Surface Pattern Designer

Meet Turai – The Surface Pattern Designer

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Turai Nkom-Omali, also known as Exagora textiles, is a surface pattern designer, freelancing in textile design and production. “Our business is to create bespoke, customized fabric designs to be used for garment, upholstery or home decor. We also produce wallpaper, traditional tie dye and batik fabrics.”

textile designer

She is a trained textile designer, she says, when asked about how she started. “After school, I went into banking for close to 10 years but the interest and passion for designing never left me. I got started on this career path after leaving the banking sector. I just took the decision to go back to my first love, I took classes learning surface design using several software applications and here I am today.”

pattern designer                          pattern designer

On her challenges, she has this to say. “The major challenge I have faced so far is getting access to the kind of funding, sponsorship and partnership needed to fully establish this business. Textile/fabric design is quite broad; there are many aspects of fabric design and production. A lot of machinery and equipment are needed. I have been forced to outsource the printing aspect of production because I lack equipment and machinery to take care of that aspect of production. My business is yet to generate enough profit to purchase the equipment but we are currently working on that.”

She draws inspiration from a number of places.  I get inspiration from nature, our rich culture, our people (Africans), other women around me and God.”

designer                pattern designer

The moment her belief in herself increased was the time her first designs arrived via courier. “I had been producing designs and saving them for a while, so I decided to print a couple of them to see what they would look like on a variety of fabrics also so I could have a collection of samples to show customers. I sent the order to the printing company, they printed and shipped them. The day I opened up the package and held those fabrics in my hand, I can say was the most fulfilling day of my life. I realised there and then that I can do anything I set my mind to. That event played a major role in making me believe in myself.”

Moving forward, she is seeking for other opportunities to improve. “I’m looking for opportunities where I can receive mentorship, funding and additional knowledge so I can improve myself and take my business to greater heights. I’m also looking for opportunities to grow my customer base.”

designer                          pattern designer

Turai believes that it is important for our country to empower the youth. “They are the future leaders of Nigeria and they need to be well prepared to take over the responsibility of building our country and its economy for future generations.”

“I must add that concerning entrepreneurship, it is one thing to empower the youth with knowledge and another thing entirely to ensure that they use the knowledge they have acquired. The knowledge will always be wasted if the necessary funding is not attached to it to enable the youth put the knowledge to use.”

“Quite often we see youths go for trainings here and there but at the end of the day, they are sent off without any financial backing in terms of start up capital. Sometimes these organizations even take money from them as fees. I think the organizations that train the youth should do more collaboration with angel investors, financial institutions, venture capitals etc to at least secure grants or affordable loans for those they train. I think it will go a long way in making this youth empowerment drive a success.”

Readers can connect with her via

Email: omali.turai@gmail.com or

Phone Number: 08036730848.

 

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