Yes, I’ve been away for more than a minute and will go into more detail as to why later, right now I want to tell you a stylish tale…
Once upon a time, not too many moons ago, having decided that African Fashion would be the core of my blog, I decided to do some research to discover the popular fashion bloggers in Nigeria. Honestly speaking, I wasn’t expecting to find a voice or style I could relate much too…now don’t get me wrong, I knew there were Naija stylish babes, but it’s one thing to know how to put an outfit together and quite another to portray your looks on a blog creatively with a unique voice to boot. That’s why when I stumbled upon, The Fashion Engineer created by the fab one-of-a-kind-kinda-gal, Sayedero Enytan, I knew I’d struck, ‘Blogger-Gold’.
What’s behind the name of her blog title?, I hear you ask. Well, like me, Sayedero comfortable straddles two (and then some) professions: electrical engineer and fashion & beauty aficionado.
Since she started her blog in January 2012, I’ve seen her blog grow from strength to strength: the photography got better, she’s a contributing writer for one of Africa’s leading retail sites, Jumia, her blog is now delving into health and fitness…
I’ve wanted to meet her for a while now and a few days ago, I got the opportunity to chitty chat with her as we sipped on yummy Chapmans at my new favourite hang-out: Bogobiri House (V.I).
MFSL: Hey Sayedero, first things first: where’s your name from?
Sayedero: It’s Yoruba and means, God has made my life easy.
MFSL: Powerful stuff, now, what made you start blogging?
Sayedero: At university, I was constantly asked where I got my clothes and accessories from, how I did my make up etc, so I decided to create a platform (via a blog) to show people where I got my pieces from, and how I put my beauty looks together.
MFSL: How did your blog grow from that to the power-house it is today? Because it’s one thing to create a blog to show your style and beauty looks, but it’s quite another thing to run a blog as a business, which is what you today.
Sayedero: Well, when my blog began to generate a lot of traffic, fashion and beauty companies began to contact me to wear or try their products for free, and that’s how the business element of my blog began.
MFSL: Following your blog for so long, I’ve seen so many changes. Focusing on the design and tech aspects, do you collaborate with anyone in those areas?
Sayedero: I like to learn and do a lot of the technical stuff by myself, but I do have an I.T guy that I work with as well.
MFSL: Following on from that, how would you say blogging has made you more techy-savvy?
Sayedero: Oh my gosh, I’ve learnt so many things. For example, I now know how to code, which I never thought I would ever be able to do! I can also help people set up their blogs, making sure it features a decent theme, add plug-ins…I advise on SEO, how to increase traffic and so on.
MFSL: That’s pretty impressive, how did you teach yourself all these skills?
Sayedero: By researching online, also a lot of bloggers write really helpful articles on the topic and share what worked for them.
MFSL: Out of all the measures out there to grow traffic like leaving comments on people’s blogs, making nice with Google Analytics etc, what tactic worked best for you?
Sayedero: Sharing my blog posts on Social Media. Especially when I share posts on the Facebook pages of various Nigerian fashion-related groups.
MFSL: So tell me more about the fab hairstyles you’ve been sporting made up of every shade of the rainbow.
Sayedero: I sell wigs, and when it comes to my coloured wigs, I dye them myself.
MFSL: So you customize wigs, you can contour and strobe with the best of ’em, you have great style, then there is the electrical engineering background: so career-wise, what does Sayedero want?
Sayedero: Honestly, I’m still in the process of figuring that out but in the future, I would like to be a designer.
MFSL: I can tell from your blog credits, that you are all about online fashion, which are your favourite stores?
Sayedero: Konga and Jumia. That’s the great thing about African fashion now, with emerging and affordable designers now being able to sell on these platforms: there’s now a brand for every pocket.
MFSL: A few stores have popped up in Lagos like Grey Velvet and Stranger which stock established and emerging African designers, do you shop in any of them?
Sayedero (laughs): Noooo, they’re too expensive!
MFSL: Before I discovered your blog, I thought that as a Nigerian blogger, it would be near impossible to be a personal style blogger who shows new looks on a weekly basis, because we don’t have a High Street here. But your blog forced me to take several seats in that department…
Sayedero: Funny you should say that, I’m actually going to start repeating pieces more to show my audience how to generate X number of looks from 1 item. With regards to my access to clothes, a lot of the big online stores like ASOS.com and Boohoo.com ship to Nigeria. I’m also lucky to have fashion and accessory brands give me their products for free.
MFSL: What challenges have you faced as a personal style blogger based in Nigeria?
Sayedero: I’ve been told that I should change my style to make it more mass-friendly, but my style is my style and I’m not changing! Also it can be hard when you put a lot of effort into your blog and you don’t see the rewards by way of traffic. There have been some weeks when I ask, ‘What’s happening to my traffic??!’ To partner with brands, you need that traffic, so it’s very important to me.
MFSL: Who are your favourite African fashion designers?
Sayedero: I love Maki Oh.
MFSL: What blogs do you follow?
Sayedero: Atlantic-Pacific, Style Pantry, Olori Swank, Locks & Trinkets and Winston & Willow.
MFSL: Instagram Vs Blogging?
MFSL: YaaaaaY! Everyone I’ve asked that question to goes for Instagram.
Sayedero: But Instagram is where it’s at, I’m on it and have people who help me update it.
MFSL: And finally, since your blog does so well at breaking down trends. What trends have you GaGa at the moment?
Sayedero: Full midi-skirts, cape blazers and gladiator heels.
MFSL: Gladiator heels, you mean that horrible contraption that come up to your knees and strangle your legs whilst doing so?
Sayedero: I love them!
MFSL: Well, they’re hard to pull off as they have a weight-limit, but I’m sure you can rock the Bo Jangles out of them! Sayedero, it was such a pleasure!
Now, now, nooooow hard as it will be, which is your favourite Sayedero Look? For me, no diggity doubt, it’s her ‘All White & Tight’ look. I look at it and just think, ‘B.O.S.S’. I can also see Dame Cookie (Empire) rocking this look during one of the shows b.s Board Meeting meets Harlem Ghetto scenes. Urgh, I can’t stand that show, but I digress…
The Fashion Engineer in all its fab creative glory can be perused here.
Sayedero and I @ Bogobiri House, V.I.