This is Oddbod and the City – My Lagos Adventure
Nothing signifies the end of the summer holidays better than my inbox packed full of messages from school.
Usually I welcome it all—one looks forward to the little terrors out of one’s hair and having a bit more structure to their day.
This year however (I am going to say it) we are in unprecedented times and one watches like a cat on a hot tin roof for the news of school resuming or further online schooling torture.
Meanwhile, I managed to unearth what looks like an exam timetable as the first order of business when we resume.
I have no idea what they are expecting to achieve with all that apart from further messing with my blood pressure.
At least our matter is still home, I have recently been introduced to the joys of the paperwork involved in taking the kids to the overs for school.
Wishing you all Godspeed and ample luck.
This is Oddbod and the City – My Lagos Adventure.
It’s amazing the irreversible damage six weeks of no customers has done to some businesses. So, it was with great interest I watched some of my boss babes navigate their SME’s through choppy waters and come out on top.
One such is the always impressive Bolupe Adebiyi, founder of one of my fave brands Cotton Loops.
We have had quite a few conversations about her ethical and sustainable fashion lifestyle brand over the years. I have always been impressed with her work ethic, drive, and vision. I hounded the poor woman (she is mad busy in the middle of a new collection launch) to pick her brain, as a SME owner myself I was interested to know how she did it.
The retail sector was one of the hardest hit by the effects of the lockdown. How did you manage to keep it all together and come out on top?
I got an inkling into how crippling the pandemic would get while in America in February 2020. I was on a trade show tour (Magic in Vegas, Cabana & Coterie in New York, CMDTLA in California) and half the Asian manufacturers did not turn up for ALL the shows! If I wasn’t worried before, I certainly was now!
Getting back home, I’d gone for a visit to my friend with my family. She calls me 3 days later with the worst news, She and her baby had been diagnosed with the virus. Of course I panicked! Shut down my store AND my factory then told our entire workforce to go home! Thankfully, none of us contracted the virus.
We had ZERO sales from early March through April and until early May when the lockdown was lifted. I was understandably depressed as I made sure I paid my entire staff through the entire period even if I had to take out a loan.
However, May 2020 was our highest grossing sales month at Cotton Loops! We sold out of entire collections and worked at optimum production throughout the month. What?! I was ecstatic! Loads of people have asked what we do or have done different—but it’s nothing honestly.
Our brand has always had a strong minimal, functional-but-edgy aesthetic and in a time of uncertainty when women wanted comfortable but still stylish clothing, they turned to us and we met their style needs as we always do and always will.
Tell us about the new collection…
Our all new Spring-Summer 2020 is a 22-piece collection called ‘The Street of Victoria’ or TSOV SS20 and speaks to classic, conservative fashion of the Victorian era translated to functional everyday fashion for today’s modern woman. It is high style with a clean finish for the streets.
It’s late in the season to launch a summer collection but the seasons this year have been fluid and we have also collapsed a capsule collection into The TSOV collection and can’t wait share the most experiential season at Cotton Loops yet with women around the world from Nigeria with love!
There you have it, quality, consistency, and a solution oriented brand wins the day.
Love and light to all entrepreneurs in the struggle at this time.
For more fun, flight, and fancy, check out my adventures on Instagram—@oddbodandthecity