My name is Ademiluyi Moyosade Dorcas and I was born on November 19th, 1998. I am an undergraduate of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), studying Agricultural Economics.
I am The founder of SisiAdire Designs a brand that produces Adire prints and fabrics in different forms. Adire is a cultural product especially for the Yorubas in Nigeria. It was the major print in historic times and so, wearing an Adire design is making a fantastic fashion state and highlighting the beauty of culture at the same time. Just like other fabric designs, it can be used as accessories as well.
The reason I decided to learn Adire making was because I have always believed in having something valuable to offer. I desired to make a name for myself and much more, I despised being idle. Moreso, university wasn’t coming forth and I really had to find something doing to keep myself busy before school happened.
I was an introvert who had always had good grades in school. I wrote my Common Entrance examinations at Primary Four and I attended Lagos State Model College, Meiran. As a result of my good grades, it was expected of me to be a science student. Well, I fulfilled all expectations even though I was not completely settled. Time passed, however, something significant happened when I was in sss3, a few friends came to me told me that they wanted me to be the senior prefect. They encouraged me to obtain the form and run for the position. I did. Surprisingly, I won despite opposition. I enjoyed my responsibility as the intermediary between the school and the students but it was not a smooth journey either. So, from my secondary school days, I had been open to opportunities, learnt a few things about leadership and management.
My journey in the Adire trade started when I attended a programme organised by MineTeenage Ministry. I saw so many talented people that I became challenged to do something tangible with my life. I gave my life to Christ and decided to do something with my life. My mother got me to begin acquiring hairdressing skills, when I knew that I would not be gaining an admission into the university immediately after my secondary school education. Unfortunately, that did not go well with me because I was constantly embarrassed when my former school mates would pass by and see me and me what’s up with school, I lied a few times other times I told the truth. Also, my tutor was not focused as an hairdresser because she had other commitments. Then my attention was drawn to Adire because my grandmother was into it, it wasn’t so common, seemed lucrative and I saw it as an avenue to explore my creativity.
Shortly, I encountered a picture by Ayobami at Iranwo Foundation on Facebook. I decided to reach out to Ayobami who was not available immediately, so, I had to wait a while. However, a friend of mine recommended me for a training at the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) even though I had not learnt it yet. The students there were preparing for their EED project and my friend reached out to me to help out. I knew I had to learn it urgently, then. Therefore, Ayobami recommended a friend, Arewa, to teach me with a fee(token) of five thousand naira. My mum paid, of course, because I did not have the money.
I started learning at 17. My training only took a day! Yes, a day. I have further developed my skills by taking online classes, watching youtube videos, checkimg out other designers on instagram and self-created designs. My first customer was Della’s Diaries (an organisation). Della was my friend and so, I was required to make the Sunburst shirts for her brand. With this, I understood that one’s starting point is one’s contact.
Ever since, I have had other clients including a celebrity, Olayode Juliana, the ‘Toyo Baby’ of Jenifer’s Diary. She modeled our designs and that was a major point in the business. I have since then sold over 500 shirts and designed custom made cut and sew fabrics, tote bags, accessories, sandal etc.
The brand name, Sisi Adire, I spoke to two people-Uncle Aremo(mine teenage ministry) and TeeFaith- at TMO . I had two options to choose from, ‘Omidan Adire’ and ‘Sisi Adire’. The two Yoruba adjectives refer to a maiden or a young lady. After much thought and consultation with the people mentioned above, I stuck with the second option. I’d not fail to mention that I had support from family and friends when I started and it was awesome.
My interview with business day newspaper was recently featured, I was the teen celeb for 62nd mine magazine publication and TMO’s first magazine I would like to mention how I have been giving back to the society.
Sisi Adire Designs has opened my eyes to a number of things since I started and I know that having some skills can pave the way for people.
Owing to this fact, I have partnered with NGOs to train people on Adire making for free. An example of this is ‘Ladies With Radiance’. I have, also, trained students at two secondary schools at Ile Ife where I am currently studying. I’m making plans for a training for fresh secondary graduates. I still have many heights to climb but I believe that acquiring skills that would be of great use to yourself and the society is a good starting point.
To eveyone especially teenagers out there,
Work hard. Do good. Be incredible.
Rise up now, believe in yourself and become because there will be a time in history when the world recalls this moment, the moment that a generation of girls stepped up to the plate, believed in themselves and the world was never the same again. This is your chance. Love and be loved.
I hope you find true meaning, contentment, and passion in your life. I hope you navigate the difficult times and come out with greater strength and resolve. Be humble. Whatever your hands find to do, do it diligently. When the path you’re to follow reveals itself to you, follow it
You can reach me via