Today we’d like to introduce you to Adaobi Ugoagu.
Adaobi, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started a fashion blog in 2013. After many conversations, some soul searching and prayer I felt led to start a fashion blog called In Disorderly Fashion. I started it because I had just begun the journey of experimenting with self-expression through clothing. I grew up in an environment that perpetuated monolithic views about Black people and felt like because I couldn’t fit in with that standard of blackness physically, I chose to wear clothes that would hide me so I wouldn’t be bullied or teased for looking differently.
By senior year in high school, and thanks to wonderful blogs and festivals like AfroPunk where I had my initial awakening, I had begun to break out of that fear of being “seen” and started to experiment with wearing funkier styles. By the time I started my blog I wanted to make my transformation public and felt led by God to embrace who I was fully by officially coming out as someone who expresses themselves freely through clothing.
I named it In Disorderly Fashion because I knew from the beginning that my journey would be non-linear, or in other words, disorderly. Disorderly in the sense that I was open to letting other focuses and opportunities present itself as I continued to run my blog. Most bloggers have in mind of eventually becoming a mega-influencer that receives free products to review on a monthly basis. While that was my initial goal, I found that my true interest didn’t lie in just receiving free products and gaining internet clout. Even more, I found myself becoming more dissatisfied with the idea of taking photos of myself in interesting outfits just to share on the internet.
As a recent M.A. Public Relations graduate from USC Annenberg and natural fashion media-ress I found myself becoming enamored with the idea of finding a way to saturate media, whether that be through broadcast or social media with black women. Different types of black women, dressed in different ways. This matters to me because as a young girl the media never showed me diverse black women in all shapes, sizes, and styles.
Hence I started my company Le Bricoleuse, my styling company where my specialty and first projects will be focused on black women.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I recently came up with the idea for my business in May 2018. I’m currently in the stages of being consulted by a few people so there haven’t been any obstacles yet. However, I do foresee that the first obstacle will be gaining clients.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Le Bricoleuse Styling – what should we know?
My business, Le Bricoleuse is my freelance styling company. My plan is to specialize in styling everyday black women for events, for editorial shoots, and just for everyday purposes. My goal is to be known for styling black women that come in all different sizes, creeds, and backgrounds.
The fashion industry is known to overlook black women whether because of their shape or their skin tone and I want my business to hone in on that demographic.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My biggest inspiration is God. He is the one that inspired my boldness to step out and become an entrepreneur.
In terms of the people in my life, my father inspires me the most. He was the one who mentored me through the ups and downs of figuring out my ideas because he himself went through the same experience growing up and starting many businesses.
I would like to also give credit to my best friends who have encouraged me and helped me to flesh out my ideas and give me the courage to step out and push myself.
They will continue to be my village as I grow my business as a stylist.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @le_bricoleuse
Karlo Morcilla, Ryan Jirapong, Melina Mae Castorillo