Ariyike Ayeni: Never Underestimate the Power of a Lady with a Sewing Machine


Ariyike self.jpgAt night, while her mates are busy chatting away their gigabytes and browsing away their precious time on some questionable websites, Ariyike is busy looking for inspiration for her next customer’s dress. At other times when she is not cutting yet another fabric, Ariyike is busy doing some readings as a 400 level Agriculture student that she is. Drawing inspiration from her mum’s passion for fashion designing and her love for sowing, Ariyike is using her skills to meet the fashion needs of other students like her on her campus and beyond.

Folashade Ariyike Ayeni (@mhiz.ariyike) is a student of Agriculture at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. She is the creative Director of Ariyike Couture (, an emerging fashion designing brand.

We recently had an email interview with Ariyike, who despite her tight schedule, found time to satisfy our curiosity about her responsibilities as a student entrepreneur and how she fulfills them.

Ariyike dress.jpgWhat would you say is the difference between a tailor and a fashion designer, and which one are you?

A tailor is someone who cuts and makes clothes while a fashion designer is more of a creative person, someone who designs and creates a particular unique style for a fabric. I will say I am both a tailor and a fashion designer. I learnt fashion designing sometimes 2012 immediately after my secondary school. Personally, I wanted to know how clothes are put together, and secondly my mum…she was really into it, she loves it.

Related: Jumoke Oseni: Being Financially Independent is a Good Thing

Ariyike man.jpgWho are your target customers?

I target everyone but most especially, ladies. Ladies always give you complex and challenging styles.  I like it when I have sit, think and think to get a work done. I don’t like simple styles that I wouldn’t need to task my brain and challenge myself for. Also, ladies pay well. I get inspiration for my designs mostly at nights, I sit and draw my designs and sometimes I explore the internet.

Ariyike cartoon dress.pngHow do you meet your customer’s target knowing that you also have course works to attend to?

Related: Olumide Oluranti Joseph: Start anyway, just make sure you start

Once I get the material from my customers, I ensure I start work immediately. I don’t pile up my work. I don’t procrastinate. Once you procrastinate, you will miss your customer’s targeted time. Delay is dangerous, there was a time I almost disappointed a customer which led me into rushing her cloth and I almost flopped. You don’t want to know the end of the story… (She laughs). I hat disappointments so I try my possible best not to disappoint any of my customers. As a student, it’s not so easy combining the two: school and fashion designing. So I would say time is my biggest challenge but with adequate planning, you can achieve being a successful student entrepreneur.

Ariyike tush babeWhat’s your favorite quote?

Never underestimate the power of a lady with a sewing machine.

If you are African student entrepreneur and you want to share your inspiring start-up stories with our growing community of student entrepreneurs, follow on INSTAGRAM @ideaslaneafrica or send us an email on

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