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“I Didn’t Know I Would Quit My Job” – Mai Atafo Talks About Entrepreneurship Journey

Ohimai Atafo, often known as Mai Atafo, is a Nigerian fashion designer best known for his brand. Mai Atafo claimed that he never imagined quitting his corporate career to pursue fashion design.

While speaking about his entrepreneurship experience at the 2024 ‘The Platform’, he remarked, “Sometimes, it is one item you learn that you use to launch your business. While admiring your boss and wishing to be like him, consider what he did to get where he is today. Do not duplicate the execution; rather, copy the philosophy. That is what built me. I began working in fashion while still employed and continued to do so for three years.

He studied at the Savile Row Academy in Leeds, United Kingdom, to become a proficient tailor.

“So, when people ask the right time to stop, I tell them I don’t know when to move from corporate to your own businesses. Because the day I quit my job, I didn’t know I was going to quit that day.

“I woke up one day, went to work, and just knew it was the right time. I went to work for my normal 9-5 work. Got there as early as 3; 00 am that day, left around 7; 00 am, and went to my factory at Yaba. I was there until like 2: 00 am, and went back home, and my life continues. But at that time, it didn’t feel like work because I loved what I was doing.

“So, when we are trying to teach you how to build your business from scratch, many of what I am going to share with you, are not what I have learnt, but what I have experienced,’ he said.

When Atafo returned to Nigeria in 2002, he began a corporate career that included positions in prestigious companies. He began his professional career at British American Tobacco Nigeria, where he worked in marketing. He later joined Guinness Nigeria as a Brand Manager. His corporate background and marketing expertise provided a solid basis for his future endeavors.

 

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