By Ogar Monday
Stakeholders in the Cross River fashion industry recently met in Calabar with a view to unite players in the industry, promote networking and sharing ideas to ensure the industry contributes its quota to the Gross Domestic Product of the state.
Convened by the Rod and Staff company, the essence of the event will also aid the promotion of fashion brands in Calabar and the South South region of Nigeria no matter where the players fall in the fashion value chain, the Chief Executive Officer, Emmanuel Etim told CrossRiverWatch.
According to Etim who convened the event, sharing of ideas will grow the industry.
A fashion designer, Joseph Edet who was one of the panelists advised upcoming fashion entrepreneurs to start small and plan to expand from there. He shared his experience where he started his business with just NGN20,000 and built a reputation that endeared him to clients and opened doors for him.
Similarly, another Panelist, Lovita Ita a creative expert urged “upcomers” in the industry to be patient, learn and master their trade before venturing into the business as experience gained by understudying someone will help in creating a brand that can stand the test of time.
Ita charged fashion designers in the state to up their game. She slammed some of the designers she has worked with in the state whom she described as been “below par.”
Also, Esther Ekom a beautician and fashion retailer, said her venture into fashion retailing was in response to the need to fill a gap and demand that was hitherto unattended to in Calabar. She advised participants to build relationships and integrity.
The workshop featured panels and discussions on social media, marketing, photography and business e-book keeping.