ZAINAB ORIOLA

(ABUJA, NIGERIA)

Mrs Oriola is the energetic owner of two prominent boutiques in Abuja. With keen insights and enticing initiatives, she continues to surprise and delight her customers.

Mrs Hajia Zainab Oriola is a full-time businesswoman and one of the leading female traders of Vlisco in Nigeria. With her entrepreneurial spirit, she has built a prosperous company that includes two fabric boutiques in the heart of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

Mrs Oriola is constantly thinking about how to make her customers stand out from the crowd. It’s based on her deep understanding of her customers’ mindset. “African women always believe they are a ‘Lady’, meaning they are never too old to showcase themselves. Anytime, anywhere. Beautiful to see.”

But it’s not just women customers who value her insights. Her fabrics appeal to a range of customers with different styles. “I sell to both male and female customers who are part of the working class and the political class,” she notes. “I like the variety in approach due to the diversity of my clients.”

Mrs Oriola enjoys thinking up adventurous new initiatives to offer her customers, always keeping it creative. “To make Vlisco fabrics even more special and unique, I embellish them with luxurious Austrian embroidery and crystals from Dubai. This makes my customers feel very stylish and exceptional; no one else will wear the same design!”

They say that fortune favours the bold – and for Mrs Oriola, boldness has been a key ingredient in her business strategy. “If you want to have success, you need to be upfront.”

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