Why I started Daolondon?
It started off as a vision to showcase the beauty of Africa through stylish clothes to make a statement that dispel stereotypes and myths about the continent. My journey continues to showcase that message one step at a time with the same concept but a bigger vision. So let me tell you more about how I built Daolondon in the initial stages and where it is going.
So what is African Fashion ?
How big is the African fashion industry?
The African diaspora has a population of 140 million while Africa has a population of 1.2 billion. The future estimates of the growth of the population is 2 billion by 2050 and 4 billion by 2100. This gives a huge opportunity in the form of a large market size to leverage on with the population of the continent becoming younger by the day, the demand for fashion that sends a message and identity of an individual is becoming more relevant.
Sub-Saharan African clothing and footwear market is worth $31 billion US dollars according to data modelled by Euromonitor but at present since the rise of African fashion brands entering the market the numbers surely would have increased significantly.
So, what is standing between African fashion and a spot at the table of international fashion capitals? Although, the Africa's fashion industry inspires world trends, the problem for many of us is finding capital, exposure and awareness in most cases, we sometimes struggle with problems of skilled labour and quality control in order to maintain production. So it is difficult to recruit in the field, as there are very few schools and other specialised institutions in order to find trained and experienced employees.
My aim is to solve this solution in the future as it's an untapped potential in terms of job creation and economic development. But, first before I get there I am going to focus on the foundation below.
What makes me different from every other African brands that already exists?
I focus on helping African print lovers who wants to promote Africa's rich continent and authentic heritage in a an unconventional way by creating avant garde designs that is high quality and yet, are affordable. and also ,offer clothing collections that are a combination of the latest fashion trends.
Although, Daolondon does use some inspiration from Western designs the focus is to show the reflection of the future of African Fashion
More examples of designs from my online store
Is it a niche market?
I would say I am focusing on a niche market as I am mainly targeting the African diaspora's mainly in the USA who has a population of 46.43 Million, France 3.87 Million and the United Kingdom 2.5 Million. However, I have in more detail, through my surveys and daily exchanges with my customers, established three great personas of my clientele: 65% is African origin, they come from a country in Africa and want to represent their culture in style. 30% is Caribbeans and Afro-Americans they have the desire to promote Africa and lastly 5% are Caucasian or other ethnicities, their love for Africa comes from their close entourage with (friends, African companion or husband), or they lived or grew up in Africa.
Why am I crowdfunding?
I worked at a lot of start up companies and I have never seen a female CEO that led the scene. After doing some research I came to realise that approx 2.2% of business funding goes to a female founders and women of colour gets less than 1%. This motivated me to not only to show the reflection of the new narrative of Africa but to also empower women who has an idea than you can turn this into a reality.
How would the investment be used?
And the creation of Daolondon has been gradual, exciting yet demanding process. I have spent the last three years whilst studying and working full time to improve the styles, design , quality and validating the need with the general public. Now after the demand to purchase my designs I am ready to build Daolondon into a business and that's why I need your help to cover the start up cost.
Further funding from Back Her Business competition:
In addition, as the crowdfunding campaign is part of the Back Her Business competition the 4 best performing campaigns will be rewarded and I believe I can be in the mix of the winners so I strongly need your support
What do people say about Daolondon?
I wouldn't have the motivation to do this if I wasn't making any of my previous customers happy. Here's just a few the reviews that stuck with me.
What I previously achieved ?
Bring on 2020!