Turning my passion into my profession – Mojoyin’s story

passion for profession

“We adorn your feet with our classy shoes”

jojo Shoes

Here’s another lovely passion for profession story.

I had a chat with sprightly Mojoyin -mum of three boys and founder of Jojo Shoes – a brand that designs beautiful shoes for ladies. Mojoyin is making a profession out of her passion for fashionable shoes.

Mojoyin was one of the fastest girls in my secondary school 😚and it was always a delight to watch her on the track. It’s interesting to see that she’s dropped her track spikes for stilettos and the likes 😀. This buttresses my point that we can excel at anything if we work hard at it.

Mojoyin could have easily chosen a career path following her natural talent as an athlete, but she chose her passion for fashion (shoes) and is putting all necessary efforts to make it flourish.

Let’s meet Mojoyin…

My name is Mojoyin Abolarin. I’m a mom, wife, homemaker, IT database Administrator and now an entrepreneur who designs beautiful shoes for women.

I was born and grew up in Lagos, went to boarding school for 6 years, studied biology at the University of Maryland with hopes for going to medical school. That didn’t work out as I had my first son, got married and decided to go for a masters in Information Technology.

passion for profession
Mojoyin in ‘Isokan’ booties

Tell us about what you do?

I am the owner of Jojo Shoes, a brand that I started in April 2018.

After finishing from grad school, I started working as a database administrator and later on as a software developer. I then decided to start my own business of buying and selling clothes which failed so badly after so much investment. My love for fashion was still intact and I still desired to start a business around fashion.

I’ve always loved shoes, most shoes that caught my attention were usually either too expensive or not comfortable. So I decided to start making shoes for myself first and then others. Most shoe samples are in size 8, but mine is in 10 because there was a part of me that was afraid of failing and thought “ well if I fail at this at least I would be wearing all my samples to console myself.”. 😁

How did you get into Shoe production. 

As stated earlier, I love shoes and I’m often drawn to the classiest shoes on display which usually turned out to be high-end shoes, but just couldn’t afford to buy them.

Also, I have bunions (even though not too big) , but enough to make my feet look weird and uncomfortable in stiletto shoes.

About 4 years ago, I bought a pair of green stilettos from Christian Luboutin and it was hell walking in them. I returned them and bought another style, thinking changing the style would help, but I also couldn’t fit! That’s when I thought of designing shoes for myself and making sure I enjoyed the comfort of those shoes while making them affordable to most at a high end taste.

Why shoes?

Not why shoes, but why good shoes 😊? Good shoes will definitely take you to good places 😉. Just kidding. Shoes because I’ve always loved shoes and that’s the first thing I look at in a persons outfit.

I also want to make the feet beautiful. You see people wear clothes, makeup and accessories to beautify and enhance their figures and looks, so why shouldn’t we also adorn the feet that supports the whole body and make it look gorgeous.

passion for profession
‘Subulade’ Sandals

Are there any big shoe companies you look up to, and why?

I really love Aquazzura. Their shoes are so unique and stylish, yet not as highly priced as some of the other high end shoes and they also have their original and classic designs.

What are you goals for your brand?

My goal for Jojo’s is to see it in every woman’s closet and to have it in main chain stores. I will like every woman to have at least one pair of Jojos.

How do you come up with your designs?

I have a designer I work with – Andrea (my Italian designer) he helps with the design process. If I have an idea, I draw it on a sheet of paper, he then marks out all measurements and uses design software to help perfect the design/idea so the manufacturer will understand.

I sometimes also draw in my dreams and they are crazy drawings but my designer in Italy understands me a lot and also helps improve my sketch. We eliminate until we sure we’ve created something wearable.

What do you mean by drawing in your dream?

Drawing while sleeping 😚. Sometimes I dream of shoes, and some designs and I just notice I’m drawing in my dreams, immediately I’m aware of it, I get up (I always have my pad and pen on my bedside table) and scribble a reminder or draw what I have in mind and then go back to sleep immediately. This has happened several times, the fear of failure is real I guess 😄.

What are the challenges you’ve faced in running your brand?

Well I have enjoyed every stressful part of designing , sourcing for manufacturers, going broke, sourcing for materials, choosing colours etc. I tend to be conservative but decided to go out of my comfort zone and bombard my shoe line with colours.

There are however many challenges, biggest being funding. This business is capital intensive. I started with my paycheck as a software developer, so I’m trying not to starve my kids all in the name of starting a new business especially as I’m avoiding getting a loan.

Another major challenge is getting a manufacturer to work with my minimum order quantity. Since I started business, I’ve had to switch between 3 manufacturers, and I’m still researching for better manufacturers in terms of price, quality and minimum order quantity. One thing I’ve realized is that the research never stops.

Sizing is also a problem, as is the issue of customers trying to make you go crazy! The numerous voices demanding different shoe styles is unbelievable. Some want wedges, some want, flats, some want even higher heels. One thing I realized is just to follow my vision and not lose track of where I’m going with my brand.

passion for profession
‘Arike’ Sandals
Where do you see your brand in 10 years?

By Gods Grace, I want Jojo Shoes to be in all Major retail stores. I also would like to have several physical stores in all major cities.

How do you manage running your business with motherhood?

It’s tough, but I just plan ahead – I do most of what needs done when my kids are in school. I have a flexible remote job and good support from family and friends.

Advice for budding producers?

Just start from somewhere with the little you have, do lots of research, be prepared to do a lot of advertising, be patient and just trust God.

passion for profession
‘Adun’ Booties
On a lighter note, What would you do if you had special powers?

If I had special powers, I would make everyone in the world peaceful with each other. It’s so scary with how much hatred and atrocities going on in the world. So I would want to be known as “Peace woman with a white cape and an all white outfit 😋. Imagine how the world would be if they wasn’t hate. 🏳👼🏾

Please follow Mojoyin on Instagram @myjojoshoes.

You can shop for Jojo shoes on www.myjojoshoes.com. Let’s support our own, let’s help build our own high end brands.

Aunty Lulu

Read our first passion for profession story here.

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Nigerian Brands I Love volume 3

Nigerian Brands I Love volume 3

On this episode, I will be profiling two Nigerian brands from the Capital city – Abuja. Please enjoy and don’t forget to leave a comment. 😘

Dzyn

I have to start this with a little background about this brand as it’s another brand dear to my heart. The beautiful brains behind Dzyn is Ogwa Iweze who launched the brand in 2014.

Ogwa’s entrepreneurial spirit kicked in quickly – as far back as when we were all single girls enjoying the social scene of Abuja. She started her fashion house with a few tailors and they made custom made clothes on order.

The ladies started getting hitched one after the other and all roads led to Ogwa’s store to get our Aso-Ebis made. For non-Nigerian readers, Aso-Ebi is a uniform dress traditionally worn at ceremonies as an indicator of solidarity and cooperation.

Fast forward a few years later, I got married, left Abuja and Dzyn was born during that period. It has been nothing but brilliant fashion from them since then.

Ogwa Iweze Creatuve Director Dzyn

Bonang Matheba in Dzyn

Dzyn is known for its fun, cheerful and lively designs. They are popular for edgy streetwear.

Dzyn Mesh Top

Being a big fashion enthusiast, Ogwa recently started a fashion series called “fashion and the city” where she tells stories through images showing her love for social scene and fashion. You can catch up with her as she visits different cities around the world on her Instagram page, trust me it’s worth it.

Style Temple

Known for its structured wearable pieces, Style Temple was founded by the very stylish Oguana Okwonkwo in 2012.

The brand’s ready-to-wear line is a mixture of structured wearable pieces with a couture edge, clean geometric cuts and shapes with a standout detail. They focus on Easy fitted garments that flatter a woman’s body.

Style Temple is recognized for its signature sophisticated textiles, silhouettes, and cuts. The brand delivers well-structured, contemporary garments with impeccable tailoring and fit.

Oguana Okwonkwo

Vogue Italia had this to say about their SS’17 collection at Lagos Fashion and Design Week 2016: “Presented in a chic and contemporary manner, it’s accessible to the independent young woman who frees herself to stylishly embrace all that she is.

Style Temple is very popular among Nigerian young socialites and fashionistas.

Toke Makinwa in Style Temple

You can follow these two desingers on instagram

@dzyn

@ogwa.iweze

@styletemple

Read Volume 1 and 2 here,

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Favourite Looks from the Bling Nigerian Movie Premiere

The Bling Lagosians Movie Premiere

If it showcases Nigerian culture and promotes our creativity, you already know I’m in. Moreover, who doesn’t like it when people play dress up! We’ve been at it from the days of catching the train in primary school 🤩 (catching the train is a dressing up competition played when I was a little girl). That said, enjoy my favourite looks from the premiere of the Nigerian Movie “Bling Nigerians”.

The theme of the night was “Eko for show” and my oh my, did the guests put up a show or what! We had a little Eko show with some sprinkling of bling by the side, enjoy…

May I start with the star of the movie, Ms Elvina Ibru. I don’t know who she’s wearing but she looks glamorous. I really want to watch this movie because of her and Toyin Abraham. 👌🏾

Elvina Ibru

Beverly went all out, she is dressed to impress and I am impressed. Love this look, saw a video of back and it looked really good. You go girl 🙌🏾

Beverly Naya in Weidzhurm Franklyn

Michelle Dede styled herself unlike most of the other young actresses and I’m all for this sassy look. Touche Michelle 😘

Michelle Dede in Ejiro Amos Tafiri

Nice look from Sharon

Sharon Ooja in Somobysomo

Ini delivering a top notch eko for show moment here, simple and chic with a just a little drama. Well played Ini. 💯

Ini Dima-Okojie in Komeosalor Couture

Lovely dress Miss CeeC has on, would probably look better on a taller frame but I’m not complaining.

Cee-c Nwadiora in Lanre Dasilva Ajayi

Stunning, love the rich green tone of the dress and also the colour of the hair. It works well together, good one Lilly.

Lilly Afegbai in Sue Manuell

Whats not to love about these widepants. All together a good look from the lovely dancer.

Bunmi Olunloyo in Sisiano

Bambam, ahnahn, serving it hot hot. Bammy goes all out for her red carpet events and I can’t but appreviate the effort she puts into it. She looks very good here, gown, hair, make-up all work well together. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

Bambam Olawunmi in Albina Dyla

Love this dress, very chic and I really love how Mimi styled it, simple look but very classy. She rightly let the fabric make all the noise. 🙌🏾

Mimi Onalaja in Lanre Dasilva Ajayi

Ohlala, 😁 (pun intended).Yet another stunning fabric and well tailored so it’s not overbearing. Really love this girly look from Lala.

Lala Akindoju in Roksana @roksana

You sure need endless legs to carry out this look. Idia is the bombshell in red 💣🎇

Idia Aisien in Sheye Oladejo

Omoni and Ufuoma are a double delight in their ensemble. Love how each one of them is owning the look, can’t even choose who wore it better. Twin on girls.👯‍♂️

Omoni Oboli and Ufuoma Mc dermott in Via Rissa

Bisola looks lovely in this dress. I like the striking purple purse too, 😘

Bisola Aiyeola in Somobysomo

Nice look from Linda Osifo

Linda Osifo in 2207bytbally

Love this look from Monalisa, especially the headpiece. 🙌🏾

Monalisa Chinda Coker styked by Medlinboss

Oh Marcy, have mercy on us please 🙏🏾. L😍ve this look, shoes, make-up et tout…..

Marcy Dolapo Oni in Trish O. Couture

This look is a real eko for show look 🤩, love it…

Tomi Odunsi Fadina in 3&4Fashion

Another Tolu Bally dress and it’s also a winner. 💯

Taje Prest in 2207bytbally

Lovely look from Chioma. Love the purple and green combo…

Chioma Akpota in Bimmms24

Tolu Bally herself in another Tolu Bally creation and we’re still loving it. Great look girl 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

Tolu Bally in an outfit from her brand 2207bytbally

That Denola nailed this look should not be a surprise, he does that all the time. 💯

Denola Grey in D29

Nice look from this gentleman.

I’m jealous of Ik as this fabric is exquisite. I’ll like a long flowing dress with it😄. Daring look from Ik, but i’m loving it 👌🏾

IK Ogbonna in Yomi Casual

I usually don’t like dramatic agbada, but seeing is believing on this one.😁 The bling on this agbada gave it life, talk about Eko for show 🎇🎇

Ayo Makun in Yomi Casual

I just want to let Don Jazzy go with a warning to go and sin no more, just because I like him 😁

Hope you enjoyed my pick 😉.

Aunty Lulu

Credits:

@theblingnigerians

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Nigerian Brands I Love. vol 2

Nigerian brands I love

Welcome to the second volume of my favourite Nigerian Brands. I’m going to be highlighting two brands I absolutely love, Peridot and Andreah Iyamah


PERIDOT

Owned by the lovely Lola Ashafa, Peridot was established in 2006 and specialised in made to order casual wears.

It was called Peridot and Ruby at inception.

Lola Ashafa Creative Director, Peridot

In 2009, the company launched its sister company, Something Peridot which is a bridal clothing brand and relaunched the parent company as Peridot.

The brand – as described by its creative director – embodies attributes for the style minimalists with a modern edge.

“No suit” co-ord set
‘”Marcy” co-ord set
Dolapo Oni in the “Dolapo” print set”
Beautiful bridesmaids in Something Peridot

Their custom bridal/bridesmaid dresses are very popular and sought after, as is the Casual and Occasion wear.

Zoe Dress

Andrea Inyama

Andrea Iyamah is a swimwear and ready-to-wear brand founded by Nigerian designer Dumebi Iyamah in 2013. The brand takes inspiration not only from Nigeria but also from the silhouettes and tailoring from other African countries.

Andrea Iyamah

The brand is focused on selling ethnicity with a modern twist – while maintaining its attention to detail and cuts. A.I. is strongly inspired by colour and ethnic cultures.
In an interview with StyleCaster, Andreah stated that “the brand’s aesthetic is to always give a hint of edge while using cuts and patterns that embrace the feminine figure,”


Though better known for its cut-out swimsuits, Andrea Iyamah also specializes in ready-to-wear and custom made special event dresses.

Andrea Iyamah also has a bridal brand known as Andrea Iyamah bridal.

You can find out more about these two brands by following their Instagram pages 👇🏾.

Please read volume1 Here.

Credits:

@andreahiyamah

@peridotofficial

www.andreaiyamah.com

www.stylecaster.com

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MET GALA 2019

MET GALA 2019

Hello fashionistas 😉, The MET Gala held last night and as usual, the ‘A’ list crowd of celebrities and socialites were all out to play. I did miss Rihanna on the MET gala carpet as I’ve now become fond of her outrageous and interesting MET gala outfits.

If you’re wondering what the MET Gala is and why there’s always so much fuss about it, I’ve got you 😉.

What is the Met Gala?

The Met Gala is an annual symphony of art, fashion, film, and music where the most renowned members of artistic industries come together for the museum’s latest exhibition launch. 

It was Founded by publicist Eleanor Lambert in 1948 – then dubbed “The Party of the Year” – to encourage donations from New York’s high society for the Costume Institute.

The annual Costume Institute Gala is now held on the first Monday in May by the New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and has become one of the most significant events in the fashion calendar.

On this day, artists, models, musicians and actors come together to raise money for the Met’s Costume Institute and for the unveiling of the fashion institute’s blockbuster exhibition.

The night is always centered on the theme of the new exhibition. The theme of the Met’s 2019 Costume Exhibition is “Camp: Notes on Fashion.”

Definitely not camp as in sleeping bags and tents 🤩, but camp as in exaggerated fashion. The exhibit is inspired by Susan Sontag’s 1964 essay that defines camp as “love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration.”

Lets see what the stars came up with;

Anna Wintour in Chanel

I’m starting with the doyen herself – Anna Wintour. She paid tribute to the late Karl Lagerfeld in this Chanel creation, Anna revealed this was the last dress he made for her before his death. She has presided over the gala since 1995 and must approve every attendee on the guest list. Basically, you better be in Anna Wintour’s good books 🤐. She’s here because this is a really good look. Talk about oozing class…..

Joan Collins in Valentino.

How dare I not put her on my list! The legendary actress attended the gala as her character from her popular 80s series “Dynasty”. The big diamond on display, the feather instead of a purse! oh Joan, at 85 you still know how to make an appearance 💯.

Okay, now let’s get to The business now that I’m done with my honorary mentions 😁

Naomi Campbell in Pier Paolo Piccioli for Valentio Haute Couture

What an appearance from our favourite super model. The ageless model looked stunning as ever in this beautiful blush pink dress and shoes by the same designer.

Gigi Hadid in Michael Kors

Gigi Hadid is all sparkly in this Michael Kors jumpsuit with a custom made hat by Stephen Jones. She is also a favourite on the met red-carpet as she brings her A-game yearly. She certainly didn’t disappoint this year.

Emily Ratajkowski

I know she’s hardly covered 😶, but we’re used to seeing top models like this anyway. She made my list because she channelled Cher and she did it so well, being a lover of Cher, I simply can’t ignore that 😉.

Kendal Jenner in Versace

Whats not to love about this tango orange dress on Kendal 😍.

Poppy Delavingne in Dundas
Ashley Graham in Gucci

Ashely is on everybody’s worst dressed list but not on mine 😚. I normally don’t like monogrammed designer clothing but I actually really like this look on her. I think she pulled it off, don’t look at the back though…..🤐

Cardi B in Thom Browne

How breathtaking is this look from Cardi B. The rapper sure knows how to heat things up on the red carpet! This Thom Browne dress was made by 35 people and it took over 2,000 hours to create. She had 10 attendants from the designer to guide her on the carpet, need I say more… What an appearance! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

Celine Dion in Oscar de la renta

Celine Dione rocked a Judy Garland inspired Oscar de la Renta dress on the pink carpet and what a glittering vision she was!

Ciara in Dundas

The body on Ciara though…She looked stunning in her emerald green Dundas dress.

Who needs one gown when you can have, two, or three or even nothing 😀. Gaga removed this beautiful robe on the carpet to reveal a black dress and then a pink hot number 👇🏾 and then decided she really didn’t need any clothing on and stripped to her undies, yes on the pink carpet! Oh, Gaga, the drama if it all…

Lady Gaga
Sara Sampaio in August Getty Atelier

I really like Sara’s look, exquisite 👌🏾.

Charlie XCX in Jean Paul Gaultier
Sinead Burke

How lovely did Sinead Burke look on the Pink carpet! She made history as the first little person to attend the MET Gala. Sinead is a teacher, writer, broadcaster, fashion admirer and advocate for disability and design. Basically, she’s a go-getter, barrier breaker, my kind of person 👌🏾.

Regina Hall in Gucci

Regina looked nice and elegant on the pink carpet. I could hardly find any sister doing it on the carpet yesterday, they were mostly blaaa 😋 to me, I mean what were they wearing, Kerry Washington, Tiffany Haddish, Lupita, Lala Anthony🤦🏾‍♀️. Anyway, good look Regina.

Lauren Santo Domingo in Proenza Scholer
Janet Mock in Alberta Fettetti
Doutzen Kroes in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture
Dua Lipa in Versace

Forget Dua Lipa’s boyfriend papped checking out Jlo’s Butt 🤫 and pay a little attention to her beautiful multi-coloured Versace dress. It was her Met gala debut and she did really well in this ensemble. The hair though 🤔 maybe that should go with the boyfriend 🏃🏾‍♀️🏃🏾‍♀️.

Gabrielle Union in Dundas

So many stars strode on the pink carpet in Dundas and Gabrielle was one of them. Did she deliver? Absolutely, I really like her edgy look 🙌🏾.

Eva Chen
Kylie Jenner in Versace

Kylie Jenner looks amazing in this violet Versace dress. I don’t always like her red carpet look but this certainly got my attention. She looks way older than her age though but what do I know 🤐 baby girl is doing really well for herself, keep smiling to the bank dear…

Zendaya in Tommt Hilfigher

How adorable does Zendaya look in her Cinderella-inspired outfit on the pink carpet? oh yes, the dress actually lit up 👇🏾, such a great pink carpet moment 💝.

Karen Elson in Proenza Schouler

I love Karen’s dress, the metallic/rust goes so well with her red hair. Love it.

Emma Roberts in Giambattista Valli Haute Couture

Frills, frills and more frills… Emma looks every inch a princess fairy in her pink cherry blossom dress.

Here’s a look at my favourite couples and group pictures. Some dresses couldn’t make my best-dressed list standing alone but looked good coupled up (whether with a partner or friend), enjoy 😉.

Idris Elba & Sabrina Dhowre in Versace.

Marriage sure suits Sabrina well as I’ve never seen her look so good. Really nice looking couple.

Salma Hayek & Francois-Henri-Pinault

Salma looks nice in of-course Gucci. Her husband’s company manages the brand as well as some other big brands so no surprises here. They are a very good looking couple, they’re both in their 50s but look really good.

Kylie Jenner and Travis Scot

Best I’ve seen both of them, they look really good…..

Alicia Kets & Swizz Beatz

“sounds y’all wanna hear, who dat? Swizz Beatz! 🤩 Love me some Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. Swizz is always dapper at any time and Alicia, she’s got the natural look going on for a long time, though I want her to spice it up a little sometimes, I still love her 😊.

Katie Holmes and Jamie Fox

I like these two, I’m happy Katie is happy and really wish them the best, they’re even matching, cute 😚.

Jennifer Lopez & Alex Rodriguez

What a smoking couple 🎇, Jennifer dazzles in a sparkling Versace dress while Alex compliments her in a bubble pink suit jacket and black trousers. Stunning couple.

Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady

These two! Can they ever not turn heads! They always heat up the red carpet and I’m not complaining.

Zoe Zaldana & Marco Perego

Bella Hadid & Jeremy Scot

Adut Akech & Pier Paolo Piccoli

Adut – who is currently one of the most sought after models in the world – walks the carpet in a Valentino Haute Couture dress designed by Pier Paolo Piccolo her pink carpet partner.

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West

Kim and Kanye are quite the couple on the pink carpet. She dazzles in Thierry Mugler in this dripping wet look.

Stefano Tonchi & Hikari Mori

Priyanka Chopra in Dior and Joe Jonas
Nina dobrev in Zac Posen & Zac Posen
Sophie Turner & Nick Jonas

I don’t even know why they’re on my list, maybe because they’re twinning 😁😁😁.

Gemma Chan in Tom Ford & Tom Ford

Another designer and his muse, we saw quite a number of that on the pink carpet. It’s actually a common occurrence at the met gala.

Emma Stone &
Nicolas Ghesqueière

Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton and her designer, Nicolas Ghesquière

Dwayne Wade & Gabrielle Union in Dundas
colin kaepernick & Nessa

Rita Ora in Marc Jacobs, Marc Jacobs and Kate Moss in Marc Jacobs


Spotted some nice looking men too 😉

Michael B Jordan

Michael always carries himself so well on any carpet, I’m a fan…

Lee Daniels

Our darling Serena Williams co-hosted with Lady Gaga and Harry Styles. While I didn’t really like her pink carpet look, I surprisingly liked the version when got on stage – and it’s from the same dress – don’t you just love fashion.

Don’t wonder what’s happening to my fashion taste, cause I’m wondering myself 😘.

Serena Williams in Versace

I hope you enjoyed my pick?

Aunty Lulu.

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