INTRODUCTION: “It’s actually not what you think it is. Aso-oke has gone beyond the “old people’s cloth” as you call it. Did you know that you can make fashion pieces like accessories and dresses, even wedding gowns with Aso-oke?”…
[Aso-oke is a hand-woven cloth created by the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West-Africa and typically sewn together to make local clothing. The cloth is also produced in Okene (Kogi State, Nigeria). However, there have been attempts to revolutionize the Aso-oke industry in the past decade.
Fashionpreneurs and Aso-oke lovers have become a mesh of creativity and innovation as this traditional fabric is now being transformed into various fashion pieces.]
BODY: This is one out of a thousand and one conversations I find myself engaged in, almost every time I preach the “gospel of Aso-oke”. Of course, it’s a gospel to me because it is too good to be true when you enlighten people about the diversity of this wonderful hand-woven fabric and as a self-proclaimed ambassador of Aso-oke, I am unrelenting in my evangelism.
In every sense of it, Aso-oke has gone beyond what many of us think it to be; people are coming up with various ideas and concepts, energized by insight into its economic importance and armed with a predictably bright future, they are unrelenting.
Fashion houses like Agbeke Alaso-oke Designs, have become platforms where creativity meets innovation and the resulting force is fast becoming something to reckon with both here at home (Nigeria) and abroad.
We are saddled with the task of ensuring that this age-old fabric does not go extinct and in so doing, we continue to give ourselves to the seeming difficulties and of course, sometimes rewarding eagerness and encouraging reception of our audience.
However, things can get a bit dicey when one is trying to woo or sell to a customer, I tell you, that is when you need all the positive forces you can get to back you up.
You just want to get it right and not lose this “potential customer” or “potential fan”. Sometimes, you get a not too encouraging response and what do you do? Someone is saying “I cannot come and go and kill myself”, well, that’s you but I won’t tell you whether I say the same or not (chuckles).
Nonetheless, every venture in life has its rewards and I tell you, there are rewards that keep us going such that after every long hurdle, we are usually grateful for those feedbacks, smiles of satisfaction, hugs, thumbs-up of encouragement, and the likes from customers and well-wishers alike and these motivate us to do more.
But when these take a while in coming, we have to encourage ourselves, trusting the Creator for strength and the drive for what is next.
SUMMARY & CLOSING: What I’m saying, in essence, is that, whatever it is you have found doing, do it well; preach the gospel of your passion to the world, shout it out loud on the rooftops unrelenting, just as the gospel of Aso-oke has found us, and we won’t stop until the whole world believes. See you at the rooftops!
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About Agbeke Alaso-Oke
Agbeke Alaso-Oke Designs is a Homegrown, proudly Nigerian Fashion Line that has mastered the art of using the handwoven fabric known as Aso-Oke in producing bespoke fashion pieces and handy accessories.
Agbeke Alaso-oke, where creativity meets innovation…