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Yelestitches: From Nigeria to Baltimore, Maryland, A Founder’s Story with

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I am Yelé Adelusi. Yelestitches is an African Luxury Fashion brand based in Baltimore, MD. My middle name is “Omoyele,” which means “a child beautifies the home” (hence, the brand name). I recently released my new Fall/Winter ’22 line, ‘Regal.’

 

Tell us about your childhood and where you grew up?
Before I came to Baltimore and set up shop there, I was originally from Nigeria. I was born in Lagos, but my childhood home is Akute, Ogun State. I lived with my father and three siblings. My parents actually built the home we owned. Living in Nigeria has influenced my current work so much, and I think that’s evident from my designs. Nigeria and African prints are so beautiful and inspiring, that it’d be harder not to make them into something beautiful. I love that I’m able to use styles and prints that I was familiar with from my childhood and use them to create clothes for people to wear today. You can learn a lot about my childhood just by looking at the patterns and little messages included in my designs. (My new African-Cow print Maxi Kimono Dress has my name on it!) My experience growing up in Nigeria is why I am so committed to blending western and African styles. I try to incorporate at least two cultures into each garment, and I usually include a beautiful African print.

 

How did you get started as an entrepreneur?
I was always interested in fashion but quickly realized that I couldn’t find items that fit my style. Because of this, I began to take my clothes right to a tailor after shopping to get them altered to represent my style. My friend’s mother actually owned a tailor shop, so she helped teach me how to tailor clothes on my own. Eventually, I began to make clothes not only for myself but for others, too. People would always ask me where I got my clothes, so it was only natural to start making them for others who were interested. The business started from there. When I got the opportunity to expand my business to the United States, I was very excited. Baltimore is an inspiring place to live as a fashion designer. There are influences everywhere, just like back home.

 

What is one business lesson you would tell a startup founder?
My personal motto is “fortune favors the prepared,” so my advice is to be prepared! It’ll help you so much in the long run. Also, trust that your hard work will pay off. You need to believe in yourself before you can ask others to believe in you.

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Opinions expressed by Disrupt Contributors are their own. Disrupt Magazine invites voices from many diverse walks of life to share their perspectives on our contributor platform. We are big believers in freedom of speech and while we do enforce our community guidelines, we do not actively censor stories on our platform because we want to give our contributors the freedom to express their opinions. Articles are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by our community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Disrupt or its employees.
We are committed to fighting the spread of misinformation online so if you feel an article on our platform goes against our community guidelines or contains false information, we do encourage you to report it. We need your help to fight the spread of misinformation. For more information please visit our Contributor Guidelines available here.


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