Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Jul 8, 2020 12:13:17 GMT 1
Aso oke fabric, (Yoruba: așǫ oke, pronounced ah-SHAW-okay ) is a hand-woven cloth created by the Yoruba people of West Africa. Aso oke means "top cloth" in the English language, denoting cloth of high status. It is usually woven by men and women, the fabric is used to make men's gowns, called agbada and hats, called fila , as well as women's wrappers, called iro and head tie, called gele.
Aso oke is from the Yoruba culture in Nigeria. It is from made and used in states such Kwara, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Lagos, and Osun States all in western Nigeria and Ajase in southeastern Benin Republic.
The way of making the cloth has remained the same for centuries, however new techniques and production methods have been looked into to eliminate the weight and thickness of the aso oke cloth, and to make it more accessible for casual wear.
Exporting the product
You can take Aso oke business to a new level by selling and exporting elegant brands and making money in the process. You can get started with a little capital and expand internationally beyond the shores of Nigeria. A significant percentage of Aso oke produced in Nigeria is exported to the United States, Ireland, Italy, and United Kingdom.
It is a business you can start in the confines of your home, either by engaging the services of a skilled person to make beautiful designs or by going to buy in bulk from major Aso-oke markets. Whichever, way you choose, good returns on your investment is sure. While, engaging someone to knit for you, you may do the drawing and sketching of designs by yourself if you want.
You do not have to be designer or art master before you can be in the business of exporting Aso-Oke as explained earlier.
The demand for Aso Oke
Aso Oke is very much in vogue. It is our traditional attire in most West African countries. And Africans living in the diaspora also do events and throw parties. Aso-Oke is unarguably one of the signatures of outstanding occasions as it could pass for Aso-Ebi or a complete attire. Aso oke is a signature of elegance, especially in the Yoruba culture, where it is worn on special occasions such as weddings, funerals and chieftaincy ceremonies.
Exporting Aso oke is good business. In recent times, the use of Aso oke has been taken to new levels. Industries like upholstery and shoemaking have started using it as a form of raw material, thereby increasing the demand for the fabric. Some hospitality industries have also been using it as curtains in their facilities
Fortunately, the industry is less saturated and demand for it is constant overseas. It gives massive export opportunities.
To get more patronage and build an edge against competitors, you could organise exhibitions and fashion shows where you can showcase your stock and new patterns. Apart from building your customer base and creating awareness for your product through this means, it helps to keep you in the lead among competitors.
In this line of business, uniqueness and creativity of designs make clients prefer your brand of products. Try as much as possible to be creative and unique in the product you export. How you package your product matters too. Ensure you package your aso ebi in a very unique way. Engage new concepts that would keep attracting customers.
You may as well diversify by making Aso-Oke wallets, purses, carrier bags, ties and shirts for men
Pricing too is key. Make your prices flexible and reasonable enough. Meet up customers demand and timing to earn the loyalty of your customers, although, the business is not saturated.
You can start Aso oke export business with N100,000. It is not a capital intensive business, however, it depends on the scale on which you want to start the business, as well as your financial capacity.