Today we are crushing on Halima “Tata” Yunusa the CEO of 41LUXE a pioneer in the fashion concession business. She is the proverbial ” girl next door”, beautiful, fresh-faced, friendly and always smiling. She tells us about her experience running a fast-growing business and her life as a Mum.
Halima, tell us a little about yourself?
Halima Yunusa is a daughter, wife and proudly a mother of 3 wonderful children. I am from Hawul Local Government of Borno State by birth and Michika in Adamawa State by marriage. I was born on 13th April 1981 and brought up in Maiduguri .My childhood years were spent within a close knit family unit.
Your name is Halima but everyone calls you Tata, tell us about your unique name.
My humorous parents spent a lot of time with us growing up and my dad used the ‘tatatatata’ line while trying to teach me how to walk. The name stuck and 35 odd years later most people still know me as Tata.
What inspired you to open a fashion concession store?
I have always been fashion conscious; the idea that an individual can make their own unique statement through dress has always held a certain fascination for me.
I initially started out designing women’s wear and slowly came to the realisation that this was not my calling. I decided to then focus on my passion- retail, the reason was simple. At the time, the Abuja fashion scene was predominantly unknown, access to quality clothing was difficult and the available brands were untapped, there was a need for a fusion of ideas in terms of fashion expression for the fashion conscious average Abuja woman and the major Lagos brands which were hard to come by made competition exist.
Designing all of a sudden seemed limiting. For me, the greater opportunity lay in the fact that there was “A need/problem” requiring an “Idea/Solution” which is fundamental to developing a great business. This was how I came up with 41 Luxe, a place where major brands producing locally made clothing were brought into multi-functional space. I now have some 15 years in the fashion retail industry.
Congrats on your new Lagos Store, how has business in Lagos been?
Our expansion to Lagos was an avenue to display what our Abuja designers have to offer; a competitive, stylish array of clothing that can compete in any market- I must say, it has been a successful venture.
You also run another business- 101 ideas, please tell us more about it
101 ideas is a branding agency aimed at enhancing the quality and emergence of products unsing ingenious concepts. From concept creation to launching the product into the market we oversee the whole process. One of the products we just launched is the Rapha range of Cold Pressed Juices.
As a mother of with young children how are you able to keep up with being a Mum and running a more than one business? How do you strike a balance?
My children are aged 9, 7 and 3 and balancing the family and business has only been by God’s grace and the ever constant assistance of my Husband. I try to find the right time to do the right things in terms of meeting the children’s needs, spending quality time with the hubby, visiting my parents and extended family, socializing with friends and the time to network and strategise on the next business milestone. It’s really all about timing and prioritizing. I would always want to be better for my family so finding a balance makes me less stressed, and that ensures a peaceful home front.
What advice do you have for women in business?
My advice to women in business is ;
- to build each other up by forming key partnerships.
- There is a market for everyone.
- Information and the ability to implement ideas have never been accessible as they are today, especially for women.
- There’s strength in our numbers and as such our networking, nurturing and successes can yield a lot of good to our communities.
- Lastly as women in business we should take the initiative to build together as it is fundamental to our collective empowerment.
What defines your style?
I define my style as simple with clear attention to detail, like the great industrial designer Dieter Rams stated “Good design is as little design as possible”.
Thanks Halima it’s been awesome talking to you.