Every designer has their high and low, and listening to every journey is unique because we find it inspiring at best.
Designers deserve as much recognition as the stars that wear their designs and EM’s Designer Q & A is aimed at shining light on young creatives in the industry who are doing amazingly. For this week’s Q&A we have Kanyinsola Olusanjo, The Creative Director for Kay’s Kollection.
DESIGNER DOSSIER OF Kanyinsola for Kay’s Kollection
How did your journey begin?
I would say that my journey started when I was quite younger. I enjoyed drawing and designing dresses that I’d imagine on my play dolls. I remember I used to cut my socks back then to make holes to fit as outfits for the dolls. Ongoing, I designed a couple of dresses for fun in college.
Then, it was just designing outfits that I’d normally see myself wearing. I would go to the tailor giving them styles that I’d have designed for myself. I would get numerous compliments and my friends would want the same styles and it became a thing of ‘encouragement’ for my little ‘fun thing’. This became a push to learn to bring these designs to life with my hands and legs.
Because I am passionate about my art and I love what I do, I have a steady source of motivation that drives me to do my best. So, KaysKollection is more than a brand to me, it is my strongest passion and now, I wear Kay’s kollection dresses 365 days a year.
What’s your signature style?
I preach diversity in style so I stay dynamic with the designs but most times, I enjoy playing with snatched mermaid dresses, and I make collections that breathe quality without trading confidence and comfort off.
What’s been your best moment as a designer?
For me, every moment I put a smile on my client’s faces is the best moment as I go extra miles in styling and even dressing them with the right accessories. This would make me talk about all the dresses I’ve designed but I’ll mention one of them.
About a year ago, I had this opportunity of making my first bridal dress for a client(white and reception). She was very specific about her preference for a conservative style of dress. She was also worried that her preference might not slay or come out ‘bridal’ enough since it was mostly covered. I was not daunted by this but excited at the opportunity. I knew I had to make a beautiful bridal outfit that was going to boost her comfort and confidence. I made her the most beautiful bride as I even got an invite to the ceremony.
She was so excited and I will never get over the satisfaction and happiness that emanated from the couple. Plus, I have gotten quite a number of referrals from her as a result of this. That fulfilment is what I live for.
What’s been your worst moments as a designer?
As a startup, the lows seem higher than the highs. One moment, it feels like you’re doing great, in another split of a second, you feel you aren’t doing enough. Well, I like to see that as a challenge to stay tall on my toes and keep working. I have had a couple of bad moments, but I think the time a “bigger” designer duplicated one of my designs and got all the credit for it, really hit me.
Describe where you are now as a designer?
In two words, I’ll say growing and evolving. Nowadays, I get a lot of “Koko you are doing great, we are proud of you”. It feels good hearing this. Yes, I might not be where I want to be yet, but I definitely am not close to where I used to be. I am learning, growing, and evolving.
On a scale of 1-10, what has been your response from customer satisfaction?
Oh, here comes my biggest motivation. If I am being very honest, it’s been an 8 so far and I’m aiming for the 10. Everyone I style leaves with big smiles on their faces, it’s incredible! I like to think of myself as a very detailed person and customer satisfaction means a lot to me. I live for the happiness and confidence my customers feel when they wear my designs.
When did you realise that you’ve made it?
Can I answer this question in like another few months to come? Thank you.
Which celebrities have worn your brands?
Oh, Tems randomly sent me a dm on twitter some months ago. She bought five of my designs and gave feedback stating that the clothes were really lovely. I am working on making more publicity for the brand and styling more celebrities.
What makes your brand different from others?
I think my brand’s uniqueness is the diversity in style. We stay unpredictable and dynamic. The vision is to create exquisite designs that fit every woman’s style. We are not leaving any woman out. Together we slay!
How have you stayed motivated with designs and productions during the pandemic?
Operating during the pandemic has been a roller coaster. Ideas keep gushing through the head and I try to take maximum advantage of them. Thankfully, I have produced two collections during the pandemic. Although the turnovers and profits aren’t motivating, since most people aren’t attending events and consequently don’t feel the need to buy new clothes, my energy stays charged.
What inspires your creativity?
My sources of inspiration changes with time and demands. They vary in terms of arts, physique, nature, emotions, trends, demands. My works are inspired by dynamic variables.
But so far, the most considered variables are nature, body sculpture, and comfort. And yes, a big inspiration comes from my customer’s requests and satisfaction.
Kindly share tips on staying successful in the business?
Being successful is a great thing, staying successful is another height. Staying successful comeswith a lot of consistency, re-investments and most importantly, delivering value!
What is next for you?
In months and years to come, I see myself taking more space nationwide and globally. I am working towards exhibitions, collaborations with big brands and celebrities.
What Advice Will You Give To Start-ups that have the same vision as you?
When all seems tough and unyielding, remember why you started. It is easier to quit but a
resilience, hard work and consistency will earn you success. Comfort is on the other end of
success. Take up challenges, don’t stop learning and growing. Above all, stay motivated and feed your passion. The top is ours!
Share 5 Fun Facts About You
-I learned how to sew in less than one month.
-I like albino rats.
-I am scared of staying in the dark because of Ojuju.
-I love shoes more than any other fashion item.
-I get up to rearrange my bed at least 5 times before dawn.
Keep up with Kay’s Kollection and her ever-evolving Designs lifestyle on Instagram via the handle @Kayskollection.ng