‘Even if you don’t have enough, start with what you do have. By doing that, you can go a long way.’
Today as promised, we are concluding our final chit-chat session with upcoming Fashion Designer, Geriee Berry. We’ve asked her some more get- to know-you questions, as well as her thoughts on the #bringbackourgirls movement and living in Nigeria. Read on!
What do you enjoy most and least about being a designer?
I love seeing customers’ faces light up as soon as they see their own items come to life. The smiles are so worth the effort! It motivates me and makes me feel like I’ve done something good. Money is good but when I have unsatisfied customers, I don’t necessarily feel that great about the money. Customer satisfaction is key!
As to what I enjoy least, I have to say it’s not so nice when people feel that they can take advantage of me because I’m just starting out. It can be frustrating – showing up late because I work from home, or pricing me down.
Do you have any upcoming projects or ideas to expand your Fashion Brand, Berry Haute?
Lots! I’ve been thinking of opening my own shop – perhaps a business environment might do the trick in giving off a more professional feel. I’m also strongly considering an online presence, as I’d also like to cater to international clients further down the line.
Do you have any siblings?
Yes! I’m from what some might consider a big family – I’ve got 4 siblings: 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I’m the eldest twin, 12 minutes after my bro; I pushed him out to see the world! Haha. My younger brother is 15, and my sisters are 12(also twins)
As a Nigerian, we have to ask, do you have any traditional pieces?
Hmm, this question is tricky for me because I don’t really like using Ankara (shock!). I used to like using Ankara and print material, but it lacked versatility. Right now, I also feel it’s been outplayed. My dissertation on African Fabric at university opened me up to see that fortunately, there are other ways of representing Africa.
What I would like to see would be Ankara prints on other fabrics such as silk rather than just cotton. That would take it to another level. I would wear it but I’m not going crazy about it. That’s not my style.
Do you have a celebrity crush?
Tyrese: I’m sorry but I just love dark chocolate. You know what they say, the darker the berry…*giggles
What type of music are you into?
I love afro beats – You cannot be African and not love afro beats! Two of my favourites at the moment are Sarkodie ft Castro – ‘Adonai’ and Yemi Alade ‘Johnny.’ I’m also into reggae and lovers rock
What are some of your thoughts about the #bringbackourgirls movement?
I don’t know what to believe honestly. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information available to go on, and some people are even saying it’s made up or that it’s a government conspiracy. I’m literally in the middle; I don’t know what to believe.
It’s unfortunate. It feels like a lot of people that initially jumped on the bandwagon, full of support for the campaign, have let it die down – even though it’s still a pressing issue. I feel sorry for the mothers as it seems like their voice isn’t being heard.
I do hope God will bring them back safely, nothing is impossible with God.
Would you live in Nigeria in the future?
Hmm let’s see – I really hate the Nigerian sun. When the sun comes out it’s so hot that I’m antisocial. I find it much cooler to stay indoors as it’s much more bearable. I live in the UK where it’s scorching hot during the summer, and I can barely cope! haha. Other people might love it, but it just makes me moody. We’ll have to see.
What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?
Hey! I’m still up and coming myself *laughs* If I were to give any advice however, I would say to keep on at it. Try and try again.
A teacher at my school once said he couldn’t see me doing design, and it so happens I’m the type of person that rises up to a challenge! Use negative feedback to push you and help you grow.
Use all the means you have possible. Can we have a round of applause for Instagram?! *claps
Just start, and once you do things will fall into place. If you don’t have enough, it is still important to start with what you have. By doing that, you can go a long way.
Where can our readers find out more about you and your work?
Watch out for other platforms! 😉
G E R I E E