Neks2u catches up with Tinuola Oluleye, CEO of luxury fashion house JamesLULLY. Since the official shop launch, Tinuola has been extremely busy building her brand and creating exceptional shopping services for her clients. This young lady has also been committed to giving back to the community and is set on achieving a lifetime mission in a charitable endeavour.
|Tinuola Oluleye, CEO JamesLULLY|
N2U: Who is a JL Woman?
TO: A JL Woman is a confident woman that believes in herself and the positive growth and well being of young women in Nigeria
N2U: What is this JL Woman program all about?
TO: The JL woman program comprises of JL women, who dedicate their time to teach and empower young girls. It gives them the opportunity, to understand some trials and tribulations of being a woman in Nigeria. We also allow for the opportunity for them to reveal various issues they face at that age. As a JL Woman, my goal is to make sure that young women are not defined by their environment. My aim is to ensure that they are confident, independent and most of all believe women should keep their heads up high. In addition to this, JL Woman believes in inner strength, and wants every woman to have the ability to let that inner strength shine through and influence others positively.
N2U: So how did you come about this? What inspired you?
TO: I started it because I felt that most people go to shelters and just drop food. Nobody teaches these girls. So I thought instead of whiling away my weekends, I’ll get a few of my girlfriends and head to the shelter to educate and try and groom these young girls on what they never had a chance to learn.
N2U: What do you tend to focus on when you are with these girls?
TO: We promote sisterhood and love. It’s great because these girls now have someone they can talk to. At that age, this is very important. It’s like a big sister, small sister type thing.
N2U: Where exactly do you find these girls?
TO: Right now we are working with Hope for Survival Orphanage GISHIRI, ABUJA- currently we have enrolled about 16 girls from the ages of 11 to 16, who we hope to take through the “JL woman” program, inspiring and motivating them to be women they have dreamt of notwithstanding the environment or circumstance in which they have found themselves. This is just the beginning. We hope to include other orphanages in the program. We really hope to reach as many as we can this year.
N2U: Wow this is very impressive. Where do you get the energy?
TO: Well it’s a lot of work. These kids are very shy, so it’ll take some time to get them to come out of their shells. In my opinion, we have to do a lot more work, but I believe we are making progress.
N2U: How can your customers participate in this program?
TO: Well, they can make donations or volunteer to lecture, mentor or support our annual shows.
|Tinuola with the girls at the orphanage|
|The girls are been taught|
N2U: You had your first show last year. How did that go?
TO: Amazing! We had an idea to create a fashion and charity event. So we came up with JamesLULLY Charity Runway Revolution, a combination of Fashion, Music and Lectures. Our first ever show was on the 5th of December 2010 in Abuja and I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of support we got. Nse Ikpe Etim (Nollywood Actress) also showed her support with a wonderful lecture on being ambitious and female. It was a great show for a good cause. Part of the proceedings went to various charity houses.
|Other Designers on the Runway: Ms Makor, Liwhan Clothing|
|Other Designers on the Runway: Uru Clothing, Fully Charged Tees|
|Models pose for the camera before hitting the runway|
|Nse Ikpe Etim in Wanger Ayu gives lecture|
|Amara Nwakpa gives lecture|
|James Oroko, aka Esko performs with a little help|
|Tinuola with the young girls|
N2U: What is the next step for you as a JL Woman?
TO: We want to expand the program and include more of these young women from various other orphanages. The Charity Runway Revolution is going to be an annual event. So we are already looking forward to this year’s event. We really want to spread our efforts across the community. As I said earlier, this is a lot of work. But we are definitely eager to carry on with it!
To become a JL Woman, please contact the JL team via email at email@example.com, or via phone at 08065666615/097806815.