Tracy Member; the founder and creative director of TEM Luxury could be described as the epitome of resilience, innovativeness, and hard work. The industrious and result-oriented entrepreneur has for the last four years continued to demonstrate her relevance and passion for the already over-saturated fashion and clothing industry.
These were evident in a media chat with ken Gbados of The World Satellite Magazine on the sidelines of the recently held Dawalk Fashion Show in Abuja where she highlighted her journey in the Fashion and Clothing Industry, together with her aspirations for the years ahead.
TEM Luxury has been in the Fashion and Clothing business for four years and was among the brands showcased on the runway for ‘Dawalk Fashion Show; what does this mean to you as a person?
Nigeria is a creative hotspot and this can be seen through the rapidly growing fashion industry. As Africa’s most populous country and with its powerful demographics, Nigeria is positioned firmly in the heart of Africa’s fashion scene. Several non-Nigerian designers have openly admitted to being inspired by Nigerian fashion.
No doubt, fashion events have played a crucial role in exposing Nigerian fashion designers and providing a platform for them to mix with their international counterparts. So as a young entrepreneur being opportune to showcase TEM Luxury’s beautiful outfits and designs on the runway for Dawalk Fashion Show is a very big deal for me and we are looking forward to bigger events in the future.
Again, as a person, four years in this business is a very big deal because I have been through a lot of challenges and therefore super grateful to God for where we are now. One thing that has kept me till now is my determination and my belief that I cannot quit, though I might take a purse, I cannot stop.
Certainly, it has not been easy, and being able to showcase my outfits on runways within four years in this business is something that I am proud of and I am looking forward to even being in this business for up to 40 years and even passing it down to my children.
How have you been able to Sustain Your Brand Over These Years in The Already Saturated Fashion Industry?
Going into the industry was not easy at all. This is because of the high level of competition, but the love and passion I have for fashion somehow made it easier for me to penetrate the industry.
Another factor is that though I have people I look up to, I am not trying to be like anybody. Hence, am not under any form of pressure to do it like any person. So, what has kept me is the fact that I can create my designs.
Although the kind of fashion I do is fast fashion; something people can just pick up and go, which would be easy for me to copy someone’s style and make it sell, I try as much as possible to create my Unisex designs myself (English and Native)) and put them out there.
I think design, I breathe design and I sleep design. Anywhere I am I am seeing something to create in my head. I have so many ideas. The Holy Spirit guides me, shows me what to do and I have so many ideas in my head.
Our good customer service has also contributed to keeping us this far. I am not the kind of entrepreneur who would say no refund. For instance, if a customer has a problem with her clothes, she can always come and we will amend it for free. But, if it is something we cannot solve, we can refund it.
We do not have a strict policy of non-refund if the fault is from us; we have a very flexible return policy and we treat our customers very well.
Therefore, within these four years, a larger percentage of our customers are returning customers. Nevertheless, we have new customers, but a percentage of our customers are those who have been buying from us for like two to three years now.
Some have even been there for four years and they are still patronizing us. So, I would say that our customer service is one of the things that have kept us in business as well because we spend so much on taking care of our customers.
What Are Your Motivating Factors in Overcoming some of the Challenges in the Industry?
My motivation is the fact that I love to see men and women look good. Seeing people look good makes me so happy beyond any explanation. Then seeing them look good in TEM Luxury is another level of motivation.
It is so fulfilling to the extent that if I am having a bad day and someone sends me a picture of him or her wearing my dress, my heart will just melt and I will forget about the annoying day.
Another major motivation is in knowing that these clothes I am making make people look good and happy. Therefore, when I see men and women look that way, it’s fulfilling to me. More so, this is a business that I spoke to God about, and how long I want to stay in it is what I want to do.
Thus, stopping because of one challenge or the other, or not doing the business anymore would be like me not accepting what God has done for me. This is because I always feel like God has kept me till now so there is no challenge I cannot face and I so much trust in God.
Consequently, no matter what I face, my motivation is that God and the Holy Spirit are there to guide me and so I don’t have any issues.
What Do We Expect from You and TEM Luxury Shortly?
Shortly, we are going to be a global brand. The plan we have is that within the next few years, every retail store that sells clothes; the way one sees the likes of Zara, and H&M in every retail store all over the world, that’s how TEM Luxury will be seen.
Whether one is in the US, Turkey, Australia, or Canada, he or she will be able to see TEM Luxury off the rack in any retail shop and will be able to get it. So that is our aspiration for the next few years and I know we are going to get there.
We could not agree more! Describing Tracy Member as a perfect example of a youth persona who is breaking free from imposed and self-imposed blockades that usually drag behind, most individual youths from achieving their dreams could be an overstatement. Above all, she is a humble, respectable, and passionate individual; she remains a role model and source of inspiration to young and aspiring entrepreneurs.