We are super excited to announce outdoor shopping destination Mente De Moda, is celebrating their third anniversary this month! Mente De Moda has become a force to be reckon with in the fashion and lifestyle retail space and thinking about how far they’ve come got us all nostalgic, and curious about how it all started.
We had a sit down with Alex Bawa Bwari, one of the co-founders of the Bang & Kosher company who are behind MDM, and he had quite a lot to share about experience thus far, the plans for the next three years and the biggest challenges he regularly faces.
What inspired the creation of Mente De Moda?
The general lack or inadequate means for lifestyle SME’S to get their products onto the high street.
How have vendors benefited from participating in Mente De Moda?
Mente De Moda gives vendors a unique opportunity to interact with consumers and study their purchasing power/pattern, at the same time recording sales that would have ideally taken them longer to realise due to the volume of buyers that attend the exhibition.
What were the big challenges in the beginning?
Initial challenges included finding the most practical venue, getting the word out and convincing new vendors to understand the dynamics of one-on-one interaction with the end user.
Do you think Mente De Moda has influenced shopping in Lagos?
Our primary objective is to create an enabling and interactive platform for SME’s to boost their reach and get their brands the much deserved recognition for their tireless efforts in empowering our local economy. It is therefore imperative that our platform would influence shopping for the better.
Do people look forward to it for the sole aim of its benefits?
Our fastest growing department is now Relationship Management and that has enabled the quick detection of any grievances our vendors may hold. It also helps to determine how beneficial the platform is for them, as the reach is dynamic in an individually beneficial manner. The key, we believe is effectively using all the resources we possess in the right order to prepare their brand for live retail adding a spark to their business.
How do you think Mente De Moda influences the fashion industry?
First of all, it is important to note that Mente De Moda started out as a fashion exhibition and it still has a very much dominant fashion element till this day this enables for a strong presence of fashion industry connoisseurs promoting live networking. Most importantly retail therapy is the spark that many require to launch their fashion label answering the age old question “How do I sell it?”
Do you have any vendors who started with you from the first year?
What is the best part of the process for you?
The creative & strategic planning process.
What is the toughest part of organizing Mente every month?
Logistics and exhibition setup.
What have you learned personally and as a team in business through the MDM journey?
It’s important to note the huge role planning plays in putting MDM together, this has definitely taught me personally that leaping before you look is the most detrimental factor to failing in business generally.
As a team, we have definitely learnt how much unity, solidarity, mutual respect & generally sharing a common goal has aided in the efficiency of our setup.
Where do you see MDM in another three years?
Expanding our reach by taking the initiative cross-country and getting university students in on the action as well, by putting together campus exhibitions focusing on resourceful youths who seek to push their brand further after various their degrees.
Any advice for young people looking to start their own business?
It is important to exercise patience when starting a business and to always remember to consider the opinion of others surrounding you as no man is an island but more importantly – look before you leap, plan before you take action and always conduct research on the competition and the field you are getting into.
Sunday, 7th August 2016 Mente De Moda will be hosting the ultimate shopping experience as they turn three.