Jennifer Oamhen Thomas: People find me amazing because my bag designs are unique | The Guardian Nigeria News

A hardworking woman with gifted hands in the competitive world of accessory and handbag design, Jennifer Oamhen Thomas is a Nigerian woman who draws attention to herself and notices her unique vision of beautiful bespoke handcrafted pieces that celebrate the art of art combined with a unique African touch. Her great sense of design, coupled with the deployment of African textiles, has allowed her to create handbags and accessories that have an irresistible visual appeal and charm. She belongs to the generation of young Nigerian women who enjoy their passion and inspire other women to do so. The creative entrepreneur is the founder of Jenlo, a bag-making outfit for women who want to make unforgettable statements. Jenlo is a design and manufacturing company, which produces a beautiful range of handcrafted handbags.
Her passion for bag making was awakened after she started seeing herself in a dream when a man in a white outfit asked her to learn some bag making skills. She initially ignored the dreams, until they became persistent. Ambrose University zoology graduate Alli finally decided to learn the skill. Today, women of substance and elegance buy her beautifully made bags. Driven by a desire to be unique, the Edo State-born entrepreneur’s handcrafted bags are a symbol of attention to detail and excellent craftsmanship that will leave you awestruck. When Jennifer isn’t making bags, you’ll find her surfing the internet, playing her favorite game or reading. She shares her inspiring story with Esther Ijewere in this interview.

Influence from childhood
As a child, I wanted to be a doctor. We all know how the Nigerian education system ends up changing someone’s original destiny, so I ended up studying zoology. My childhood never prepared me for what I do now because I never saw myself becoming a bag designer in the future, but that’s how it is.

Inspiration behind Jenlo
All I can say is that God was my source of inspiration. But there was a time when I wanted to have a standard brand, so I thought of a unique, simple and classy name that could easily sink into people’s lips and hearts. After much deliberation and prayer, Jenlo was born.
JEN- stands for Jennifer (my first name), which means Clear Vision or Pure Vision, L- stands for Longevity, which means our products and our brand can stand the test of time, O- from Oamhen (my maiden name girl), which means my house is fine. So putting it all together gave birth to JENLO.

The journey so far
The journey has been sweet and rough, sweet and bitter. Sometimes I want to quit, but every time I remember why I started, I find that quitting isn’t an option. I will keep pushing and breaking boundaries until I reach the peak where I belong.

Challenges
Getting the right machines and the right tools are my main challenges. I hope the day will come when I will have all the machines and tools I need to excel in my craft. Having such machines and tools will speed up my work and make it much easier.

What I like most about my job
I love creativity; I love that people think I’m amazing because I’m a professional bag designer. My creations are unique and represent class. Most of my customers tell me that my bags can compete with foreign brands.

Go viral and gain momentum on social media
I feel happy and excited, but given the vision I have for my brand, I feel the social media momentum is just beginning. I have a long way to go, but the trip looks good so far. Most of my clients are people who live abroad and they discovered my creations on social networks.

Jenlo in five years
In five years, Jenlo will be among the top five mentioning bag-making brands in the world. Five years from now, Jenlo will be a brand to be reckoned with. I have faith in creativity, my creations, passion and myself. I will continue to work towards my goal.

Three women who inspire me and why
I admire Prudent Gabriel from Prudential Fashion Academy; I am inspired by her passion for what she does for her brand. The Minister for Women’s Affairs, Her Excellency Dame Pauline Tallen OFR, KSG, inspires me; I so admire his passion for humanity. Mercy Johnson Okojie inspires me a lot and I admire so much how she has made it so easy to combine family, work and career.

To be a ruby ​​woman
I am a precious and strong woman, dependent and supportive. I have a heart of care and concern towards the people around me. I hate evil and embrace piety. I also like good things. I hardly hate, and I forgive easily.

Advice for young women planning to enter my industry
Face your fears; life itself is a risk. So, in this journey called life, it is risky not to take any risks. You have to start from somewhere, like any great designer. For you to be successful in this profession, you must first overcome fear.


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