How TOUNÓLÁFEMME is redefining African couture

Tounolafemme X Norebase

In honor of International Women’s Day, Norebase gifted five (5) outstanding female entrepreneurs with company incorporations and business name registrations, according to their preference.

How did we select them?

We asked female entrepreneurs to tell us what a business registration will do for their businesses and had Odunayo Eweniyi (of Piggyvest) select 5 winners.

On today’s episode of Norebased, we sit down with one of the winners of the IWD Giveaway, Adetounola Adekunle (creative director of Tounolafemme), as we discuss her journey into fashion.

Tell me about yourself.

My name is Adetounola Adekunle. I’m a recent graduate of the University of Lagos. I studied English Language. I’m a fashion designer, and I’m currently transitioning to tech as a UI Designer. 

Ah Ah! A double designer?

Lol, Something like that.

Please, go on

My brand, Tounolafemme, is an Afrocentric, comfortable, edgy fashion place that caters to your Adire fashion needs at affordable prices. I started my business in May 2021.

Awesome! How did you get into the business of fashion?

When I was in my second year at the university, I decided to start an internship as a creative. So I worked with a fashion blog. This was what piqued my interest in the industry. 

That’s to say you started early?

Yes. Funny enough, I can say it was even earlier than that. My mum worked in the fashion industry and dealt with textiles and fabrics.

Fair enough. Did you have any interest back then?

Not at all. When I realized that I loved wearing custom-made African attire that I sketched, I decided to take it seriously. Sometimes, I wish I had shown more interest back then because my mum would have helped me with sourcing fabrics when I started.

Oh, Is this a challenge you face?

Yeah. It’s hard sourcing quality fabrics. If you’re unwilling to put in the time, you will get the wrong ones. When I started, I had difficulty getting the right fabric, so I ended up paying for a high-end fabric.

A blessing, No?

Eh, A blessing of sorts. It was excellent quality, but I sold the pieces at a loss.

Sorry about that. What other challenges do you face?

I’ll say funding, fabrics, like I mentioned, and visibility. 

Say more

My capital mainly was money I saved while working for the fashion blog. And right now, my profit goes right back into the business. Also, I don’t think enough people know about Tounolafemme, and I’ll like to change that.

In essence, you need more eyes on your amazing pieces, right?

Yeah, I’ll like to see some public figures rocking clothes from the collection.

How do I go about owning a Tounolafemme piece?

I operate my store entirely online for now. So first, send us a dm indicating the piece you want and your size based on our size chart; then pay, and send your delivery details. Your Tounolafemme attire will be delivered within seven days.

Sounds great! Expect me in your dm sha

Lol. I can’t wait. 

What’s the price range for your most recent collection?

I take pride in giving quality at affordable prices. The cost ranges from N10,000  to N20,000.

Nice! Where do you see your brand in the next three years?

I want my brand to be the go-to for chic, edgy, and affordable Adire attire. I’ll also want to establish my footprints in neighboring African countries, such that Tounolafemme comes up when the discussion is about African couture. Also, I hope to start providing African-themed home designs/accessories like couches, throw pillows, rugs, and much more.

Awesome! Have you tried registering your business before?

I initially spoke to someone in 2020 about business registration, but I was discouraged by how tedious the process sounded. 

Oh! So how do you think the free business name registration from Norebase will help your brand?

Business name registration will increase my business credibility and make my brand more trustworthy. It will also help me get access to grants and loans. 

Have you tried accessing a loan before?

Yes, I tried applying for a loan some time back, but I didn’t get it because my business wasn’t registered.

What are three things you want people to know about your brand?

  • Tounolafemme is an Afrocentric clothing brand with comfortable and edgy designs that suit your needs. 
  • There’s a place for affordable Adire pieces, and it’s Tounolafemme.
  • At Tounolafemme, there’s something for everyone. We’ve got you covered, whatever your style is.

Any questions for Norebase?

No, I don’t have any. I just want to thank Norebase for the free business name registration.

I’d say don’t mention, but you already did. So I’ll return the favor.

To everyone reading, you can own a Tounolafemme piece by reaching out on Instagram and Twitter.

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