A fashion empire in the making

Aug 30, 2018
PwC trainee, Titilope Oladiti, has fused fashion and finance to launch her own modest clothing label.

Why did you choose to study accountancy?

Growing up, I always had an affinity for numbers. While at school, I was also interested in how businesses function and why some succeed while others fail – but I didn’t want to undertake a general business degree. After a lot of research, I figured out that I was better suited to a degree in accountancy as it offered the best of both worlds.

You’ve already dived into entrepeneurship. What is your business about?

I was inspired to start my own modest fashion line, Empress, through my personal struggles when I made the decision to start wearing the hijab five years ago. This decision also meant that I had to alter the way I dressed in accordance with my Islamic faith. It was tough to find clothing in high street shops that was both modest and fashionable at a reasonable price – and many of my friends shared the same struggle. From this, Empress was born.

How do you balance your training with entrepreneurship?

Balancing my business with my job at PwC isn’t without its challenges. The main challenge is time, especially as working in audit is not a standard 9-5 job and longer hours are often required. Nevertheless, I’ve learnt how to maximise my time. I do have to stretch myself at times, but it’s actually something of a stress reliever for me. After a long day or week of work, I can switch off from auditing and accounting and think about Empress instead.

So what’s next for your business?

Earlier this July, I had the pleasure of showcasing my second collection at the Torino fashion week in Italy. My plan is to launch more collections, collaborate with other fashion brands and hopefully see the business grow, both within and outside Ireland.