Cecilia May Agu is a breath of fresh air. She has a sunny disposition with the most beautiful smile. The CEO of SARC designs fashion house is also an intimacy coach and is happily married with 2 children. Let’s get to know more about this pretty lady.
Please give your brief bio, where you grew up, where you studied etc.
I was born in Makurdi, Benue state and spent my early years there. My family moved to Lagos state when I was 10 years old in search of greener life. I finished my secondary education in Lagos and went on to study
English and political science in University of Ibadan, Tai Solarin College of Education campus, Ijebu Ode.
Tell us why you chose to be a designer? about your clothing line what inspired you to start?
I did not choose to be a designer, It chose me. To be honest becoming a fashion entrepreneur was not part of my dreams while growing up. I did my NYSC* in Abuja and during that period I sought after designers to make my clothes and I got lots of disappointments, so I decided to go to Rintiz Fashion Academy where I learnt to sew and started making my own clothes. Soon I started getting compliments, then orders and I moved from sewing in my living room to getting a shop. Its been 8 years plus since then.
You have both an adult line and a children’s line, what made you delve into your children’s line?
My two little girls love to dress up and take pictures so I started sewing for them and not long after that people started asking me to replicate what I made for my girls for their kids and then I realized that there was a huge market for African inspired casuals for kids so with my daughters’ help we launched our first collection on 24th June 2017.My girls are both very involved in their brand “Zoey and Zara 7” and we are growing strong and now deliver children’s clothes to several countries around the world.
Now you have a very interesting story as you passed through quite some tough times growing up. Can you give us snippets of your childhood and how you overcame that to be who you are today.
It’s common knowledge that at least 4 out of every 10 women have been raped, sad but true. I was raped from the age of 7 , I say “from” as the abuse occurred several times before my 11th birthday. It was such a painful experience for me especially since I was abused by close friends to my family and a by a very close family member. You see, I had a rough childhood and started making my own money by hawking “ice water” groundnut and oranges at age 7. I also started cooking and selling food with my Mum at the same age and by the time I turned 8, I could go to the market by myself, cook and sell whenever my Mum was out of town. That independence came with its own pain, but it has helped shaped who I am today. However, the fact that I was sexually abused has not stopped me from living my best life and it sure didn’t stop me from enjoying my marriage to the fullest. Through it all God has been my pillar and my husband has been a major support for me and this has helped me build my self-confidence.
Your husband McAmana is into showbiz how do you support and compliment each other’s chosen career?
I understand my place in his life so it makes it easy for me to support him 101%. I used to be the showbiz industry as well so I understand to an extent how it works. He has to be a better man just because he married, so supporting my husband is like breathing to me. It comes so naturally to me and that make him give me the same level of support and more when I need him.
What was the toughest thing about starting up a business and how did u overcome it?
Power was a major challenge when I was starting my business and still is, though power is relatively more stable now.
So you are a designer , intimacy coach and more, how do you combine all that you do and still maintain a healthy family life as a wife and mum.
Only God o!, honestly, it is tough and it wont get any easier but like i said earlier, my husband make it easier for me and I have a very good house help who has become a part of my family. Then I try to plan ahead too, that helps. Finally, My marriage comes first, then my children. So I prioritize what’s more important to me and give it more attention.
Your advice for young entrepreneurs?
Being a young business owner is hard work and at the initial stages, and it might not be profitable but you need to be consistent and persistent. Dedicate yourself to making actual sales and not go with the crowd. If you are not actually selling whatever it is you are selling, chances are that you will not go far.
Lastly how do you relax and get me time?
I don’t relax o, and I have no time for “me time” yet lol.
Its been great chatting with you Cecilia, all the best!
Thanks for having me!
*NYSC- National Youth Service Scheme , a compulsory year of national service.