Olatorera is a 29 year-old Nigerian entrepreneur who has managed to build one of Africa’s fastest growing fashion e-commerce startups- Dressmeoutlet.com.
The Nigerian who is also a sought after keynote speaker on topics related to leadership, entrepreneurship and technology, has an impressive list of achievements which include being recognized by The Commonwealth Africa Awards For Entrepreneurship, Nigerian Innovation Awards, Forbes Most Promising Africans, Africa.com’s Top 5 Youngest Entrepreneurs and African Achievers Awards.
This is what Olatorera Oniru had to say:
What inspired you to start dressmeoutlet.com?
Africa has a ton of potentials and we are massively rich in natural and human resources. The continent should not be as under-developed as it is today and that is part of what inspired me to start Dressmeoutlet.com. At Dressmeoutlet.com, we want to generate greater patronage and appreciation for all things high-quality and made in Africa while contributing to developments across the continent. With Dressmeoutlet.com, we aim to continue retailing the very best made in Africa products to a global market. We are operating in a marketing with billions of dollars of untapped value that can contribute to making the world more connected, more creative and more innovative.
What is the ultimate goal for your business?
Dressmeoutlet.com wants to continue growing with goals to dispatch to millions of customers globally. We want to generate customers for the thousands of African designers, beauty, furniture and art manufacturers who continue to make excellent products at the best prices. Many of these products are now purchasable via www.dressmeoutlet.com. To date, we have over 100 manufacturers retailing with Dressmeoutlet.com; many of which are retailing exclusively with Dressmeoutlet.com.
Do you take pride in the fact that over 60% of your products are made in Africa, ?
Oh very much so! Because the 60% are not just simply Made in Africa, they are thoroughly vetted for as some of the highest quality fashion, beauty and home products made in Africa; and all at the best prices. Providing high-quality at affordable prices is definitely a thing of pride for the market and for the hundreds of manufacturers who continue to produce products that customers want and love. The other 40% sourced from other locations worldwide also continue to give us pride too as it takes the sourcing team at Dressmeoutlet.com a while to collate only the very best for our customers.
Why did you decide to start an online store as opposed to a physical one?
The online market is more global than the physical market. It also excites us to be able to infuse technology and innovation with retail. The online retail market is also engaging with lots of opportunities to grow endlessly. There’s rarely a boring downtime at Dressmeoutlet.com’s office from photoshoots to digital campaigns to ensuring all orders are dispatched rapidly, we have a lot of fun fulfilling our company expectations and mandates.
What do you see as the future of e-commerce in Africa?
I definitely see e-commerce booming significantly across Africa. Customers continue to embrace it strongly and lots of new players continue to troop into the industry in large numbers. Of course entrepreneurship isn’t easy neither is starting and succeeding in e-commerce but the market poses lots of significant opportunities for growth and excellence in retail across Africa.
Do you have plans to expand the business?
Oh yes, we are looking into certain franchising models to expand into strategic locations within and outside Africa. We plan to kick this off within the next 12 months. Despite being accessible locally, there’s a lot we have been able to achieve physically/locally that can be magnified in other strategic locations.
What advice would you give young Africa entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses?
Choose your path, lead very courageously and push your dreams. Along the way, learn as much as possible, make friends, ensure you are contributing passionately and positively to the world, be great, stay healthy, remain beautiful and enjoy life.
By Dean Workman