We had the good fortune of connecting with Vicky Adegbola and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vicky, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had spent most of my early adulthood working towards a career where I would have to work for someone else. However, since an early age, I always envisioned working for myself and actually enjoying what I was doing, even if I had to work for someone else first in order to save money to build my own business. But as I got older, I found myself in a cycle of ‘gain experience and get a top notch position,’ ‘take on more responsibility and move up the ladder.’ I was expending a lot of energy working towards these goals that when I got home I noticed I didn’t have the energy to put towards my own goal of one day owning my own business. I would write down my goals, make to-do lists, but it never got done. Before I knew it, I was in my 30s and I still hadn’t intentionally pursued my business. I realized that there was never the perfect time to start and I just had to do it. I started my clothing brand, J.O.A.N. Atelier, because I found it hard to find clothes that were unique at an affordable price.Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I believe what sets me apart from others is my ability to pay attention to the details. From packaging, to making my clothes or accessories versatile, to even how I present my product. I want my customers to feel connected to the product and the mission behind it. I am most excited to see how I and J.O.A.N. Atelier grow creatively this year. I would like to push the envelope when it comes to product and also implement all the business acumen I have gained in the previous year. It wasn’t easy getting to this point. It was a lot of trial and error and even disappointments, but the key is to keep going and to never stay in your comfort zone. Once you fall, you have to get back up and try again or try something different, but you cannot stay down. One thing I would love for people to remember about J.O.A.N. Atelier is that there is a purpose behind what we do. We strive to uplift and empower women, specifically women of color. We want them to embrace themselves, especially in a society where they are not often celebrated. We also produce collections in Nigeria, where I am originally from. When you’re buying from us, you’re also helping talented tailors in Lagos, Nigeria. With this brand, I want to help as many people as possible.If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I think I’m pretty simple when it comes to where I like to spend my time in the city. One of my favorite places is Buffalo Bayou Park. I often go running there, but I love the vastness of the park and how peaceful it is, especially in the mornings. Another one of my favorite spots is Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. It’s a collection of beautiful gardens located on the grounds of an old mansion. They offer tours of the mansion and I believe it’s a must see. To top off the outdoor scenery, Galveston beaches can be a great getaway. I also enjoy Art museums like the Museum of Fine Arts. And some of my favorite restaurants are Adair Kitchen, Pappa’s Burgers, Torchy’s Tacos, Frank’s Pizza, and Green Seed.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to God, my family and close friends. Without God, I would not have the talents and creativity to bring my clothing brand to life. I believe God has carefully ordained my path and blessed me with the tools and people to propel me forward. My family and close friends have also supported me through every endeavor and encouraged me when I couldn’t encourage myself. They have even offered their assistance and resources when I need it.