There was a time many Nigerians regarded foreign-made clothing as the best kind of attire one could wear. Usually referred to as ‘ready-made’ clothes, it represented high status and was a symbol of wealth. Gladly, this is not true anymore. Ankara materials are now widely used in all parts of Africa.
Ankara is commonly known as African print, African wax prints Holland wax and Dutch wax.
Ankara is a 100% cotton fabric with vibrant patterns. It is usually, colourful cloth and is primarily and originally associated with Africans because of its tribal-like patterns and motifs.
Ankara Business in Nigeria: How to Get Started
Another reason Ankara is loved and popular is that it is a very versatile fabric. Ankara can be put to various uses such as the production of hats, Wears (traditional & corporate wears) blazers, shoes, and earrings, etc. What this means is that the Ankara market enjoys a wide base of customers which includes those who make diverse goods as mentioned above.
The fashion business is one that has been fast-growing through the years and no wonder, everyone takes a certain interest in being stylish when they dress up, and this is what makes the fashion industry and its new trends always relevant in the market. Nigeria is not left out in the trends of the fashion business and why should it? Nigeria is home to Ankara prints. Most Nigerians wear Ankaras especially on Fridays and for occasions such as a wedding, naming ceremony, etc. In fact, when worn for an occasion, we call it Aso-Ebi and it is now a common tradition in Nigeria because of how stylish and good it looks.
You can see that starting an Ankara business is from all indications a profitable and lucrative one. This article provides you with information on how to start your Ankara business in Nigeria.
How to get started on your Ankara fabric business in Nigeria
A way of getting involved in Ankara business is the business of using Ankara to make another product such as Ankara clothing, Ankara shoes, Ankara bags, and even jewelry made with Ankara. As stated earlier, the Ankara business in Nigeria is indeed saturated, but this does not mean that you also cannot join the industry and do well. All you need is creativity. With the Ankara fabric, you can make just about anything, as mentioned above.
You can start by figuring out what you can make with the Ankara fabric that is not out yet. You could also add your unique signature and touch to your products in order to set you apart from other brands in the market. It could be a logo, a kind of embellishment, or an assortment of other fabrics mixed in with your Ankara, Your uniqueness and creativity will attract customers and make you stand out in the Ankara business.
Source for reliable suppliers
If you are interested in wholesale shopping of Ankara fabric, you must look for reliable suppliers of the material. Remember that Ankara clothes have different grades and prices. Getting a reliable supplier will help make sure you do not get tricked into buying fabrics of low quality. Ankara fabrics are actually easy to come by because they are available in many local markets in Nigeria. However, if you want to purchase top quality Ankara, especially in Lagos, there are some specific markets known to sell original Ankara, this includes the Balogun Market in Lagos Island, Nigeria.
Another major market where you can get original Ankara from in Lagos state is “Brown Street” in Oshodi. This market also offers you varieties in terms of designs you can choose from. At these markets, you can also get to meet with distributors who are in direct contact with the textile manufacturers.
If you want to go into the business of selling Ankara, you must be able to tell the difference between the original and fake. Original Ankara fabrics are soft, flexible and have neat edges. Ankaras with low quality are hard to fold. You will notice that such fabrics wrinkle easily and, most times, have frayed or rough edges.
Set up a store or business page
When considering a site for the location of your Ankara business, ensure that the location is easy to spot and accessible to potential customers. You can rent a shop or start by using a showcase in front of other shops.
In this social media era, taking your business online via Instagram, blogs, and twitter is the thing to do. There are many Ankara sellers who do not have physical shops and sell just well.
Using a social media account opens you up to a wide audience since customers do not have to be in your immediate environment. Social Media can help boost sales and even build a loyalty relationship between you and your customers,
You can start by opening a Facebook or Instagram business page account.
Many delays starting their Ankara business because they do not have huge capital. However, even with huge money at your disposal, it is best you start with a little merchandise, see how that works then grow it. Begin with a variety of designs but in small quantities and see what your target consumers prefer. Once you have observed the trends, you can now order more products based on your customers’ demands. This is how to avoid stocking your shop with goods people do not want to buy.
Invest in quality
Ankara fabrics come in different qualities and grades. There are cheap and common ones, while there are expensive and uniquely designed ones.
If you want to make a name for yourself, you must bear in mind that quality will always beat cheap. Do not be tempted to go for cheap materials so you can get customers. In the end, customers stay only with those who provide them with quality materials that last. If you want to make a name for yourself in the Ankara industry, be ready to invest in top quality materials.
With these few steps, you are on your way to starting your own Ankara business and making it thrive.