer by training but I am a textile merchant by heritage. I inherited the business from my parent and it does a lot of good for me to have the knowledge of law and marry it with the expertise of textile business. That is basically what happened.

Demola Oluwayemi with SA to Gov. Mimiko Bar. Toyin Aladegbemi

What do you think is the secret of success?
Grace. Grace. Grace. The Bible says hard work and good planning leads to success. You must be hard working, focus and determined to make a success of your exploits. But above all, grace is the ultimate factor that leads one to success.
Will you say you became a lawyer by accident since your mother was into Fabric?
I wanted to study law, it was something I prepared for and I went ahead to study law at the University of Buckingham, United Kingdom and for me that was the biggest choice I have ever taken. I studied law but coming back home I had a family business I needed to turn around and here I am in the last two decades plus, we have done that business in a fantastic way. I am proud of my legal background as a trained lawyer and I am also very proud of my work as a textile merchant.
So, what do you do with your law certificate? 
I still practice but not as much as I do fabrics.
If a client consults you to handle a brief in court and another client consults you to purchase fabrics for him, which one would you preffer?
I don’t do advocacy I do solicitor’s work.

Demola Oluwayemi of Beautiful Fabrics & Accessories dances to the Music of Commander Ebenezer Obey

Between law and textile business which one is more rewarding?
The first one is my practice and the second one is my business. But I cannot tell you which one is more rewarding because one is my practice while the other is my business.
Tell us about your parent?
My mother is still alive but my father is gone, his name is Chief Awoyemi. My mum is the Iyalode of Ilishan Remo. Her name is Chief (Mrs.) Grace Oluwa Awoyemi but I am Oluwayemi.
What did you learn from them while growing?
I learnt hard work, I learnt from my mother diligence and I learnt from my father integrity. Those two things work for me till date and I thank God that I passed through this great people.
Are you the first born?
I am the second born.
How many of you?
We are five in number, four boys and a girl.

Demola Oluwayemi during a church service

Is any of your children likely to take after you in terms of fashion business?
Not really because they don’t have their interest in fashion.
What is your perception of the textile business industry in Nigeria in years to come? Do you think it can be bigger than oil?
Why not, I think we are doing very well and there is room for us to go further and I am sure it is part of the things the new government will bring to bear to encourage people in fashion business. I think we are pretty talented in Nigeria with fashion. If the business is structured very well with the right policies put in place, we can actually succeed and make a lead for the economy.
Let me reframe my earlier question by putting it this way,  if you are given a legal brief to handle a case for N5billion  and you have a textile job of N2.5billion  which one would you go for?
I will go for my major area of competency, I will go for (the) textile (deal) but that does not mean I won’t go for the legal brief. I will go for competency.
How do you start your day in Abuja?
My day starts with prayer first and foremost and I try to play table tennis every morning to keep fit.
Do you do golfing?
I prefer table tennis, golfing, not yet. Maybe when I am in my sixties I will start golfing but now I am okay with table tennis.
Which country is your favorite holiday spot?
I like Spain, there is this city called Mabeya that is my favorite holiday spot in Spain.

Demola Oluwayemi, MD & CEO, Beautiful Fabrics & Accessories, Abuja

Do you have a role model?
That is very difficult but if I am to chose a role model for my Christian life I think that will be Reverend (Dr.) Paul Jinadu, Founder New Covenant Church, London. He is one unique man of God who got his calling in a very divine way. He is a church grower and I love his leadership style.
 Do you have an advice for young people going into textile business?
Hard work as the Bible says and good planning leads to success. Young people should be ready to work hard and plan well, nothing comes cheap and easy. Nothing comes out of nothing; you have to give out something to get something. I believe if young people of today can drop the arrogance on their shoulders they will go a long way in success. So, work hard, plan and succeed.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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