THE recent global economic crisis which resulted in thousands of workers being dismissed worldwide is no doubt a worrisome development. it called for expedite actions to curb the ugly trend and its unpleasant effects in the lives of Nigerians, particularly the Youths.
The challenges of unemployment and poverty continue to be on the increase, especially among the young men and women who are able and capable to work continue to run after few available white collar jobs there by affecting the economy situation of the country negatively.
It is now pertinent and germane that for any nation to be economically independent and eradicate poverty, that nation must devote much concentration and efforts in building human capacity through diverse skill acquisitions.
According to Guy Kawasaki, “the best reason to start a business is to make meaning, to create a product or service to make the world a better place”.
HUMAN creativity, the desire to look unique and be in vogue, which are the indices of change in human utility and taste, have continued to propel many, especially the youth, to go the extra mile to update their wardrobes.
Very recently, fashion trend shifted using bags, shoes and other fashion accessories made with fabrics, especially Ankara. This makes fabric craft business more lucrative, as producers of Ankara-made fashion shoes, bags and other fashion accessories continued to struggle to meet up with the high demand for the products. Many of those who are aware of this fact are really embracing and exploring the business opportunity.
WHO CAN DO THE BUSINESS?
Ankara/Leather works, bag, shoe and other fashion accessories are some of the easiest skill to learn within the shortest possible time. Any matured mind can do the business, in as much as formal education is not a core requirement for learning the skill, but education is considered an added advantage as it would help a great deal for whoever has it, which would definitely aids his/her creativity, packaging and marketing.
The initial start- up cost required to operate Ankara craft business seems so affordable to whoever may want to explore the highly lucrative business. The major equipment needed for the business is industrial sewing machine, which costs about N50, 000, while you can get a used one for about N40, 000. You can as well rent it from other colleagues in shoe or bag making industry.
Other materials includes: zip cloth, which costs between N10and N15 per yard; zip head costs between N20- N30 per dozen; eyelet costs between N10 and N50 per dozen; D- ring costs between N30 and N200 per dozen; buckle is about N150; adjuster cost about N5 per one. All these depend on their sizes. Tape costs between N20 and N30; lining designer (with pattern) costs N150, plain between N100 and N150; pipe costs N15 per yard; plaster roll costs N1000 and N35 per yard; foam, underlay size, cost between N300 and N350 per sheet; machine needles cost between N250 and N300, depending on the size; hand needle also in sizes, between N150 and N200, depending on the size.
Others are: all purpose spool of thread (does not have to match fabric), ranges between N30 and N150; measure tape or ruler costs N300; fabric scissors costs between N300 and N700; Taffeta material costs between N250 and N350; pack of straight pins costs N100; fibber & board, ranging between N350 and N500 per sheet, and Marco costs between N550 and N1000 per sheet.
The amount you want to invest in the business will also determine whether you will buy in bulk or in retail.
Apart from the initial set-up capital, the first and most important thing is the skill. Ankara craft making business is one of the skills that can be learnt within the shortest possible time as formal education is not compulsory, but an added advantage, as it will aid grasping of the skill and creativity. Learning the basic in the business takes maximum of three months. Training fees depends on which part of the business one is learning and the trainer, among other factors. The fee varies from N50, 000 to N150, 000, though, always negotiable.
PLANNING AND RESEARCH.
painstakingly conduct a detailed research on the kind of shoes, bags and fashion accessories in vogue and work on how you can add style to it to make it compelling to your customers.
Also, do a research on what fashion needs of your prospective customers target audience. This will enable you specialise on their fashion needs and record good sales and profit.
COST AND POTENTIAL EARNING.
According to research, marketability of bag and shoe products cannot be marginalised as more than 90 percent of human race use the products. Availability of the materials for making the products in major Nigerian markets makes the business easier to run.
There is also a readymade market for Ankara fabric products because that is where the fashion pendulum shifted to. Demands for Ankara fabric product at present is so high that producers cannot meet. You can make at least double of whatever you spent on producing the shoe, bag or other fashion accessories and make millions from the business within a year. All these depends on your creativity, packaging, marketing strategy, location and potential customers.
You can as well target campuses, exhibition grounds, hotels and tourist centres, churches among other places, are good market places for the products, while you can promote your product online via the social network sites like face book, twitter and also on your blog or website.
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