‘I’m a graduate of Philosophy from The University of Lagos. I am a native of Abeokuta in Ogun state.
Growing up was challenging, I learned quite a lot of things that shaped my life. I grew up around hate. Being the only prospective family around your neighborhood can lead to your neighbors being jealous of you. There were occasional tantrums, but still, the experience managed to shape me to become a better person. It kind of prepared me to be ready for whatever was to be thrown at me in life.
“My parents and environment taught me Persistence, love, understanding, and independence.”Babalola Mariam
I was actually born in the business, My mom is a fashion designer and I used to go to her shop to play. Back then, I used to sew for my dolls.
I picked up interest but my father wasn’t having any of it. He wanted me to go to school to be a professional. Then I lost interest in sewing. While in secondary school, I still used to adjust and fix clothes for my school mates, I guess it was a calling.
It was at University, the holiday before my 300level. I re-picked interest in sewing again and I made a top, even though I thought it wasn’t that nice, when we resumed, everyone seemed to like the top. That was when it really dawned on me that I could go far in this.
Things were hard for me financially at this point, so I decided to take advantage of my skill by sewing for people and earning from it. I was also obsessed with improving my sewing skills and techniques, and that was what I did.
In my final year, I met some great people like Mr. Laide, Taiwo and Kehinde who coined my first brand name ‘Mab Stitches’. During my Nysc year, I registered the name Marie Babs and put out my first collection with the help of my uncle.
I opened my first shop in 2017 at St. Finbarrs road. I was staying at Akowonjo and I had to come to Akoka every day. It was one of the most tiresome periods of my life. At some point, I had to stay with my Mum’s friend who lived nearby.
In the course of my journey, i’ve had various challenges. At first, with Quality. I have had orders rescinded; broken my leg in the course of going to meet a client. I have also had terrible clients. But I am grateful for all because it has made me grow.
Sometimes there’s nothing to do, you invest and it’s not yielding, it’s really frustrating.
However, sometimes, you win. I remember the first time Bella Naija posted my pictures; I was so overjoyed.
The aim is to be one of the most sought after fashion designers in Africa in the coming years. I tell my proteges and younger ones to always keep learning, Be persistent, Be calm in every situation ( people will frustrate you) and most importantly; Understand what works for you.’
~ Babalola Mariam