Meet The Founder of Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle

Meet the founder of Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle Ifeyinwa Brendan-Ndukwu exclusive interview on Bellafricana

Ever since she was a little girl she fell in love with fashion. Her curiosity and love turned into a passion and she made her own dreams come through by starting her business Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle.

Let’s meet another Bellafricana member, the founder of LILIFEY’S FASHION AND LIFESTYLE;

Please introduce yourself and your background 

My name Ifeyinwa Brendan-Ndukwu, the Founder, Creative Director/CEO of LILIFEYS FASHION AND LIFESTYLE. I am from Imo State but married to BRENDAN-NDUKWU from Anambra State. I am a graduate of English Language/Literature but presently into Fashion.

Meet The Founder of Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle

How did you come about the brand name and what does it mean?

My Brand name LILIFEYS’ is a combination of my second name LILIAN and my first name, IFEYINWA. LILIFEYS is a reflection on what fashion means to me… Stylish, Trendy, Comfortable and Affordable. Coincidentally that’s what most women cherish.

Tell us about your work. How did your company start?

As a young girl I love dresses and my curiosity into how dresses are led to my fascination and passion for dressmaking. By observation and divine ordination I started making dresses by myself with just needle and thread. My dresses gradually developed into beautiful dresses that attracted people’s attention and they started ordering dresses from me.

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

My niche is ‘Comfortable women wear’. I believe that a woman should be comfortable and happy in her clothes and not struggle or sustain body injuries while wearing a dress.

Also Read: Meet The Founder of Miel Clothing [Exclusive Interview]

Where do you get the inspiration for your products

My inspiration are mostly divinely ordained… I receive inspirations for most of my designs in my dreams. I am also highly inspired by nature around me such as the sky, vegetations and the woman’s body shapes.

Can you remember one of the first products you made or service you started? What makes it memorable?

The products I made as a young girl were for my Baby dolls but as an adult I remember making this lovely sleeveless, boat neckline with a gathered low waistline maxi dress with Nichem wax, sewn with needle and dress. I made this dress while I was still an undergraduate in the university. 

What made this dress memorable was that it fit me so well that it attracted a lot of attention. People started noticing my sewing and my style of dressmaking. In fact my Late Mum had to buy a Hand Sewing machine to help facilitate my sewing because according to her…”why are you suffering yourself my dear daughter sewing dresses with needle and thread?”

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

Some of the challenges I face in my business is high cost of production resulting from epileptic supply of electricity and high cost of powering generators. Not having enough local textiles industries for consistent design print production. Relying on importation of fabrics makes the prices of the materials exorbitant as well as non available of some materials over time. Another challenge I face is lack of expertise of the Labour. Most times when they are trained instead of staying back to work they leave. This results in low production capacity some times.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

No no, I don’t have any regrets venturing into this line of business. Fashion Designs and Dressmaking are like oxygen for me. This is one vocation I carry out effortlessly!

What is your most popular product?

Circle pants.

Meet the founder of Lilifeys fashion and lifestyle, exclusive interview of bellafricana member

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

To a large extent, my African heritage has a lot of influence on my work. I used a lot of handwoven and hand-dyed fabrics for my clothes.

What are some of your short term goals and long term goals, both in your business and life in general

My short term goal is to consistently meet the needs of my local customers satisfactorily. My long term goal is to export my products internationally to Europe, America, Canada, and South Korea.

What would people be surprised to learn about you

People would be surprised to know that I was a Secondary school English Language and English Phonetics Teacher .

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?

Food vendor/ Caterer

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?

The advise I would give to anyone starting out in the Fashion industry is to have a good knowledge of the art of Fashion designs and dressmaking so as not to be caught on the level of mediocrity. To succeed in this industry ‘good is not enough when best is possible!’

To connect and meet the founder of Lilifeys Fashion and Lifestyle, you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: lilifeys_fashion1

Whatsapp: +2349064774851

Meet The Founder of Miel Clothing

Meet the founder of Miel Clothing Olatunde-Oyinkansola-Bellafricana Member
She started her brand because she needed extra money, but along the line, she grew to love the business due to her desire and love for styling people, mixing colors and basically expressing her creativity without restrain.

Let’s meet another Bellafricana member, the founder of Miel Clothing;

Please introduce yourself and your background 

My name is Olatunde Oyinkansola, textile designer and creative director of Miel Clothing. I’m from Ijebu ode, Ogun state but based in Ilesha, Osun state .

Tell us about your work. How did your company start?

During my NYSC, I needed a side hustle aside my 9-5 job. I actually started Miel Clothing because I needed extra money, but along the line, I grew to love the business due to my desire and love for styling people, mixing colors and basically expression my creativity without constraint. Miel Clothing is a fashion brand that produces indigenous African prints popularly known as Adire or batik or Tie & Dye in the Yoruba language. We’re a textile design industry that produces handmade African prints. We make different types of outfits and ready to wear ranging from t-shirt, sweat shirt, hoodie, two piece and fabrics. We produce in large quantities for Aso Ebi and  fashion brands while also train people both online and offline on the art and creativity of Adire.

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

My niche is Afrocentric fashion brand. At first I started for money but I fell in love with art, nature and African culture. I didn’t know it was the niche to get into at first because Adire is versatile; but inspired by my passion for Afrocentric culture and art, I ventured into it in order to blend the indigenous culture and western culture to birth a unique piece of art never seen before.

Also Read: Meet The Founder of Zone A Creations [Exclusive Interview]

Where do you get the inspiration for your products
I get inspirations from nature, tv shows, colors, co textile designers, after which I redesign it to suit my brand niche.

Can you remember one of the first products you made or service you started? What makes it memorable?

The first product I made was “the sunshine tee”; which was inspired by Johnny Drille’s song “shine”. The shirt was memorable because prior to its design, I was going through depression and somehow, I found someone who brought me out of it. The tee shirt has two colors, black and yellow. The black represents my darkest time while the yellow represents a light that came into my darkness; the person that brought me out of my depression. It was also one of my best sellers after it was designed and released

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

My biggest challenge would be a target audience for my brand; getting the right audience who need my products. Another challenge would also be funding and getting a team to help.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

Yes, there were times I regretted venturing into this line of business due to lack of funding and inability to capture a new audience; as it felt like I was advertising to the same sets of people when I wanted to reach out to new people.

What is your most popular product?

At the moment, I would say tye dye hoodies and sweatshirt.

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

My brand is focused on blending indigenous culture and western culture, there African heritage plays an important role as we’re trying to portray the beauty of Africa and the African culture to the western world in a fashionable way

What are some of your short term goals and long term goals, both in your business and life in general

My goal is to have my fabrics and products displayed in fashion houses locally and internationally, as well as worn by models during a fashion runway show in one of the biggest fashion shows globally. I’d also love to impact people by teaching the act of Adire and batik making both in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Another goal is to expand my business, have a team and reach a larger audience..

What would people be surprised to learn about you

That my brand isn’t focused on profit but on impact; promoting the values and sustainability of African prints.

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?

A teacher due to my passion for impacting positive values on people, especially children.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?

My number one advise for anyone would be patience. Don’t rush because adire making requires a patient person who can wait for the outcome to be beautiful, for the colors to mix and for designs to come out well. Growing the business may also take time but if you’re consistent in promoting your brand, you will definitely succeed.

Meet the founder of Miel Clothing Olatunde-Oyinkansola-Bellafricana Member
Meet the founder of Miel Clothing Olatunde-Oyinkansola-Bellafricana Member
Meet the founder of Miel Clothing, Bellafricana Member

To connect with the founder Miel Clothing,  you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: Mielclothing_

Whatsapp: 08142938063

10 Craft Ideas With African Fabrics

Adire earrings by MitiMeth

African curators have moved beyond using African fabrics for just fashion and accessories. Now African fabrics are now used to tell stories, used as home decorating ideas, used to beautify recycled waste, and a lot more functionalities.

Here is a list of other items African fabrics can be crafted into to serve several other uses.


Nigerian-owned brand, O’Eclat Designs is popularly known for creating well-designed African handbags and accessories. This clutch purse is one of the masterpieces put together by this brand to compliment ladies dressing. This eccentric African-inspired clutch purse is designed with quality leather and African fabric popularly called “Aso oke” meaning “clothes from the upcountry”. This fabulous clutch purse is very versatile, it can be rocked to any occasion whether a party, wedding, or hangouts. Combining this with your outfit will definitely make you look stunning and edgy because of its uniqueness and elegance.




This drum is popularly called “Alujo”, meaning drum and dance, it is most commonly played in the western part of Nigeria. If you are familiar with African culture, you will most definitely know that the drum is characterised by calculated steps, shaking waists, jiggering bodies, soulful sounds, melodious tunes, and most especially a loud and exciting environment. When compared to western music, African drums have a more profound metaphorical value. These drums are thought to represent the essence of the community wherever they are found.

They are utilized in the community to commemorate ceremonial occasions and rites. They’re also used as tourist attractions in several African countries, marketing and exhibiting their products. Mimiremi textile, a design and pattern maker skillful and carefully produces this local drum with a combination of Ghanaian African fabric seen beautifully wrapped around it to bring to life the true essence of what African culture represents which is unity in diversity, love, and same interest. 



If you find traveling very interesting or you have a busy work schedule that puts you on the road more often, then this wonderful African-inspired traveling bag is a must-have. Ethnik, the fashion brand behind this elegant and gorgeous travelers bag, created this piece from beautiful Ankara fabric with well-textured leather material, having two side pockets, easy to carry about, comfortable, and convenient, Suitable to carry to places like beach parties, long-distance trips, and vacations. It is made of cotton and very durable.





African craft has moved from using fabrics for just fashion wears to using them for home upholstery as well. African fabrics are now being used as decorative pieces even in public spaces such as hotels, banking halls, conference centers, eateries, and a lot more public centers. Bosh Design, a Nigerian creative brand, uses nice African fabric to make throw pillows, making a space look more edgy, aesthetic, and functional. This brand creates its designs on these pillows telling great African stories, cultures, and traditions. Since African fabric is characterized by bright and vibrant colors, then using it to make throw pillows will not only brighten up a space but will also give your space a personality of its own.



You would agree with me that using fabrics as an accent in your home or any space not only makes the space attractive and organized but also provides warmth, personality, and a high feeling. MitiMeth, a lifestyle and waste transformation brand in Africa, skillfully creates exotic and exclusive vintage table lamps that speak to the tribal customs of Africa. The perfect combination of a table lamp to a home or office as decoration will bring appeal and beauty to that environment because of the subtle design and aesthetics using woven natural fibers with water hyacinth and agricultural subsidies. It is the ideal finishing touch for any type of interior.




There are so many ways fabrics can compliment craft, and a tissue box is one. No one wants a littered house with tissues, this could be very discomforting. More reasons Mitimeth embarked on the journey to help salvage this situation. The tissue box is handmade from woven water hyacinth and batik fabric, made of different sizes and shapes and different colors and designs. This product creates a unique accent for your homes, cars, and offices.



Accessories are unquestionably the underlying tone that validates the proclamation of one’s style. They are influential and vital to every fashion mood. It’s about taking a step out of the ordinary and defining yourself as you see fit. Accessories will always be that extra spark that brings one’s ensemble tale to life. African print accessories are perfect addition to your wardrobe, Designers like Mitimeth have created handcrafted items that combine design, quality, and substance.

This African luxury designer’s commitment to quality has led him to create timeless items made from genuine coconut shells and water hyacinth and repurposed materials. Her creations not only tell a cultural story but also uphold a high level of craftsmanship. When choosing an accessory, only a high quality of value should be accepted. It’s the one thing that, like magic, can transform a dull look into something exciting. It’s a talking point, it’s what gives you that double-back look, and it’s your personal touch. The accessories you choose to wear and how you choose to wear them determine your finest look. Accessorize in a variety of ways, from bold to demure. Classic to chic, all focused on a statement on your dressing.



African designers and craft makers now have diversified into using fabrics to create multiple products that are functional for the home, offices, hospitals, recreations, etc. These fabrics are upcycled and repurposed into more useful items such as book covers, dining wares, pen holders, chairs, stools, etc.

Creatives in the design and craft world have helped pave way for African products in the global markets as exhibitions and trade fairs are being held to showcase the rich culture and heritage of African-owned products internationally. 



Mimiremi Textiles; Proudly Hand Printed In Lagos, Nigeria

The African culture is rich, strong, colorful, diverse and powerful. Mimiremi textiles new collection of prints titled ‘OTU’, which means ‘1’(ONE) in Igbo language has its strength both in the pattern and the symbolic nature of the number one.


Speaking about the new collection, Aderonke Jaiyeola, founder of Mimiremi Textiles said, “I remember vividly that cool Saturday afternoon in 2012, light drizzle of rain dropping on me and the table in front of me as I struggled to print 2 yards of fabrics in front of the house using the screen printing method. Discouraged by the stress of the work and the imperfect print I made, I ventured into other things.

For many years I’ve had the passion to help designers create unique Custom made designs for their brand without stress. Earlier in the year, I was determined to start printing our fabrics in Nigeria. Despite big hurdles, disappointments and sleepless nights, I am happy to finally present our first collection of hand printed fabrics to my dear friends and colleagues…’ OTU (NO 1)”.

Hand printed textiles from Mimiremi  the Otu Collection
The Otu Collection From Mimiremi Textiles

Aderonke was also delighted to let us know that now;

  1. All can now print exclusive patterns and fabrics from Mimiremi locally without travelling over land and seas.
  2. The brand now help fashion designers create awesome prints they’ve been dreaming of without paying high shipping/custom duty.
  3.  By producing locally, Mimiremi is able to achieve the following goals in line with the United Nations Sustainable development goals, They support Goal 1 (NO poverty), Goal 8 (Decent work and economic growth), Goal 9 (Industry and Economic growth) and Goal 10 (Reduced inequalities).
  4.  The brand can now proudly print ‘Made in Nigeria’ on their products.
  5.  You can be sure of having unending collection of fresh prints from their studio.

At Mimiremi Textiles, it is not just about fabrics, It’s about the rich African story that is told through the prints.
With the creative industry in Nigeria gaining unprecedented international exposure, the industry has been seen as an alternative to the nation’s dwindling oil fortunes.

One part of the creative industry is fashion and their raw material is textiles (fabrics), with the average Nigerians love for fashion and asoebi, if Nigeria can produce their own fabrics ( which Mimiremi is now doing), coupled with the design talent, the sky will not be the limit for the industry.

As a closing remark she said, ” as we launch our first collection of fabrics hand printed in Nigeria ‘OTU’, I look forward to the day when other African countries will begin to depend on Nigeria for their supply of fabrics.”

To Contact Mimiremi;

Email: [email protected]

Call; 08034898474

Connect on Instagram; Mimiremi

Kenyan Company Green Nettle Textile won a major fashion award for making fabric from nettles

Organic fibers made from nettles has bagged a Kenyan company one of the world’s top sustainable fashion prizes.

Green Nettle Textile was this year awarded almost $170,000 as part of the $1.1 million Global Change Award, a fashion innovation challenge initiated by H&M Foundation in collaboration with management consulting firm Accenture and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. Described by some as the Nobel Prize for sustainable fashion, the award seeks to disrupt the fashion industry by choosing early stage ideas and incubating them towards the goal of an environmentally-conscious, circular fashion instead of a wasteful, linear model.

This year, the competition received 6,640 entries from 182 countries, with a tremendous increase in entrances from emerging markets. Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa were among the top 10 nations that submitted entries for the award.

Green Nettle won the award along with four other firms that made expanding children’s clothes (United Kingdom), a biodegradable vegan leather (Peru), a digital system that helps make garments recyclable from sketch to scrap (Germany) besides a toxic-free membrane for outdoor wear (Switzerland). Besides financial support, the winners will also get access to a mentorship program that will take them to markets including Sweden, Hong Kong, and the United States.

[yotuwp type=”videos” id=”zsUfKXHienc” description=”off” effects=”video_box=ytef-grow”]

Using nettles in producing fabric was astute given that the plant grows in Kenya and is used for nutritional and medicinal purposes. After the Kenya Bureau of Standards certified the plant in 2009, farmers in Kenya started betting on its newfound commercial capabilities. Green Nettle Textile is now proving an extension of that dynamism, hoping to grow the stinging plant in barren areas to make an environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional fabric and create income for farmers.

As clothes become cheaper and more disposable, the fashion industry has explored how to create clothes for rapidly growing populations while protecting the planet. The overproduction and overconsumption of fast fashion have especially come under criticism—including how eco-friendly is clothing from the chief GCA award sponsor H&M. There have also been concerns about how much energy and water clothing production consumes, besides how much industrial waste factories release into oceans, rivers and natural habitats. Environmental groups like Greenpeace have, for instance, advocated for companies to change their customers’ mindsets and to design clothes for long life.

In Africa, where there’s a nascent manufacturing and fashion industry, local designers are not just challenging reductive ideas of what makes up “African” fashion but also where to source materials from. Last year, Rwanda raised tariffs on used clothing and footwear from the US as it positions itself to become a significant exporter of clothes. Yet funding has proved critical for these designers and manufacturers, an issue creative funds like HEVA want to change.

To further support companies like Green Nettle, H&M Foundation this year partnered with crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to not only get more people to back the winners but also raise awareness about sustainable fashion worldwide.

This article was originally published on

Why Naomi Campbell believes Africa should guard its fashion and fabrics jealously

Africa should guard its fashion and fabrics jealously to stop the western world coming in and making a fortune from them, says one of the world’s best known supermodels.

Naomi Campbell– draped in an elegant gown, in the colours of a peacock with a flamboyant head wrap crowning her towering six foot frame, took to the stage Friday at the Durban International Convention Centre, South Africa for the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit.

“Africa needs to keep its fabrics to itself,” said Campbell.

Campbell is known as one of the longest working supermodels in the world and she hopes the continent can make more out of her fashion world. She believes that African prints and designs can be but exported profitably.

Campbell was the epitome of fashion on stage and appeared to practice what she was preaching.

“It’s Marianne Fassler,” said Campbell proudly of her frock. Fassler is one of South Africa’s pre-eminent fashion designers, who has worked with Campbell before. Elevating African fashion and its designers is a passion of Campbell’s, who has spent 33 years strutting down the catwalks of the world.

“My passion and drive is to see this continent of Africa be as great as it should be,” said Campbell.

The self-styled rebel, Naomi Campbell, was in Durban, South Africa to address leading women from across the continent and the world over.

Today marks the 44th celebration of International Women’s Day. The official date, March 8th, was recognised by the United Nations in 1975 and is a public holiday in many countries across the world.

“We should have more than just one international women’s day, because we do so much,” insisted Campbell.  As well as fine jewellery, Campbell wears many hats. She has spent over a decade working on charitable causes with organisations such as UNAIDS and says that other than empowering women’s health, making sure young girls are educated and self-reliance is very important to her.

Culled from CNBC Africa


Massive Progress in your Business

Subscribe to get the free guide and learn step-by-step exactly what you need to achieve your goals.