Bold, colorful and resolutely individual, the prints and shapes of Onyii & Co.’s designs always turn heads. But Onyii wasn’t always a designer. We spoke to her to discover more about how one of our favorite labels got its start.
Maker’s Row: How did Onyii & Co. start?
Onyii: I started Onyii & Co. with one skirt design, $125, and three young children. From my kitchen I launched Onyii & Co., and my journey in creating versatile, stylish garments complementary to all women began.
MR: Is your background in apparel? How did you start designing?
Onyii: Similar to other women entrepreneurs, adversity propelled me to make my girlhood dream come true no matter what. My background in marketing afforded me various worthwhile opportunities that proved to be wonderful learning experiences, but I have always had a knack for design and a love for artistic expression. Regardless of the traditional jobs I have held, I always had some design project going on the side, whether it be interior design, furniture design, making a dress for a friend, or even creating artwork for my own walls at home.
MR: How did you learn the ropes of the industry?
Onyii: When my husband lost his job under extremely stressful circumstances, I had no other choice but to figure out a way to “make it work” for my family. I started making wrap skirts for my friends and family, and enrolled in classes at my local community college to learn the business of fashion. In January of 2014 I launched the Onyii & Co. Wrap & Go collection through an online platform.
In less than two years I have managed to grow Onyii & Co. from a direct-to-consumer online platform, marketing mostly in social media, to forging lasting business partnerships with storefront and online boutiques that match my brand.