We're Gonna Go Back
My name is Chisom Chiedu-Okoaraba and we're going to rewind back to when I was 16-years-old and in High School. I learned a technique for drawing human figures in Art Class and discovered that I can design clothes with that technique and ideas started popping up in my head after that. I started designing women's clothing and decided that I wanted to be a Fashion Designer and start my own women's clothing line. Hip-Hop was very influential on mainstream fashion at the time with Velour Jumpsuits, Airbrushing on T-Shirts and Dresses and Jeans when I started designing and my designs had more of a Hip-Hop feel to them because I was inspired by that. I wanted to attend the Art Institute of Seattle but my parents were not supportive.
Doing What I'm "Supposed to Do"
I put my dreams in the back burner and decided to study Sociology because I found studying Society's influence on Human Behavior interesting.
I enjoyed studying Sociology because I got to read and write research papers and I also enjoyed conducting research. My interest in Fashion never went away and I found myself involved in Fashion some way by joining the Fashion Club on campus and participating twice in the runway shows held by the club.
I went on to study for my Master's in Human Resources Management after I decided that Law is not for me and I was asking myself while studying for my Master's "is this what you really want to do?" I started watching Project Runway because it appealed to the designer in me. I decided to pursue my dreams regardless after I graduated with my Master's.
Pursuing My Dreams
I've been fortunate to start my clothing line at a time when there are resources that can be utilized to assist with starting and operating a clothing line. I read books about starting a clothing line to give me insight into what I need to start a clothing line and the work that it will take to operate a clothing line. I was also fortunate to work with a consultant that has been working in the fashion industry and gave me insight into Development, Production and Manufacturing.
Makalia opened up shop on March 2018 and I am on a journey of being a new Business Owner. I know that the journey is not going to be easy and business will be slow in the beginning because nobody knows about my women's clothing line. I am doing what I enjoy and you can tolerate the challenges.when you're doing what makes you happy,