Q and A with Abimbola from Ogun State, Nigeria
“One day, I realized I have got to keep moving on and I got my power back.”
Q: What are you passionate about?
A: As a child growing up in a very humble home, I have always fancied beautiful clothing and always longed for them. I was grateful for the hand-me-downs, but I really wanted lovely clothing. This craving was still very strong in me well into my teenage years until I got into college. At college, I took a course on entrepreneurship, where we were to choose a skill to learn. I chose dressmaking. I didn’t know jack about making dresses, so it was a completely new experience for me. That was where my passion for making dresses and clothing got ignited. I couldn’t afford the real training fee as the course I took for dressmaking in school was only for a few days so I turned to the Internet and started learning how to sew on YouTube. My grandma saw my passion and she got me my first sewing machine (bless her). That was how I gradually started making clothing for myself for years before turning it into a business about a year ago and creating Norelle Designs. Norelle means a strong woman or woman of light. I chose this name because I have been through so many ups and downs life has thrown at me, and I am still going on. It’s a name to appreciate the strength that I have received from above. Norelle Designs have styled hundreds of women and children. We are a growing business with a vision to compete on a global scale making beautiful and quality clothing with sustainability being our goal.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I grew up in a very humble background as I have mentioned earlier. This really impacts how I see life. I learned not to be wasteful and to also dream big and work hard towards my goals. It really instilled in me discipline and I excelled in my school work right up to college because growing up in an African home, you have no excuse to fail in school [she laughs]. It’s a do-or-die affair. Just kidding!
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: One thing I have learned about life is the resilience of the human mind. It’s a beautiful and exciting thing I love to talk about. I went through a very rough period of my life at one point when I was heavily bullied and shamed. I was traumatized by serious panic attacks and anxiety. It affected everything, and I was at the lowest of my life. It was so bad that I felt “sub-human.” Yes, it was that bad and I hate that term. One day, I realized I have got to keep moving on and I got my power back. The human mind is very powerful. It focuses and reproduces whatever you feed into it. My shift from negativity to positive thinking took me out of that situation and I thrive. The human mind is very powerful. Now, I regained my confidence, and I am excited to see what goodies life has in stock for me.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: Feminism to me is liberation from the patriarchy. I love to see females win and become the best badass version we can be. We are able to be who we are today because of the sacrifices of past feminists who have fought so well for our rights, which I am grateful for. However, we must continue to empower women so that we can maximize the greatness that lies within us to its full potential.
MORE ABOUT ABIMBOLA: I was born in Ogun State, Nigeria, where I grew up and went to school and then moved to Lagos State. I currently run a small startup that I have plans to take to the greatest heights. I have always admired luxurious brands and would make my brand one someday.
Thank you for reading!
Check out my shop here.