We chatted with fashion designer Adeola Mosanya about what inspires her, what makes for a successful business, and lessons to learn from failures. Her opulent brand of African inspired designs and styles are made for the modern-day woman. The allure of her pieces and the simplicity of her designs are breathtakingly sophisticated. Adeola started in 2016 and is simply inspiring. She went on about what inspires her and the inspiration behind the name of her brand which embodies this: “Ade” means crown (luxury) and “Ara” means style. Her pieces are definitely one of a kind luxury designs meant for a queen. She is definitely a designer to watch out for as she unveils more of her unique styles on the runway.
What or Who inspired you to start your business?
I was always inspired by the people around me who were bold enough to step out on faith and create businesses that became successful. And I believe that it is my purpose to start and grow a business that gives me the freedom to create and inspire others.
I also wanted to start an organization that would be sustainable long-term and create clothing pieces that connect with the African culture and are relevant to the modern woman.
How do you develop Key partnerships?
In developing partnerships, it is important to be self-aware, know your worth as well as what value you bring to the table. This will enable you to negotiate the terms of your partnership in a way that will be beneficial to both you and party involved.
How did you get funded or what creative strategies did you use to execute on minimal cash flow?
I have been able to fund my business through savings from my 9-5. Doing this takes a lot of planning and budgeting but it is worth it.
What habits helped make you successful?
Staying focused and consistent with my goals. It also helps to surround yourself with a group of likeminded people who you can seek advice from.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
By creating unique pieces (clothing), that are inspired by elements in African culture but are still relevant to the modern woman. Adeárá also seeks to create a pleasurable experience for customers from the start to finish.
What was your biggest mistake?
Failing to make adequate financial projections on expenses and limiting myself from promoting my business because I tend to be introverted. I have learned that you are your greatest promoter and it is okay to talk about your business, otherwise you risk isolating yourself from opportunities.
How do you deal with failure and how do you learn from failures?
Identify the root cause of the failure, come up with different solutions that can present a better outcome, and don’t dwell on the failure, move forward!
What was unexpected when you started your business?
I underestimated exactly how much time, resources and patience I would need to get my business to the point where I want it to be. I think it is very easy to compare your business to others especially through social media. This is an absolute no no.
What did you learn?
Starting Adeárá has enabled me to come in contact with a lot of great people that I otherwise would not have met. It has also pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and work harder for my goals and vision.
What would you have done differently?
I would have worked harder in developing my business plan in the beginning (as this is the blue print for the business). I now have a fully developed plan, but had I done this earlier, I could have avoided many mistakes I initially made.
How do you test your assumptions?
In my case, testing assumptions involved a lot of trial and error. But I would advise due diligence in the research and development stage of your product. Part of this involves testing your potential market with samples before fully committing time and resources to producing a product.
How can you minimize the unknowns?
By being cautiously optimistic, especially financially. Also create a detailed blue print, this will help you to plan ahead and leave room for contingencies.
What advice would you give inspiring entrepreneurs?
Whatever your dream is go for it! Plan ahead and take the leap. Also, do not ever limit yourself and continue to believe in your capabilities. And most importantly, stay consistent!
You can find out more about Adeárá by visiting their website or by visiting their social media pages: