It is one thing to have a business idea and it is another thing to implement that idea. It takes courage, hard work and perseverance to own and run a successful bag brand in the Nigerian economy. Welcome back friends to another interesting episode of the Lifestyle Scoop. Today’s episode features one of the most creative and entrepreneurial individuals that I have come across. She has made a name for herself by building an incredible bag brand called Flaire. Friends, I present to you the CEO of Flaire, Whitney Nwafor. In this interview, Whitney spilt all the tea about her lifestyle and her brand. Enjoy!
Ps: *whispers* You might know how to start a bag business after reading this interview
1. Thank you for being part of this month’s lifestyle scoop, so before we dive into the somewhat serious questions. Lol. Tell us a little bit about yourself (name, where you grew up, education etc.)?
Thanks a lot for having me. My name is Nwafor Whitney, I’m from Anambra state but I grew up and live in Lagos currently.
2. Your designs are amazing, my favourite is the ‘Zinnia Treasure’ bag. Tell us your business story? How did Flaire, the brand/label come into existence?
I’m glad you love my designs, thank you! Flaire was established in November 2018 when I was looking to start a new business. Although I had conceived the idea of selling bags earlier, creating my own bag brand was something that came suddenly to me (I believe God revealed it to me). I was in the middle of researching handbag importation when I got the urge to create mine instead. Amazingly, I fell in love with the craft as soon as I got into it and as of now, building Flaire is my favourite thing to do. Our journey has been an interesting one so far, we’ve learnt a lot and we have also experienced a lot of good times and not so good times while on the job. The most important thing to me is to indulge in my passion and get better at it every day. I’m glad people love the goods I create as a result of doing that. It’s thrilling.
3. How long does it take you to design a bag? and do you have any design rules?
Realistically speaking, I can’t state specifically how long it takes to design a bag. This is because the process of designing a bag doesn’t end at the sketching stage but at the point when the final/best sample is created. Now, this can take any amount of time depending on some factors like the availability of specific materials, how easy or hard it is to handcraft that particular design e.t.c. I have a lot of design rules but I’ll share one which is – “Make it in sync with your preferences”. That means I have to absolutely love everything about a design to include it as part of a collection/drop. If I can’t rock a certain bag style, I’ll never create it regardless of how trendy or catchy it may look. This is because I love our designs to be as authentic/true to ourselves as possible. It’s no use creating goods I can’t wear myself.
4. Why did you choose to design bags? It could have been shoes, or clothes, but why bags?
I thought it was unique at the time and I love to try out new things!
5. Running a business is not an easy one, do you make out time for skincare/self-care? If yes, which beauty product is your current favourite ?
Yes. Regardless of how stressful work is, I make sure to take care of myself. My favorite beauty product is actually my everyday lipgloss by MaryKay.
6. Which do you prefer, A vacation trip with the girls or vacation with bae? *smiles*
A trip with the girls.
7. When you are not designing bags or marketing your brand, how do you spend your free time?
Cooking, sleeping, listening to music, hanging out with friends or watching a movie.
8. What’s your biggest inspiration?
I see a lot of people achieve their dreams daily and that inspires me to keep chasing mine.
9. Tea or Coffee?
10. With all the things going on around us, how do you deal with setbacks?
I follow any of these patterns: a) Restrategize immediately and forge ahead. b) Take a break from everything, let life play out for a while and then pick up from where I stopped.
11. What differentiates Flair bags from other bag brands?
Our designs are easily identifiable.
12. What’s your favourite movie?
The Great Gatsby.
13. What advice would you to anyone that wishes to start a business (especially in Nigeria)?
Build one step at a time and be patient regardless of how hard things may get. Always be willing to learn, work hard and be consistent.
14. What’s your favourite life quote?
“Don’t forget to live” – It reminds me of how important it is to detach sometimes and actually live life without thinking about or chasing the next goal.
So, guys, it was lovely doing this again with a creative and entrepreneurial mind and I hope you had fun and learned something while reading this interview with the CEO of Flaire. Don’t forget to subscribe to her business page on Instagram, and of course, don’t forget to follow us on Insta. Also, if you missed last week’s episode of The Lifestyle Scoop with Amaka Oguike, feel free to indulge.