INTERVIEW: Salihu Yusuf, CEO Shugaba Tailoring and Fashion Design

Story Highlights
  • To our readers out there, we hope you will find this beneficial and inspiring. Don’t forget to comment and share. You can also follow us on Facebook, and twitter @cehub1. Thank you I remain your host Muhammad Bashir Muhammad (Staff)

Mr. Bashir: Good day to you all, on this segment of My Weekly Entrepreneur (MWE) our journey takes us to the city of Jos in plateau state. Where we meet a young and interesting student entrepreneur who despite all these challenges in the business world, persevered to start and develop a business. I will allow him to introduce himself……..

Mr. Salihu Yusuf: First of all, my appreciate to all cehub staff for giving me this ultimate opportunity. My name is Salihu Yusuf Ibrahim, CEO Shugaba Tailoring and Fashion Design. I am a HND 1 student at Federal college of Animal Health and Production Technology Vom(FCAHPT Vom).

I own a tailoring and fashion designing business. Well, I started learning tailoring when I was at the tender age of eight, and started my own practice in 2017 when I was undergoing my ND2 program.

Alhamdulillah I now own and run a successful tailoring and fashion designing business. We sow native clothes both men and women, English wear, school uniforms, military uniform etc.

Mr. Bashir: thank you for the introduction. We would like to know why you choose Tailoring and fashion designing as a business.

Salihu Yusuf, CEO shugaba tailoring and fashion design
Mr. Salihu Yusuf

The grass root of Shugaba Tailoring and Fashion Design

Mr. Salihu Yusuf: Thank you so much. Right from an early age, I have always loved looking good and seeing people look good. And I think that had a lot to do with why I chose tailoring.

At first it was just a part time job for me, and I didn’t think much of it. In 2017, while I was undergoing my diploma program, I used to design and make my own clothes.

My friends and colleagues who saw my clothes always came to ask me to make similar ones for them, and then it hit me. Why shouldn’t I just turn this into a well-developed business? And here I am today.

Mr. Bashir: Wow! This is really fascinating, a childhood dream and a part time job turned successful business. Mr. Salihu, as a student and entrepreneur, we would like to know what challenges you faced as a student entrepreneur and how you overcame them…

Mr. Salihu Yusuf: Thank you so much. The truth is running a business as a student can be very challenging and demanding, how to compartmentalize business stress and school stress is the big question.

At first, I faced lots of challenges, customers demanding their work to be done urgently, fixed classes during weekends. I could remember, there was this time during my ND2 second semester exams.

One of my customers was getting married and he asked me to sow his clothes. I had to come back home and take my sewing machine back to school.

My books were on the other side of the sewing machine and clothes on the other side lol. I was sewing and reading at the same time. But Alhamdulillah I learned to compartmentalize.

I had time for studies and I never allowed work interfered with that, and I also had time for work. I trained and employed some people to help me out, today my grades are good and my business successful.

Also, capital was really hard to come by. We have advanced sewing machines now but are very costly, I still can’t afford them. We still use manual sewing machines and we get the job done.

The secret recipe of Salihu Yusuf, CEO Shugaba Tailoring and Fashion Design

Mr. Bashir: Thank you very much. Mr Salihu, we see many individuals, not just students, start businesses and fail. Also tailoring and fashion designing seems to be a very competitive business.

We would like you to share with us your secret recipe so to say, your marketing strategy. How were you able to survive the wild competition and build a successful business?

Mr. Salihu Yusuf: Lol. “My secret recipe indeed”. Well it is very true that tailoring and fashion designing is among the most competitive businesses especially here in Jos.

And also, the rate at which many startups fail can discourage one from starting a business. I didn’t have some epic marketing strategy or secret recipe as you call it.

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But I think there are three factors I can mention which I am sure had a lot to do with my success.

Firstly, I was really good at tailoring and designing clothes and I learned new styles and tricks from YouTube. I was always ready to improve myself and whatever job I took, I made sure it was done in the best possible way.

Secondly, it is not enough that u can do a good job, but doing it on time is of equal importance. I made sure I kept my word, I finished most of my work two or three days before the appointed time of collection and that has kept my customers happy and faithful.

Lastly, I used myself as an advertising medium. I was the first to always wear my designs. I sow all my clothes myself, and that way I attracted people. Also I use all my social media handles to advertise my work and that gave me a wider coverage.

Mr. Bashir: Thank you so much. It is a unique marketing strategy and a good one, because most complaints we hear about tailors is their inability to fulfill their promise. Mr. Salihu, what is your mission and vision? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Mr. Salihu Yusuf: Alhamdulillah, thank you for the lovely question. In 10 years’ time, I hope to be a well renowned tailor and fashion designer in this country and eventually around the world.

I want Shugaba tailoring and fashion designing to be a reputable and trusted brand especially for African clothes. And that is what I am working towards. My customer reach cuts across many states, like Bauchi, Gombe, Nasarawa, Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos, Borno, Kano, Port Harcourt etc.

Mr. Bashir: Finally Mr. Salihu, we want you to give a word of advice to students, and upcoming entrepreneurs out there who are thinking of starting a business…

Mr. Salihu Yusuf: Firstly to my fellow students out there, the government introduced entrepreneurship as a prerequisite course to all institutions because they are well aware that they can’t provide jobs for everyone.

My advice to you is, don’t be part of the problem but rather be part of the solution. Start a business that won’t just take you off the labor market but would also provide employment for others.

Secondly, starting a business is not easy. It requires serious dedication, perseverance and unwavering commitment. But in the long run it pays.

I can proudly tell you that this business has been paying my bills since senior secondary school and it is taking me through higher institutions.

Mr. Bashir: Wow that’s great, thank you very much for your time. It was lovely speaking with you. We wish you success in your life endeavors and kudos to you. You are an inspiration to students out there.

Mr. SalihuYusuf: Thank you, it’s my pleasure. Looking forward to hearing from you again.

Read Also: 9 reasons why you should start a business in Nigeria


Address: Shop No 7, Tailoring street, Bukuru main market, Jos South, Plateau state.
WhatsApp contact: 08108289688
Salihu Yusuf Ibrahim @facebook.com

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BIlal Abdullahi

Hello friend! I am Bilal Abdullahi, the CEO and founder of Campus Entrepreneurs Hub. An inbound online platform where I share my little knowledge and experience in entrepreneurship, business and marketing. Do you want to learn how I make money as a full-time blogger in Nigeria? Chat me on WhatsApp: +2348069830560

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  1. Shugaba as we usually call him is quite a good tailor, he sew most of my clothes wen we were at school den. He was my coursemate and friend, more grease to your elbow bro

    1. Thanks for your amazing comment Mr. Ibrahim. We shall do the best of our ability to keep you updated with “my weekly entrepreneur” program in this blog. Thank you so much!

    2. Indeed, I enjoyed this your interview with the CEO Shugaba Tailoring and Fashion Design Mr. Salihu Yusuf. His words truly gives me a kind of encouragement.
      More customers to you bro, wish you more sauces.

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