SAP 006 - Lilian Oparaji; successfully turning her fashion and shopping hobby into a business



Lillian Oparaji on the #socialAfricanshow

Lilian Oparaji is a fashion entrepreneur. She is the founder of Simply Lil’ Clothing, an urban clothing and lifestyle brand based in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. She has been an entrepreneur all her life and has successfully turned her fashion and shopping hobby into a business.

Personal life

I’m married to Mr. Oparaji Chibuike. I’m the last of five kids, three boys, and two girls. My parents were ambassadors in Vietnam.

Area of expertise

I actually do interior decoration and styling as well. I used to be a tomboy. When I left school, I started tilting towards fashion.

I’ve never liked the norm, my slogan is: stand out of the crowd. I’ve always liked to stand out.

What sets you apart?

You have to be in the know. You have to know your onion. I do a lot of online classes and courses. I check columns, I check what’s in vogue.

I always tell people, you have to dress like you want to be addressed.

The lowest of the low

The fights. It was the fights with the people around me, everybody thought I was going mad. Everybody not supporting me. Everybody not giving me the push that I needed. You know, having somebody very close to you, tell you that you are not good enough is very demoralizing.

The moment it all changed, the light bulb moment

In 2004, after school, I went to my uncle’s friend and asked if there was something he could help me with. He took me to Concord Hotel in Owerri, Nigeria and they asked for something I’ve never heard of before. They wanted bed sheets but the length they were after, was crazy. I said to them I would get it. I didn’t know how I was going to get it. But I said yes.

What’s got you buzzing right now?

I’ve started the personal style and consulting side of the business.

I find that a lot of women, especially married ones, don’t have it together; they have kids, a job, they have to run their home and take care of their man. This can lead to these women feeling like that they're at their lowest point in life.

So, it’s consulting on how to build your confidence, I come into your closet and dress you up in shape and size you are. You have to look wonderful at your size while working on the size you want to get to.

Lion's Den

  • What is the best African saying you’ve ever heard?

“They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds and then, we start to grow”

  • What was holding you back from building your brand?

Myself. Nobody can hold you unless you let them. So it’s the fear, it’s the self-doubt. It is you asking yourself, can I do this? How good am I?

  • Which is your social media platform of choice and why?

Instagram, because of the visuals.

  • Share one daily routine that contributes to your success.

I get up at 6:00 am I say my prayers, I do my devotion and I try to work out. While working out, I play a podcast.

I also try to read a few pages. I mostly read business and motivational books

  • If you had 24 hours to live what would you do?

I’m going to be both selfish and nice. I would give out a lot of my property and with the rest of my money, I’ll probably go to an island. I would have some ice cream, donuts, and pastries. Play by the beach, play in the sand and just relax.

Resources

  • Recommend one book for us to check out and tell us why we should.

Who Moved My Cheese? By Dr. Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard Ph.D.  I recommend this book because the only thing that’s constant in life is change.  

Words of wisdom

Be true to yourself. Nobody can put out your light unless you let them. You are one. You can never be the same with another. There is a reason you were created. God gave us talent, use your talent.

You are you.

Connect with Lilian

  • Instagram

  • Simply Lil Clothing - 10A Kana Street, D- line Port Harcourt, Nigeria.