One Year Anniversary!
Posted on 01 November 2016
Ichiakor Designs is celebrating its 1 year anniversary! As I reflect on our anniversary, I can’t help but to think of how it all got started. I am amazed at how far this one year journey has gotten us.
Before officially starting Ichiakor Designs, I made a few things that I would use and thought “hey other people would really like this too I bet… I should share with the world”. I kept thinking on how I can have Ichiakor Designs make this big entrance into the Fashion world. I am a perfectionist and I wanted to make sure everything was perfect. The longer I waited I kept thinking my grand entrance would never be perfect. I just needed to make sure my product made that amazing first impression to the world. I also knew the longer I waited the longer it would take me to officially start Ichiakor Designs.
I knew I had to make that first step in faith and I had to have faith that God will show me the way to go. This first year hasn’t been an easy journey but as we are about to celebrate one year, I am so glad I took that step!
I first started by opening an Etsy online store. A few weeks after having my Etsy shop opened, I thought I needed to create a brand that would not get lost in Etsy and would stand out. That’s how www.IchiakorDesigns.com was born. I wanted to build a brand that is unique and that delivers beautifully handcrafted products. I also wanted to create products that sell themselves and cater to the individual wants of my customers. That's why I welcome custom orders! I wanted Ichiakor Designs to be an unforgettable experience.
We participated in the Carytown Christmas Artisan Market. When I found out I was going to be on the show I only had 14 days to get ready. Eeks! Getting ready for the show was very hectic but I was determined and excited!
At the show, we sold: the Ozae (bowties), the Ruru (nursing cover), the Oke Oghene (Diaper changing Pad) and lots of Eru (hair accessories). Check out our naming ceremony blog on the explanation of these words (The Naming Ceremony!)
It was a great day! I learned a lot about my sales skills or lack thereof! I listened to everyone that came to my booth to see how I can improve their lives with my products and improve my products for their lives. See what I did there? From the show came the Udeme. Every time someone looked at the Oke Oghene they thought it was a clutch and that’s how Udeme was added to our product line.
The next show, The Southern Women Show was amazing! It was a LONG 3 days of hard work. Before the show I bought a lot of new fabric in the African country of Ivory Coast. I couldn’t wait to showcase them at the show. We got some fantastic feedback at that show. Afterwards, I started working on my children’s clothing line. We created some beautiful tutu dresses. The Ekpeti (tote bag) was also born based on requests for bags with handles.
In the summer of 2016, we did The Watermelon Festival in Richmond VA. The day of the festival was one of the hottest days of the year and I was out in the heat all day with very high hopes of bringing Ichiakor Designs to my customers. Unfortunately the turnout, I’m sure because of the heat, was disappointingly low.
I pressed forward and introduced the Omote (pronounced aw-maw-teh). This is a perfect size wristlet to carry your most important essentials (cell phone, lip gloss, personal care products etc).
To celebrate this 1 year, I want to introduce Ichiakor. Ichiakor is the perfect bag for the grown women. It is just the right bag for a fancy dinner or for everyday use. It can be carried like a clutch or on the shoulder with the chain strap.
This bag is named Ichiakor because Ichiakor means patience. I have had to exercise a lot of patience during this first year and I'm sure I will need to have a lot more patience going forward with this venture. It has been a very trying year but with the saying 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger' I have continued to get stronger.
As I continue our journey to growing this business, I look forward to sharing my culture and my love for what I do with the world. I pray for God’s guidance in everything that I do so that I can follow the path to success. I’m so proud of where we are now but I happily did not have to face the trials and wins alone. I want to thank my family and friends who have helped me along the way because I wouldn’t have made it through the year without their support and encouragement.
As an anniversary gift to you and to thank you for your love and support, please use code NOVEMBER16 to get 10% off your purchase during the month of November.
I have some very big dreams for Ichiakor Designs’ future and I hope you can all be a part those dreams!