Have you ever met someone who owns over 70 handbags and footwear? Let me introduce you to Didi Green, founder and Creative Director of Mira Oma Luxury 🙂
In this interview, Didi Green tells us about how curiosity and her love for bags led her to create beautiful and timeless pieces and also create a profitable business out of it. Enjoy reading.
- Please introduce yourself and your background.
My name is Didi Green, I am originally from Rivers State but happily settled in Lagos State.
- Tell us about your work. How did Mira Oma start?
I have always loved the way an accessory can take an outfit from simple to glamorous. I particularly loved handbags and have always been a fan of all sorts of bags. About 4 years ago, I was attending a jewelry making course in London and there was an elective offered for bag making. I registered out of curiosity and enjoyed it so much, I registered for the full program and discovered the love for design and the bag making process.
- How did you come about the name and what does it mean?
Looking for a name that reflected class, style, elegance and had a universal appeal, I had always considered my Mother the most fashionable woman alive so, I combined elements of her name to come up with Mira. Oma is an abbreviation of ‘Omalicha’ which means beauty in Ibo and also happens to be her nickname when she was younger. She’s 80 years old now and still very fashionable.
- What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?
My niche is bags, all sorts of bags for men and women. I live in one of the most culturally diverse regions in Africa and wanted to offer pieces that were both beautiful and universally acceptable and my love for bags lead me down a natural path.
- Where do you find the inspiration for your products?
Everywhere and anywhere. I like to experiment with colors and a mix of leather, fabric and anything else to create texture and beauty. One design can seem streamlined and luxurious with one medium but if you changed the texture and colour, it could look edgy and daring. Using that as a grid line, the designs are inspired by flow and synergy between elements.
- Can you remember one of the first products you made? What makes it memorable?
The Para Clutch. A friend wanted something edgy and different so I decided to cut a purse that resembled a parallelogram. It was challenging to get the pattern, dimensions and angles right but I was determined. When it was done, the clutch was so stunning that she had us make it in different colors.
- What are the challenges you face in your business?
Every manufacturer especially in Nigeria can attest to the same challenge: Artisans, skilled workers.
I am particular about product finishing and believe in teaching and imbibing my knowledge in my staff, that way I can get the best out of them. Unfortunately, most staff lack loyalty and aren’t patient to learn and improve their skill. Without the patience, people cannot hone their skill and without a capable workforce, growth and development in business and society are stunted.
- Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?
Only one; I should have started sooner. The satisfaction of seeing a design come to life is inexplicable.
- What is your most popular product?
We actually have two: The Nana shoulder bag (available in Ankara or leather) and the HEB Men’s weekender.
- To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?
Every design we do has our signature lining so its always a surprise for clients to see a beautiful leather bag with a dedication to our Motherland. Mira Oma creations are made in Nigeria with a Nigerian edge but built for the World.
- What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
I would like to see Mira Oma bags and accessories carried by everyone. It’s a dream to have our brand on the streets of, apart from Lagos: Paris, London, New York and in every city with people that love individuality. I am focused on achieving that dream and growing the brand as organically as possible but also being open to change as it happens. What is life without passion and a discovery of what brings you joy.
- What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I have a BSc in Geology, an MBA in Human Resources Management and considering a Ph.D. in Psychology. I also have a knack for skincare. I understand the way the skin works so know how to manage them to solve issues.
- What profession would you be in if you weren’t in the Leather Accessories Industry?
The Medical field, skincare formulation or maybe ran a construction company offering electrical, plumbing and other services, who knows.
- If you could give one piece of advice to youths who want to start their own business, what would it be?
Be patient and focus on the little things like understanding your business and niche market. Slowly grow and when there is an obstacle, do not get defeated, try again till you understand and get the formula right. Do not pay attention to your competition and their achievements, it will only dissuade and depress you. Rather concentrate on you and what your brand is about. So many people do the same thing but everyone has a different path. Ensure you register your company, do your taxes and get the other issues tidied up. You do not want to get derailed by unnecessary challenges later in your business.
- And finally, please share images of some of your work and tell us a little about each product.
Siwo box clutch for parties and weddings.
Hol” Am Weekender (Unisex), we also have the leather versions.
Gym Bag in ankara
Made to order gift set. Can be done in all leather as well.
You can also visit www.miraoma.com
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