Victoria is a student entrepreneur who is passionate about fashion and making footwear people can feel confident in. She talks about the importance of learning new skills, what inspires her and why she decided to venture into crafts.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Balogun Victoria Oluwaseun. The CEO/founder of Ria Classic Luxury designs. I am a 200 level student of Philosophy at Lagos State University.
When did you decide to start making shoes?
I started making shoes when I was 16. I took it up immediately after secondary school while waiting for admission into the university. I established my business, Ria Classic Luxury Designs when I was 17. I was still learning during this period but I kickstarted the business. So while learning, I was still making footwear for people.
Why did you decide to start making shoes?
I decided to start making shoes because I am passionate about crafts and learning new skills. I started with Ankara bags and shoes. After learning that for about a month, I decided to improve more on my skills so I started attending training programs. These programs taught me more about how to make shoes. After about four months of training, I left in order to do things on my own. I tried to put into practice all I had learned. Last year, during the lockdown, I was idle at home so I was inspired to work. I used the lockdown period to learn more that I could. That went on for about six months. Since then, I have been working on my own.
I take advantage of skill acquisition programs. I try not to miss out on such programs. I’ve learned how to make bags, art, catering, baking etc from these programs. I’m always learning new things. However, my passion is shoemaking. I find that it is a thing of pride when I tell people I make shoes, they are always so surprised. I love the pride that comes with it. I want to do things uniquely and out of the box. I think shoemaking helps me do just that.
What inspires you?
Everything inspires me. It’s not just about the money but the satisfaction as well. The smiles on people’s faces when they see my work and how they marvel at my creativity. Being a contributor to people’s beauty also inspires me. I am a lover of fashion and I’ve always wanted to contribute to the fashion world.
I always admire the feet of well-dressed people. I believe that one can easily identify the kind of person someone is just by looking at their feet. You can also tell the person’s occupation.
I should also mention that God is my major inspiration.
What do you want to say to other women?
Discover yourself. Find what you love doing the most. Because despite all the baking, soap making and art I was doing, I loved shoemaking the most and I went for it. Apart from the fact that it is profitable, I derive joy in doing it. Find what you love doing, go for it, focus and be the best you can be.