Textile and clothing is the second largest sector in the developing world after agriculture, this sector is dominated by SMEs and holds the potential to create jobs for millions of women and youth across Africa. Discussions on African inspired clothing takes the centre stage at forums on fashion and exhibitions around the world. From the likes of international personalities like Beyonce, Michelle Obama, Rihanna, and Thandie Newton, we have seen the acceptance grow and entrepreneurs thrive in this.
Serah Kassim, a Pattern Maker, Fashion designer and the creative director for the clothing brand Serah Kassim is one of such entrepreneurs.
Serah says she was born into tailoring as a profession. “Growing up in a family were my Grandma was referred to as ‘Tailor abepetesi’ – Tailor beneath the stairs and my mum was also a tailor, I would say Tailoring was a thing I was born into”
As early as high school, Serah learnt the process of cutting and making wears from her mum and her wears soon gained acceptance as everyone wanted to wear her outfits. This passion helped her ease directly into business and she has since experienced steady growth and recognition including her selection into the Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme.
With a vision to be one of Africas Largest affordable Afrocentric Ready To Wear line by 2020, Serah and her team of 3 are bringing affordable Afrocentric wears to the world focusing on tailored to fit wears every millennial woman needs.
From a non-befitting outlet to a good one, a non-functional power generating set to a bigger and new one, from old basic machines to new industrial machines, from using charcoaled and other means of ironing to pressers and the likes, Serah says the seed capital from the Foundation has helped set her business in the right path. Serah Kassim also recognises the need to operate a socially responsible business to the local community where it is present and she has done this by offering free annual trainings and scholarships.
For Serah, the TEF Programme changed everything and the after programme support she gets makes it better, “Most times I look back and I’m so thankful for the Tony Elumelu Foundation, not more about the money but the constant checking up, positive affirmations and emails and wanting to always be my loudspeakers is something that gladdens my heart to do more”. Over the next couple of months Serah and her team will be putting structure of training in place as she works towards her dream of owning Nigeria’s first Fashion University by 2035.
Serah Kassim can be reached through the following platforms:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram : SerahKassim
Twitter : SerahKassim
Facebook : SerahKassim.