Fashion plays an important role in the lives of those living in Alimosho, and Omolewa Olaniyan, fashion entrepreneur and Founder/CEO of BrightMide Couture, is helping the people of Alimosho make a bold statement with her original, handmade designs. But her connection to the community doesn’t end there. Omolewa also wants to help the community grow—culturally and economically, a goal she believes local business owners like her are uniquely positioned to accomplish.
“It starts with operating your business as if it’s part of the community, not simply marketing to it,” she says. As an example of this, the accounting graduate turned fashion designer recently began a hunt for cloth retailers in Alimosho capable of supporting her exclusive collection of casual, corporate and traditional designs. By sourcing her materials locally and mass producing items for each of her two clothing lines, Brightmide and EwaCouture, she can keep the retail price down. And that’s good for everyone.
“It’s also important to hire in your own backyard,” she adds, noting that she only hires local youths and performs any manufacturing right here in Alimosho instead of farming the work out. She also plans to donate a small percentage of her proceedes to local orphanages and a youth development program.
"Businesses in the community should give back to the community and the people of the community,” she told AlimoshoToday. “Such action, if well-intentioned, will not only concretise your stand in the community, but also helps garner community support when you need it. People know when your feelings are genuine. For this kind of two-way community connectivity, you really need to give from the heart. If you’re not sincere, customers will know."
Brightmide Couture specialises in making traditional, corporate and casual fashion for both men and women. And Omolewa likes to think that her designs are heavily influenced by the Alimosho community and the people who live in it.
“We all have a personal brand,” she says, “and it’s often closely related to where we live and who we live with.”
To check out the different styles she offers, click here.