“Ignore the fear and start anyway”: School for Ankara Accessories

APiF: Please introduce your business.
Stephanie Obi: ST Colours A-School is an online school where young ladies can learn how to make accessories using African Print, wherever they are in the world.

APiF: What motivated you to start this school?

Stephanie: I started the online school because of the requests from my customers. I started by having an accessories line, and then felt the urge to start teaching. I hosted small monthly training classes and started to receive phone calls and emails from other young ladies all over the world who were also interested in taking the classes. I could not travel to all the cities these ladies were calling from, so I decided to take the school online. That way, we can reach everyone irrespective of where they are, as long as they have access to the internet.

APiF: What is your cultural heritage and how does that inspire you?

Stephanie: I am from Nigeria, and we are very colourful. We love to wear vibrant African prints, for example, the Ankara fabric. Our mothers wore the Ankara fabric and it looked fabulous on them. Thus when I started my business in 2010, I was inspired to create modern pieces using the Ankara fabric. 

APiF: What is your educational background? 
Stephanie: I have a first degree in Computer Science from Covenant University and an MBA from the Lagos Business School

APiF: Any tips for young entrepreneurs and start-ups?
Stephanie: If you are afraid to start a business, it’s perfectly okay. Ignore the fear and start anyway. Once you start moving in the direction of your dreams, irrespective of your fears, the fear disappears

APiF: Can you name any designers that “made it” after attending your school?
Stephanie: Lol, the graduates of my school are not typically designers who have “made it”. They are young ladies making an extra stream of income, the legit way, young ladies who have empowered themselves to become self-employed after years of sitting at home and searching for jobs, young ladies who are discovering their creativity for the first time and have become inspired to snap out of their limiting beliefs and of course young ladies who love African print and also want to experiment with it.

Find out more:
w: http://www.stcoloursaschool.com/
e: obi.stephanie@yahoo.com

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