HOUSE OF FORTITUDE – How it all started

House of Fortitude is an indigenous creative outfit that deals with design, production and sales of beauty accessories. We love to make life more colorful and gorgeous for people who cherish beauty.

As a rookie entrepreneur, I started making beads during my undergraduate days, adopting ‘Fortitude’ as the name of my business. Subsequently, I learnt wire works and added it to my range of services. At that time, it was still new so I made a lot of money from it. But when I realized that too many people had joined the vocation, I moved on to using Ankara to cover up slippers, shoes and also for making clutch purse.

Sometime later, I was gifted a sewing machine by my grand mum and I automatically developed the love for fashion. It was a totally different experience for me with new challenges. One major challenge I faced was that the fashion industry was already crowded though it was still growing.

Apart from the training I acquired during school, NYSC and the period before I got a job, I didn’t get any proper training. I later realized that for you to excel in the industry, you have to major in one aspect and build your brand there first before you spread out, if at all you want to.

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House of Fortitude Design +234 703 244 8654

After struggling with what to do with my skill set,I finally decided to major in Ankara throw pillow, shopping bags and other things to do with Ankara. That was during my annual leave in 2017.

So, leveraging my knowledge and sewing expertise, I worked at it within a 3-week period. I also learnt about fashion from my mentor, registered my business name and started out partially because of my job. It’s interesting that I just couldn’t stop doing any hand work even after I got a job. I understood what it entails to run a business and keep a job at the same, and I was ready to give my best. I value people’s time as well as my integrity, so I try to fulfill my promise always. People are amazed at how I juggle both but that’s what I have to do.

No one in my family was running a business as at when I started, even till date. It simply became a passion when it seemed I was failing in academics and my self-esteem was terribly affected. I needed to rebuild my esteem by excelling in something else.

Learning and engaging my skill in bead-making initially helped me to believe in myself and understand what I had missed in my academics. With that understanding, I was able to channel significant energy and passion to my academics and it was profitable. In fact, I became one of the most improved students in my department.

We all have a destination, a place we look forward to be in future, perhaps 5 or 20 years from now, but we don’t know how we will get there. We will face a lot of challenges, we will have to learn some things the hard way, lose friends, make risky decisions, experience health challenges, nevertheless, we have to believe in ourselves against all odds. Giving up is not an option. Be like water and fire that grow taller and keep spreading or even pass the available space no matter how small so that they are not stopped. Don’t stay stagnant, keep stretching.

Life has a lot of good things to discover if you are optimistic, so don’t limit yourself and don’t disqualify yourself before you get started. We are all atoms of FORTITUDE, keep yours alive!

For your customized Design within and around Lagos contact:

Ifeoluwa Dada

+234 812 732 9417, +234 703 244 8654

Meet Winifred Gadzama One of the winners of the Peace Ambassador award 2017

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Winifred Joshua Gadzama hails from Askira Uba local government area of Borno state. Earlier this year, she made history as the only North Eastener to participate in the Peace Ambassador Pageant and came in 3rd place. She also won two awards at the pageant; Miss amity and Miss ambassador of Nigeria. She is the last of 5 children and is currently a student of Mathematics.

Miss Ambassador for peace

Miss ambassador for peace

 

Despite coming from the North where pageantry is viewed with much disdain, she had a lot of support from her family. She was motivated by the support she received especially from her Aunt who is her manager. Speaking on her experience at the pageant, she said it was challenging because it pushed her out of her comfort zone being the shy person that she is but it also went a long way in helping her develop confidence.

Miss Gadzama said what motivated her to participate in the Peace Ambassador Pageantry was a desire to see peace restored to Borno state. The opportunity to reach the internally displaced persons living in rural areas with little to no access to relief materials and to go a long way in fighting misappropriation of funds. She also said one of the reasons that motivated her to join the pageant was to change people’s perception of pageantry such as the absurd notion that pageantry is a prostitution ring; she disagreed with this notion by stating that the pageant was actually a modest affair.

Miss Ambassador for peace Nigeria

Miss Ambassador for peace Nigeria

To those aspiring to join pageantry but are constrained by culture she says, “look out for the good in things. They should seize opportunities while they still can”. She also advised parents to be supportive of their children’s dreams. To the youths of Southern Borno she says, “Get out of your comfort zone and do things better “.

She intends to keep training and upgrading herself with the ultimate aim of achieving more in the future.