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Resort Fashion for Bold Beautiful Dreamers.

How did it all begin?

After graduation from UAL in 2013 with my wild cat organic t-shirts. I pitched them to a boutique in Shoreditch, gaining my first stockist. Within months I was invited to sell at a show in Paris which propelled me into making my first collection.

What sets your business apart?

A genuine passion to make women look and feel beautiful with bold color, my hand illustrated print designs and fun silhouettes.

What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?

Giving ladies the chance to wear flattering clothing that reflects their vibe.

Where to next/What is your brand vision?

I want to build a community of like-minded women, connecting with them in real life, as well as widening our product offering.

Yem Elizabeth Akingbade

Founder of

YEMZI

What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?

Creativity!

Share an example of early life that has shaped you?

I’ve always loved drawing and was encouraged to do so. I was enrolled into Bournemouth Arts Institute at 14 for a short course in fashion on Saturdays thanks to the looked after children’s department. That was my first of many courses in design and fashion and it got me familiar with the design process at a very young age.

Highlights of your business journey so far?

I love that Beyoncé featured YEMZI on her Black Parade website highlighting businesses run by PoC. I am also proud that YEMZI has been worn in music videos from Tiwa Savage, WizKid, Davido and NAO.

Key lessons you have learned along the way?

Never give up, keep learning and adjusting.

Best piece of advice you have received?

Hire slow, fire fast. You know early on when something or someone isn’t it, let go sooner rather than later and this applies to personal relationships too.

Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?

Get a mentor who has a similar path to what you are trying to achieve.

What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?

Self-funded because I’m not familiar with raising funds.

Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?

Trying to wear too many hats and spreading my 24 hours too thin. Now I delegate.

Why is it important to support women-led business?

Women are still playing catchup to men in this patriarchy. I see it in the statistics, I see it with my own eyes in advertising so why not support women, we are amazing and equally deserving of running the ships.

60

Seconds

with

Yem Elizabeth Akingbade

My inspiration is...

Life and all the possibilities that come with it.

My greatest fear is...

Is not realizing more of my potential.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...

Give birth.

Guilty pleasure?

Pointless celeb gossip.

Mantra you live by?

What’s coming is greater than what has gone.

Female role model?

I don’t have one but Emma Grede is a phenomenal woman.

Women-led brand you love?

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna.

Top productivity tool?

Calendar, iPhone, Notes/Stickies.

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YEMZI

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