In an exclusive interview with 360nobs’ Wana, pioneer lingerie store owner, Eki Eguavoen of Denaki Lingerie talks about herself and her business, and why Denaki Lingerie is different from its peers.
Excerpts from the interview below.
Who is Eki Eguavoen?
I am a young, hardworking, smart young woman. I am an engineer and a lingerie business owner.
From start, Chrisland Primary School, Opebi. Then off to Igbinedion Education Center, Benin City, Then Leicester Montessori Grammar School For my A-Levels. Then University of Nottingham where I obtained an Meng degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
How did you get into the lingerie business?
Out of necessity. I absolutely love lingerie, and when I moved back to Nigeria I couldn’t find the items I loved. So that is where the idea started from. It has been a long hard road, but I am glad that I decided to travel the road.
Where did the name Denaki come from?
Denaki is derived from my names, I spent quite a while trying to find a name that was both personal and unique. In my head, Denaki sounds like a the name of a sexy Geisha.
Adesuwa – De
Nadose – Na
Eki – Ki
Did you face any challenges launching your store, as it is one of the pioneer lingerie stores in Nigeria?
Getting the Initial capital needed. Then the building of the store. I knew exactly what I wanted it to look like, but getting the fittings was a hard process. Then getting the workmen to be on time or even to do exactly what you need them to do, you literally need to stand over their shoulders.
Did the reserved nature of Nigerians to something sexual like a lingerie store ever bother or create problems for you?
Honestly, not really. The Denaki store is intimate and we want every single customer to feel as comfortable as they can when they walk into the store. Lingerie is very important to every woman, be it a woman that just has her standard everyday bras, or the woman that likes to indulge in more lacy lingerie. They all wear lingerie. And lingerie is not just about your partner, it’s about how you feel as a person, its more about the wearer than anyone else that might be looking at it. If you don’t love or feel confident in what you are wearing, then your partner would be able to tell.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve ever had with a customer?
Too many to mention. I love it, when a man comes in to buy lingerie for his wife. He knows her size, the colours she loves and all he wants to do is make her happy. It reminds me that there is love in the world, and makes me love what I do even more.
Describe your personal sense of fashion/style.
Regardless of what I’m wearing, I have to be comfortable. My go-to pieces include skinny jeans, a pencil skirt, a nice blouse and heels of course. On the weekends, I’m a shorts and top person.
Have you ever considered venturing into designing lingerie?
I am indeed considering venturing into lingerie design, but there are a lot of factors to consider, especially as lingerie design is a very detail oriented and specialized field, you just don’t jump into it. However, expect to see a “Denaki Lingerie” line soon.
If you could change something about the fashion industry, what would it be?
Strictly speaking about the Nigerian fashion industry, it will definitely be more Nigerian Lingerie designers. The few lines I have seen that are designed and produced by Nigerians, are fantastic. It would be interesting to see even more collections by Nigerian designers.
What is your favorite brand of lingerie?
I am partial to a few of the brands that are stocked in the store. Playful Promises, Kiss Me Deadly, Gisele by TLS, Patience Please. Just to name a few. Then moving on to high end, Mimi Holliday, Damaris, La Perla they manage to incorporate fashion into their lingerie collections.
How do you like to spend your spare time?
In my spare time, I am either in the gym, at home, or hanging out with my friends. It is necessary to de-stress every now and then.
What’s your relationship status?
Who’s your celebrity crush?
Hmmmmm, Micheal Ealy, Praiz. Can’t think of anyone else.
What would be the easiest way for a guy to get your attention?
Be honest and direct. I appreciate honesty, and more than anything I love it when a man says what is on his mind as opposed to beating around the bush.
What is your biggest fear?
Same as everyone, that I do not achieve all that I intend to achieve.
What has been your worst date experience?
There was a guy I met, we had been messaging and talking on the phone for a few weeks. We then decided on going out for a proper date. The day of the date, he asks me to pick him up because he had car issues. I had no problem with this, these things happen. However, we get to the restaurant and he spends MOST of the date on the phone. He was constantly messaging other people, and worst of all having full blown conversations. That was our first and last date.
Do you have pets?
At the moment, I have 7 dogs!