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A new lifestyle shop in town


A new lifestyle shop in town



A prime location, fashion showroom, exquisite salon. Welcome to a new genre of showroom that aims to encapsulate the lifestyles of its clients, says FUNKE OSAE-BROWN.


On a week day, Oyin Jolayemi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, is usually very busy. It is home to about three banks and the popular eatery, Tasty Fried Chicken. However, on weekends, Oyin Jolayemi is taken over by a pocket of tiny shopping malls located on the street. These malls house all kinds of shops; from salon, boutiques to shoe shops.

Inside one of the malls is situated Shola Couturier, ready-to-wear ethnic line boutique, and Natural Attraction Beauty Place, a salon for that total makeover. This kind of lifestyle shop is one of the few springing up on Lagos Island. It is a place where you can walk into have your hair made, your make-up well applied and a beautiful dress to go home with. The target market is the working-class who are on Victoria Island and Lekki.

Sola Omoniyi and her former schoolmate, Toyin Olusanya both came up with the idea of a lifestyle shop. Omoniyi handles the ready-to-wear boutique, an offshoot of her tailoring line, Shola Couturier, while Olusanya is in charge of the salon, Natural Attraction Beauty Place.

The idea for the duo is to dress the total woman. “The idea behind this concept is that over the years, I discovered that some women hardly have time to go and buy fabrics to sew. They are always busy. Lagos is a busy state. So, I thought of having a shop where you can just come in, regardless of your shape or size, to buy some of our ready-to-wear outfit.”

Omoniyi started her business professionally in 2006, and she has been a designer to many notable people in Lagos State. She loves to work with the African fabrics. It is her love for African prints that led her to start a ready-to-wear line. “You can play with it in so many diverse ways,” she explains. “You can work with Ankara, with plain fabric and it will give you a nice style. For me, my designs are unique and wherever you wear it to, people will look at you twice and you will stand out. When you come to my store, you will see what you like and at a reasonable price. It is a market for everyone.”

Omoniyi works with Ankara, lace, plain fabrics like linen, silk and so many others. “I enjoy working with Ankara because I can easily mix it with plain fabrics and it will give me a good result and I am always happy working with it,” she adds.

Since she opened her doors last year, Omoniyi says the concept of a lifestyle shop has been well received. “People like the idea,” she says. “A lot of people are too busy going to the market to get fabrics, having to give it to a tailor, and when they come here, they get whatever they like and they are always happy with it.”

Olusanya says her interest in fashion led her to start Natural Attraction Beauty Place. “I have always been interested in fashion,” she explains, “when I decided to leave my work in the aviation sector; I thought of something that I have passion for. I go a great length to look good and I know that when a lady’s hair is well done, it speaks so much about the person. So, I really took my time learning the hair. While I learnt how to make hair, I discovered it goes hand in hand with beauty, so I decided to learn the makeup aspect as well, and we decided to open this place.”

She explains further that the idea of having Shola Couturier and Natural Attraction Beauty Place under one roof is to call people’s attention to the idea of lifestyle shop. “This is a lifestyle shop,” she adds. “It encompasses everything. We even sell shoes, we sell ready to wear. It is a one stop shop for your fashion needs from head to toe.”

Olusanya is a serial entrepreneur who is not just into the beauty business but sells clothes, shoes, and other accessories she imports from the US. “I have learnt so many things in the line of the business,” she explains, “the management aspect has not really been easy because I have not being into management. I have learnt on the job, especially how to manage people.”


Omoniyi and Olusanya say it was not easy putting the outfit together. “A whole lot of challenges, but the beautiful thing is coming together with my friend, Shola. The shop is a one-stop shop, come in, get your outfit, get your makeup done, get your hair done and you are good to go. So, despite all the challenges, it has been a stepping stone for us.”

In another five years, Omoniyi and Olusanya say they hope their outfit will become a household name.

“We intend to be a household name in Victoria Island. We have one in Oniru presently and we are planning on opening another one at Ikota Shopping Mall soon, just like this shop,” says Olusanya.


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