First off, let me apologize for taking months to write this, I was a little indisposed.
So between 2003 and 2011, what was I doing?
I graduated from school and went into the world like everyone else. But most importantly, I was still trying to figure out myself. What is it that I am here to do. I don’t know about you but I have always thought that I knew exactly what I was going to do with my life.
Abeg wait o, wetin we come see here? Your life story abi jewellery? Come, when we go begin see the photo now?
So I took 10months off and went to India for a teaching job. I have always had a fascination for the country, the people, and the culture (maybe a sign to my love for jewellery). After 10months though, I learnt something, I had an interest in advertising, Indians are good at selling anything to everyone, I loved the place but most importantly, I was sure I didn’t want to be a teacher, I was good at it but it wasn’t creatively challenging for me.
Na so? It’s lie jo, them fire you, you carry your chicken leg come back, see this dodomu, you think say we no sharp?
I came home, started writing for Genevieve Magazine, then got a job in advertising. Finally, I was sure I had found my place in life. So I freelanced for Genevieve and focused on being a copywriter. It took me about 3 different advertising offices within 5years to realise, nah! This isn’t for me either.
LMAO! See this yeye person o, so you no like something, you commot? No be everyone like em job o, but we dey do am. If na so e bi, I for don be air hostess now. Haba, you no sabi anything, your mates dem they work hard, you dey tell tori, abeg, kpadu fo one corner, na photo we come see jo.
Between 2009 and 2011, I tried every course possible that held a slight interest to me, just so that I can discover what it is that screamed me. I can tell you for sure, I am still not sure I have found it but, like the cliché light bulb, I have discovered what gives me undeniable joy. It went off one day while I was making my first collection in 2011 (The Skin Collection). I was doing this beautiful ocean blue bead with chains that was one of the bestsellers for that collection and I knew right then that the piece will bring if not joy but a tingling smile to anyone who wore or saw it. And that was all I needed. IrisByHazel was born.
Omo bigz girls, Paris designer toh bad! New York Fashion Week go bow! Armani, make way-make way, the original African designer dey my domot LOL!!!!! Oya we done hear, where them photo?
I can’t say that I was born to do this, or that I will be doing this for the rest of my life but I am sure that I live for designing pieces that just completes you. I don’t even know if I know what I am doing but I do know that we (Nigerians) are good at accessories and we should not only be the fashionistas but also the designers as well.
My name is Patricia Ihidero, jewellery designer, jewellery maker, CEO of Iris Jewellery (Iris By Hazel & Iris Jewellery Institute), lover of beads, fashion/costume jewellery and all things precious (metals and stones). I believe that Nigeria should be THE jewellery hub of Africa and one of the jewellery capitals of the world. Take my hand and we can do it together.