The Story Exchange, Yemisi Makinde, YEMISIIYour Name: Yemisi (Olagbaiye) Makinde

Business Name: YEMISII, an accessory design company

Type of Business: Clothing & Accessories/Design

Business Location: Plainfield, Illinois, United States


Reason for starting
I wanted to create one of a kind handmade accessories for people who wanted to express their unique style and stand out from the crowd. I could not find unusual accessories at the time, in my home country, Nigeria. Everything was imported from some mass production line. This inspired me to create custom made pieces that were one of a kind and looked like a human being had actually created them.

How do you define success?
Success to me is having the freedom to do what I love while nothing else in my life suffers for it. If I can have financial liberty, a happy home life and spend my days designing innovative pieces, that would be a happy existence for me.

Biggest Success
Taking a small unknown accessories design company to a nationally respected design brand and picking up the respectable St. Moritz Style Award as “The best accessories designer in Nigeria” along the way.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Having to leave it all behind when I got married in 2008 and relocated to the United States to be with my husband. I believe that design is my calling and learning new things my passion. In addressing my current challenge, I enrolled myself into the prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) in Los, Angeles. My aim is to learn to understand how the U.S market works, while gaining new Merchandise Product development skills at the same time.

Who is your most important role model?
Jesus….corny, but true 🙂