‘I Started Sprinkle Style After I Got Laid Off By Jumia’ – Temitope Atiyota

The Sprinkle Style Fashion House is a place that’s sure to appeal to any female fashion enthusiast, especially those with a knack for simple yet bold African attires that sell for as low as #5000 and as high as the Central Bank permits. The fashion house sits in the top floor of one of the desirous buildings that makes Kolapo Estate one of the choice areas in Magodo, and in extension, Lagos mainland. The setting of the fashion house is a work of art on its own–the measured spaces that form compartments, the uniformed white painted walls and the bright lights gives it such an exotic view.

Banking & Finance graduate of Houdegbe North American University, Temitope Atiyola, is the creative director of the brand. She is a dainty lady, presumably in her 20s. Looking at her, it is hard to believe that she has 11 years of tailoring experience which she revealed when she said, “officially, it (fashion designing) started in 2007. I couldn’t get to the university for a long time. So I went with a friend who was interested in catering (to a vocational training school). In the school they offered fashion classes as well so I said ‘why don’t I try this out. Let me develop on my hobby which is sewing, and that was hope I got to work on a sewing machine for the first time.”

Her early experience with fashion, as an artist, seems to have been passive and a bit casual even though her innate passion of creating dress designs and cutting samples was always there. This passion of hers, I figured from our chat, was fueled by the support of her parents. She spoke for minutes about the impact of her father on her career while she described her mother as “the whole brain behind the business”, explaining that although she always knew what she wanted, the encouragement she got from her mum helped her through the process of growing the brand.

The come up story of Sprinkle Style reifies the message from the old book that, “sometimes, the process leading to an achievement could be disguised as a misfortune.” Temitope Atiyota recounted her 4years of working in the Market Place Department of Jumia Nigeria, which ended in 2014 when her job was a casualty in the trimming-down exercises the company undertook. The loss threw her into the state of confusion and fear. She said, “I was confused. Fear gripped me. The fear of no salary coming in, the fear of how to start, will the market accept me? All these thoughts ran through my head and I was nearing depression.”

The force that brought calm to her troubled mind and helped her sail through the turbulence was the support from her mother and her fiancé whose actions seem to have been led. “Before I lost my job, my fiancé and my mum called me and said, ‘I think you need to leave your job you don’t look happy on it.’ I was like, ‘I’m getting paid, why would you tell me to leave my job?’ Guess what, it wasn’t even up to three days before I was laid off,” she said. After that experience, it was these voices that she harkened to when all was gloomy and she needed a ray of hope. Her mum and fiancé seem to know things that she didn’t know about herself; or that she knew but couldn’t just get to do. “I knew at the back of my mind that I was meant to start something. I had the idea, I had the voice telling me to go ahead but I just didn’t know I was ready.” The nudge she needed came from her support system which includes her mum, fiancé and her late father. They helped her see the signs that her future was somewhere else and not with Jumia.

Less than one week was enough to mourn her loss. Few days after her 9-5 career was shut down, she was chasing a new dream. A dream that’s just as chancy as it is rewarding. A dream that involves big risks and big reward, a dream that would either get her closer to the place of fulfillment or farther away from it. This dream of hers was Sprinkle Style and her journey of a thousand miles began with one step: training. Miss Atiyola returned to the training center to polish her fashion designing skill and started building her brand from her house – one job, two assignments, three projects and the growth pattern continued.

After about four years of building, the stature of Sprinkle Style Fashion House has grown from an in-door setup into what can be described as a fashion palace. Temitope mentioned that the secret behind the success of the brand is hard work and the goal is to “build the brand into a world standard fashion house that has a reputation for creativity and innovation.” The goal looks very much in sight considering that the brand’s growing reputation, especially in the circle of fashion enthusiasts. Temitope believes that in less than 5 years Sprinkle Style Fashion would have risen to the heights of the likes of Bespoke Fashion House – owned by Mai Atafo. She said, “the growth of the brand won’t stop until every African woman has grown confidence in style and finesse.”

 

This article was written by Ibironke Oluwatobi. He tweets via: @ibironketweets

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