Ankara, as it is traditionally called, has come to have a prominent place in Nigeria. They are now a highly-sought after attire proudly worn by both Nigerian men and women. Consequently, the profitability of ankara merchandise is now so apparent that a good number of SMEs have sprung up to invest in them, thus, leading to an outlook of prospective economic growth in this sector.
One such SME is M&I Clothing
Interestingly, M&I Clothing came in the 54th place among Connect Nigeria Top 100 SMEs with a total of 164 votes. The Connect Nigeria Top 100 SMEs competition which was sponsored by Union Bank and organized by Connect Nigeria, was geared towards strengthening SMEs around the country has finally come to an end after months of voting. Among all the SMEs that were nominated for the competition, M&I Clothing, under the fashion and style segment, emerged as one of the top 100 winners.
M&I Clothing was founded by Esther Popoola, a passionate fashion designer whose goal is to carve out a niche in the business of designing ankara clothing and other kinds of fabrics. She launched the brand in May 2015 and since then she has been a full-time fashion designer making bespoke wears specifically for women. According to Esther, M&I Clothing was born out of a passion for creativity.
“I have always had a flair for fashion from my early days as a teenager growing up in the northern part of Nigeria.”
These passion and creativity are stunningly apparent in the manner in which she proudly displays her beautifully ankara-styled clothing on Instagram and shows pictures of happy customers wearing the clothes which have been delivered to them.
When asked what future goals Esther has as an entrepreneur, she stated that she aims to promote a brand of artistic integrity and commercial appeal that clearly expresses the future. This is plausible because if more brands like M&I Clothing can be given momentum just like the Top 100 SMEs competition organized by Connect Nigeria, Nigeria will have a high chance of having an “ankara empire” which will be commercially appealing, not only to indigenous folks but to an international audience as well.
You can find M&I Clothing on Instagram.