Nigerian Emerging Luxury Jewellery Designer
Passion, empowerment and customer service are the cornerstones of Yemi Okuneye’s brand Fabulous Accessories UK. What started as a “passion project” has developed into a “unique brand”. Yemi focuses on selling accessories “you wouldn’t typically see” and appealing to an authentic client base. Fabulous Accessories UK has recently been “featured in The Sun and The Daily Mail” and their accessories have walked the runways of London Fashion Week.
Yemi’s “passion for accessories” inspired her to start Fabulous Accessories UK, also her drive to help “women to feel really comfortable in their own skin”. Yemi curates “stand out pieces” for “all sorts of women”.
In addition to sourcing unique pieces from different suppliers, Yemi hand makes “beaded jewellery” using “wire work” and “natural beads”. She trained in these jewellery techniques in Nigeria where she is originally from. Although Yemi gets some of her inspiration from her Nigerian roots, she considers the UK home and is more inspired by “giving women what they want” and is drawn to “retro” styles.
With two young children, Yemi certainly benefits from her business being conducted “mostly online” as she has been able to build it from scratch and continue to “put [her] kids first”. Yemi spoke positively of how understanding her children are when clients come to work with her in person and explained: “the children are my motivation, I want to give them good things in life”.
Before setting up Fabulous Accessories UK, Yemi worked in customer service and retail, giving her an important “understanding of customer satisfaction” and the importance of putting the customer first. She spoke particularly fondly of working with bridal clients and helping them achieve their vision.
Yemi identified the biggest challenge of working in the fashion industry as the “competitors”, the “big companies” which already have established brands and client bases. In response to these challenges, Yemi explained that she is careful what she buys from suppliers, working to offer pieces that are markedly different from the High-Street Brands.
Yemi works to appeal to a wide range of audiences, explaining that her client base “starts at the age of 14 and up to 60 years and older”. A recent client wore jewellery from Fabulous Accessories UK to Cannes Film Festival. The versatility of the brand is important to Yemi as it develops and she prides herself on offering a wide range from “accessories for teenagers” to “bridal earrings”.
Yemi passionately explained her belief that “in this world we need to be able to work together and bring people up”. Affordability is also an important element of Yemi’s brand, when asked she replied: “if your product speaks for itself you don’t need to overcharge customers”. With a clear focus on the integrity of the brand Yemi recognises the means of her customer base, what they are willing to spend and what is fair.
Discussing the impact of Covid-19, Yemi spoke of clients having to “postpone or cancel their weddings”, admitting that this has been “sad after all that planning”. She went on to qualify that “you can’t be selfish” although the situation has affected her business, Yemi recognises that it is tough for everyone in different ways and “spreading the love is all we can do”.
Yemi has plans to expand Fabulous Accessories UK. She sagely commented that right now “when people are struggling to buy food, they won’t be thinking about jewellery and shouldn’t be!” Looking towards a more positive future, Yemi hopes the brand will be known all over the world and bring on other people to form a team, “to help other women and other men as well.” Yemi is determined and driven expressing that it takes, “a lot of hard work and dedication” and with her at the helm Fabulous Accessories UK will grow into being stocked in more stores and beyond.
In closing, Yemi had two main hopes for the future: for Fabulous Accessories UK “to be loveable” and to be able “to help people through” Fabulous Accessories UK. “No matter who you are”, Fabulous Accessories offers something for you!