BY SINMILOLUWA FADOJU
JumrashAso-Oke is a name that is synonymous with class and elegance, and this is the reason why their throng of clients has stayed loyal to the brand all these years. The very thriving business which is owned by Hajia Fatima Bello, is a third generation business which started with her grandmother, passed onto her mother and now Hajia Fatima and her sister inherited and run the AsoOke business.
Needless to say that Hajia Fatima being a young and creative person introduced a lot of new concepts such as customizing and stoning the AsoOke, designing lace, voile lace, sequins, crystals, Ankara motifs, silk Ankara, men and women Senegalese, men’s outfits etc. They also do blings on AsoOke, Ankara, t-shirts, laces, glasses, silk and chiffon, plus bridal accessories.
The boom in the AsoOke business which necessitated the brand having two outlets, inOgba Lagos and Isheri Road, Ogba beside County Hospital also in Lagos, has also seen the Jumrash Store opening a lekki branch. The JumrashLekki outlet is located at Nelle Mall, along Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1.
The very beautiful Hajia Fatima has created and set the trend in the AsoOke business, and this has kept her ahead of competitors in the business because one can easily find various varieties of fashion pieces and accessories at the Jumrash outlets.
However, despite the quality of aso.Oke and services available at Jumrash, the fabrics, outfits and asoOke are very affordable as they cater for all classes, lower, middle and upper classes. Yes one can get asoOke for 7-15,000 and a bridal asoOke from 150,000 upwards.
Hajia Fatima aka Jumrash who styles many celebrity women and socialites and also consults for some First Ladies across Nigeria says that her good jobs have given her many referrals even to places she didn’t expect to get clients from. However she also says that their ability to infuse their ideas to the clients thus giving them many options has been one of the strengths.
“Since taking over the brand 12 years ago, we have tried to stand out by customizing our designs and our designs come out well on both the soft and the hard asoOke. Secondly, our ideas are usually very different and creative and our clients buy into it once we share it with them and note that each client has a different concept, so our concepts are not replicated”.
She also explained that the difference between now that she is running the business from when her mom was in charge is just that her mom worked with the old style of asoOke, while she modernized it with her creativity.
“We are from Ibira tribe in Kogi state and asoOke is our major occupation, so my mom and grandmother was only working with that style, but when I came on board I introduced beading and stoning to the asoOke and it was widely accepted” she explained further. To Hajia Fatima nothing much has changed in the AsoOke trend as the hard and soft AsoOke which is available now has always been what is available, only those preferences differ. A case study is the Yoruba’s who like hard asoOke while the northerners prefer soft AsoOke.
Hajia Fatima is a very satisfied business woman who has put in time and effort and is reaping the rewards today, however it was not always this rosy for her as she has experienced some pains in the past, like the death of her two children jumai and rasheed through an accident and she chose to honour their memories by naming her business after them, that is how the name Jumrash came to be.