Exclusive interview with the CEO of NFH, “all you need to know about the birth of Naija Fashion Home (NFH)
Ofurie Uzuazor Maro is the CEO of NFH, From Delta state, born to the royal family of HRH EE Ofurie ozah 2nd, the late Ovie of Okpe isoko, a graduate of history/International studies from Delsu
Speaking with CNB in an Exclusive interview, he said: “We want to build the biggest fashion promoting platform, starting from Nigeria to the world and with us, enough is not really enough.
Read the interview below:
CNB: Okay, tell us how the NFH all started, was it something you have be dreaming of having, or its came at a point of you wanting to be an entrepreneur and be creative in your own path.
NFH CEO: Wow! each time I think of the start I smile because its always a good feeling. I finished my training in photography, then came back to Nigeria to start work as a professional photographer but deep down inside me I knew I wanted something bigger than just being a photographer, I then majored on fashion and model photography.
All my friends told me fashion photography don’t pay in Nigeria but i knew I had something the world would not refuse, but I didn’t know what it was, at that time I was in Abuja and I called a friend in portacourt and told her I wanted to do a model photo tour, she should get models for me over there, So the question came, what will they wear?
The answer was either they wear their stuffs (costume) or we get a fashion designer to bring their clothes.
To our surprise, all the designers we contacted didn’t have clothes on ground
They said they couldn’t sew and keep, who will buy them if they are just sewing like that, and no one is buying.
That was when my eyes lit up and saw the opportunity, I asked one of the designers; what if there is a company that would promote their work for buyers to see and also help u sell or organise events for you to showcase? would you like the idea and they were like; yes ooooooo, they all agreed that’s a life and business saver. Boomm NFH was born; “Naija Fashion Home is a platform that brings together buyers and sellers in the fashion industry, We promote, host fashion shows and exhibitions, model shoots and more.
Everything that would ensure the buyer see what the entrepreneurs have made
So we tell the entrepreneur to focus on production while we focus on sales, delivery and expansion.
Awesome! the birth of NFH is awesome.
Basically the birth of NFH is to solve problems among the fashion designers on promotion and sales, I love the path where you said; “if there is a company that would promote your work and for buyers to see and also to sell”
And they all answered yes oo.
So, when did all this happened, it’s just like saying when officially was NFH unveiled as a brand?
NFH CEO: Yeah, we started August 27th 2016, that’s when we created the first online platform and named it Naija fashion home, and we registered on November 16th 2016, with CAC same year.
CNB: Wow! it’s 2years old already.
Tell us, what’s are the major challenges so far in the fashion industry.
What’s has kept NFH moving to this level.
NFH CEO: The major challenge for us has been the same challenges every new company faces, but we have an advantage, the advantage is that our vision is clear, and its strong We don’t allow ourselves get distracted We want to build the biggest fashion promoting platform starting from Nigeria And with us, enough is not really enough .
In NFH we often tell ourselves that, as long as people wear clothes, that’s means NFH is still relevant because a designer somewhere made those clothes, Our vision has kept us going Even when people doubted us, When people said we won’t last. What they didn’t know was that our vision is bigger than any individual Since we know this ,we are not distracted, Challenges will come, scandals will come, but the vision is strong And that is to build the biggest fashion promoting platform starting from Nigeria to the world.
CNB: Has a professional photographer, how easy it is, working inline with your fashion house?
You left being a professional photographer to focusing of your fashion house alone.
Or you’re still much stronger as a professional photographer?
NFH CEO: Yeah! Naija fashion home has three core pillars; fashion events, modeling and photography, I did not leave photography, Photography is a core aspect of NFH
For example, I meet a designer or makeup artists to get their work promoted,That picture needs a model, that model needs makeup on her face to henace her beauty.
So NFH handles everything about the job or shoot from A-Z We have 14 depts inside NFH but the 3 major pillars are the fashion events, modeling and photography, I didn’t stop photography, I just expanded it futher
CNB: Definitely, picture/visual is key in every aspect of business, and it takes a professional photographer to give you a quality visual.
Good to know you’re much stronger in your profession and has broaden it.
You said: All your friends told you fashion photography don’t pay in Nigeria
So, what do you have to tell your friends after virturing properly into fashion and photography here in Nigeria?
NFH CEO: Your belief, your mindset, That’s the key to success or failure. People will talk base on their own limited view and experience, But no one knows it all, except God the maker of all We find ourselves today in a world where everyone is imitating the other and I always tell people, know why you started and stay focused bad days will come, days will come when giving up seem to be the best option, But never give up, Follow your dreams.
CNB: Awesome, where do you see NFH building to and the fashion industry at large in the next five years?
What do we expect from NFH in the next few months to another year?
Do you also think the government are doing anything positive to keep the Nigeria fashion industry alive?
NFH CEO: In 5years, I see NFH serving fashion entrepreneurs in Nigeria and in diaspora, I see a company providing sales solution to millions of entrepreneurs in the fashion industry, when we say fashion entrepreneurs, we refer to everyone who owns a business in d industry.. Designers, makeup artists, jewellers, hairstylists and more.
Immediately after this event, we would focus on establishing a beauty lounge. This will house the photostudio and NFH offices that’s an immediate project for the coming months.
As for the government, they are doing their best but I feel they should do more. I know they are trailed with so many problems but if dey can just solve the basic problems, then they have taken a good step forward They could provide seed capitals to startups in the fashion industry.This would go a long way in opening up the industry.
CNB: Quickly, Tell us about the Nigerian fashion king and queen beauty contest
NFH CEO: It is the celebration of fashion, culture and beauty, Every culture have its own sense of fashion and there is beauty inside everyone of them. We want to pick the individuals who will represent this to the world.
And thats the end of the interview with the CEO of Naija Fashion Home.
Stay glued to CNB, next, we, will be making a review on Nigerian Fashion king and Queen beauty pageant.