Filed in Business by on July 25, 2011

With N30,000, you can start tie-dyeing
By Ime Umoren
Monday, 25 Jul 2011

Tie-dye fabric

In today’s business world, creativity is necessary to excel. The reason is that each business needs to be distinct.

Being creative is also very important among people making handicrafts. Thus, tie-dyeing, a technique of dyeing fabrics in which parts of the fabric are tied tightly to stop them absorbing the dye, is a key handicrat where creativity will make an entrepreneur excel.

An undergraduate of one of the universities in Nigeria, Ms. Patricia Nnobi, says she has been able to sustain herself thus far at school mainly through earnings from tie-dyeing business, though her parents still give her support.

According to her, because she did not gain admission into a tertiary institution immediately after her secondary school education, she decided to go for a skill acquisition training on handicrafts to sustain herself.

She says that as someone who has interest in what people want, she decided to learn tie-dyeing business.

“It was difficult for me at first. I also made mistakes. But because I needed the expertise, all the challenges made me a better person during the training and on the job,” Nnobi notes.

To the Managing Director, Fareedah Textile, Mrs. Raliyat Sanusi, learning the rudiments of the business is challenging, but it gets easier with time.

She adds that once you acquire the knowledge, it becomes an easy thing, and the only issue will be to show your creativity in the use of materials. Sanusi notes that for a start, some amount as low as N30,000 is needed to begin. And even on this paltry investment, a profit of about N10,000 can be made, she says. Nevertheless, she adds that the profit may be lower or higher, depending on whom one is selling to.

She stresses that one needs to have the necessary passion for art and crafts to be able to turn it into one’s business.

Again, she notes that having interest in a creative endeavour may not be enough to start a craft-based business. According to her, one will need to learn more about the skills needed in the business.

The Managing Director, Bafunke Textile, Mrs. Oluwafunke Babalola, says starting the business without adequate knowledge or preparation may lead to failure and wastage of the money invested.

She says that items needed to start the business include, fabrics, chemicals and other tool kits for production.

According to her, purchasing the materials should not be more than N30,000.

“There is the need to research into the business, to know which area to focus on. Research is also necessary for a prospective or existing practitioner to succeed. There is the need for the entrant to the business to have an idea of whom she wants to sell to,” she says.

According to her, the starting point is to create a business card (or a craft card)

Sanusi emphasises that an investor will need space to work because handicrafts require space.

Both Sanusi and Babalola say that learning how to make tie-dyed material is fun. They say it is also good to practise with lots of old T-shirts to enable one to know how different types of fabrics react and produce different patterns and hues when different concentrations of dye are applied on them.

They both also agree that with creativity and experiments, one can make money selling bright, beautiful tie-dyed materials.

Sanusi stresses that when starting the business, it is better to keep the production low, while concentrating on learning the techniques. She adds since a beginner is not sure of the number of customers to expect, it is better he produces in small quantity.

“Your work will promote you. Therefore, it is important for you to try and make the tie-dyed fabric very beautiful and original as much as possible. Also, it is vital for you to do a good job at the beginning so that you will get calls for more orders,” Babalola says.

Besides, she stresses the role of creativity, which she describes as key in this business, as this will help differentiate the fabric from the rest.

Sanusi adds that as a fresh entrepreneur, one needs to be competitive by reducing the price tag on the fabrics in order to attract more customers.

She says, “Once they know that the quality is good, there will be an increase in the customer base. You will be contending with those already in the market, hence, you need to be competitive in your pricing and quality. This will help to give you better publicity as well.”

Nnobi emphasises that anyone interested in the business must be ready to try out a lot of ideas and designs on materials.

She says, “Sometimes, you need to begin to think as a child, playing with designs and colours to make the best design.”

This, she says, will help the business owner thrive in the business.

“The great thing about tie-dyeing is that no two shirts will ever look alike. So, if you are thinking of uniqueness as a selling point, then this is really it. Your customers will love knowing that their design is truly a one-and-only creation,” Nnobi adds.


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