•HABEEBA THANI SHODIMU Reveals Her Success Story
Habeeba Thani Shodimu has become one of the most sought after designer in Nigeria. She is the brain which is known as “Beebahhouseof stitches. Some call her as 50 shades of beebah. This pretty babe is one of the young and creative designer in Nigeria which, makes her the choice of top male politician. Her creativity is second to none and she make sure her clients get value for their money. She started her fashion brand 8 years ago and she has not relented in satisfying her customers. Beebah is a fashionista with an incredible fashion sense.
As said earlier, she has made cloth for top male politicians in Nigerian and her outfit is not the regular ones we see everywhere. Beebah also makes Unique Boubou and Kaftans for female celebrities and society women.
Some few days ago, she spoke with City People Society Reporter, TOYIN OGUNDIYA, on how she started her brand 8 years ago and the challenges she faced as a Muslim female designer that designs for men. Below are excerpts.
We know that you are the brain behind a fashion house known as Beebah house of stitches, but for the benefit of those that do not know much about you, can you please tell us more about yourself?
I am Habeebah Muhammed Shodimu, I am a fashion entrepreneur and a mother of 2 kids. People know me online as 50 shades of beebah.
What exactly do you do as a fashion entrepreneur?
I design, I sew, I do fashion consultation, I style people and I source for fabrics.
Who are your clients?
Well, I have client in different sectors but most of them are politicians, kings in Kwara State and I also have clients abroad.
How long have you been in the fashion industry?
I have been in the fashion industry for close to 8 years.
What inspired you to go into fashion?
Right from my childhood, I have always loved fancy things. That inspired me to create something that is not common, something that is quite different from you see everyday.
What stands your brand out?
I would say, it’s the way we handle our brand. Of course there are lot of designers out but what actually make us stand out is the fact that we don’t just cut and sew, we get to meet out client, so as to understand them perfectly. We are very patient when they speak, we key into details, we also look into fitting which is one of the biggest challenges that most designer have problem with and also, we try to meet up with time which is another factor that makes our brand different.
Presently, we are looking at how we can bring technology into the fashion brand.
What was the acceptance like when you started?
I’m actually into more of male clothings than female clothings.
I think the male clothing is not as complex as that of the female clothing. Although it is also getting complex by the day but there is less stress compare to making female outfit. It’s not like we don’t design for women, we do, but we don’t do the very serious designs. We do boubou and Kaftans for women. Back to your question, the acceptance wasn’t very good when I started.
People were like are you sure you can do this. How can a devoted Muslim sister go into fashion designing, some were like, you mean you will start measuring men, touching their chest, waist and the rest. Those words were quite discoursing but I thank God for my husband, he is very supportive. He’s always there to encourage and motivate me.
Would you say being a Muslim sister is a challenge is your line of business or has being a Muslim sister affected the growth of your business in any way?
Actually, I think work is work. It has nothing to do with your religion. Being a Muslim is never a challenge in my business. It’s just like a male Doctor treating a female patient.
In fashion, you are also treating people, you are treating their fashion sense irrespective of their gender. It is you who is behind the tape rule that matters. It’s not about what people say and you have to know you intentions when you are with your client and again, you have to be very professional, focused and you need to know what line you don’t cross, staying professional.
Every business comes with challenges, what are the challenges you faced when starting up your business?
I think the first challenge was getting a client as a female doing male outfits. A lot of people want to know how big you are on social media, they want to know who is wearing in humble beginnings, and some have thousands of followers. Online but what they deliver is not worth it.
I think it’s about the uniqueness of what you produced, I have worked with many politician and notable personalities home and abroad and they won’t even give me their pictures when I ask for it, but then, I just have to convince my client, that was why I said getting a client was my first challenge. I might not have millions of followers on my Instagram page @ beebah house of stitches but with the few I have been able to cave a niche for myself. To me, it’s about your uniqueness and the way you handle you client that matters most.
Although, beebah house of stitches is not there yet but with God on our side, we will get there.
Where do you based?
I am based in Ibadan.
Can you tell us about your background?
I was born in Lagos and grew up.
I studied SLT in Yaba Tech, would you say your business have been paying your bills compare to a 9 to 5 job?
Well, it’s not easy but it’s far better than doing a 9 to 5 job and I can say that my business is paying compare to that.
To be very honest, I think business is actually the way because you get to create opportunities for other people. In the aspect of bills, I think fashion on its own can handle a lot of bills.
How do you describe you brand for people that haven’t met you or come across your brand?
Beebah house of stitches is actually the best place to visit in terms of Bespoke wears for men and women.
We get our fabrics home and Abroad depending on the budget of our client. With our brand, you standout, you have a statement because what we do is not the regular thing you see everywhere. We don’t just sell to you because we want you to buy, we sell to you because we want to see you be you i.e bringing out the you in you that you are not even aware of.
How did you come up with the name Beebah house of stitches?
My name is Habeebah like I said earlier and you know having a fashion house encompasses a lot of thing, it’s a home of fashion.
So, Beebah came from my name Habeebah and house of stitches came from the idea of having a fashion house which makes it Beebah house of stitches. Our office is at 3rd flair Sijuola House, Dugbe, Ibadan.