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  • Writer's pictureTSWi

Woman like Isiomah; the 1st episode on our new "woman like" series!

Did you know that we are officially on a new series aimed at showcasing startups and established businesses owned and/or managed by women? Like we said on this Instagram post, women putting in the work and hustling their business(es) and personal brands on a daily, don’t get enough publicity & shout-outs - especially those just starting up! So we're doing the honors. First on this series is the CEO of Brielle Walter, a forward-fashion brand based in Nigeria, West Africa, come along as we dive into a chat with this lovely young lady;

Tswi: When did you decide you wanted to do fashion designing?

Isioma: I was born into a fashion designing family. My dad owned a fashion house back then when I was in primary school so I got an early exposure to the fashion industry. However, irrespective of the efforts I made, I found it very difficult to acquire the skill of dress making.

In 2017, I had just gotten a job with a real estate firm in Port Harcourt so I decided to make some dresses for work. I went to the market, purchased beautiful fabrics and gave them to a fashion designer to make some dresses for me based on recommendation. I was greatly disappointed when eventually after a long period of waiting I went to pick up my dresses and not one of the dresses made was good enough or presentable. Sincerely, I never got to wear any of the dresses she made for me. It was at this point that I knew that I needed to go into fashion designing sooner or later.

TSWi: We've all had that "what we asked for vs what we got" experience, lol. Glad you took the bull by the horn! We noticed you get creative with your designs & concepts, how did you get to start out on diversifying & being creative? Also, tell us a bit about your creative process too:

Isioma: On creativity, it actually started early for me, I sometimes like to believe that I actually inherited creativity as a trait from my parents as I have always loved to transform raw materials into finished goods. I remember when I was little, I and my elder sister who is now a Medical Consultant would pick up pieces of fabrics that had been cut to make dresses for our dolls.

I attended Covenant University and my time in school was very impactful, my mind opened up to so many possibilities and I was eager to graduate and venture into the world of business. During my National youth service in Nigeria, I was privileged to meet a colleague who had some skills in making handbags and wrapping footwear’s with African fabric (Ankara) and I fell in love with the craft. I paid her to train me and that was one of the best decisions I made back then. Upon completion of my NYSC, I sought for a job within a government parastatal of which I was qualified for but I was faced with the challenge of trading my body to get into the system. Definitely that wasn’t an option for me.

It wasn’t so easy but I remembered the story in the Bible where the Prophet asked the widow whose husband had died, leaving her and her two sons with a lot of debt “What do you have in your house?” and she said “only but a little jar of oil” (2Kings 4:1-7). I began to look inwards to see what I had in my hands. And there it was, the skill I had acquired during my NYSC.

That was the beginning of diversification for me. I began to think of other items that would look beautiful in African prints, then I came up with the note pads, Bible covers, footwears, hair bonnets, makeup purses just to name a few and we named it the AVI.J BRAND. Now we have been so helped by God to start up our clothing brand “BRIELLEWALTER”.

TSWI didn’t let me float after graduating from the fashion school. They believed strongly in my abilities and enrolled me for internship with Bedazzled Designs.

Gurl, that feedback above got us all like:

TSWi: Awesome, what is your best advice for getting unstuck creatively:

Isioma: My best advice for getting unstuck creatively is to keep in touch with what other successful people in your industry are doing. That way, you are consistently reminded that there are so many creative people out there and you must continually challenge yourself to bring in your A-Game so you do not lose relevance.

TSWi: How do you find inspiration?

Isioma: The HOLYSPIRIT is my source of inspiration and creativity. He has taught me how to withdraw from the busy-ness of the world to a quiet place with Him and right there in that place of quietness, He inspires and instructs me.

TSWi: That's powerful, did you intern under anyone and what was your most valuable experience?

Isioma: Yes I interned with BEDAZZLED DESIGNS.

Ok so I mentioned earlier my struggle with acquiring the fashion designing skill for years even to the point where I gave up on my ability to learn how to make dresses. In 2018, I coincidentally came across the TSWI annual Conference themed “WOOL & FLAX” and I was informed that there will be an opportunity to showcase my products so I quickly signed up to attend the event.

When I got there I was also given an opportunity to present a 1 minute business pitch alongside some other amazing young business women and I was honored to be declared the winner of the business Pitch competition. I actually went home with a whooping cash prize. Lol.

Still at the same event, I heard that TSWI was going to train some young women who were interested in acquiring skills in different industries and there it was “Fashion Designing”.

Initially, I was discouraged by my inability to acquire this skill after so many years of trying. But rather than give up, I decided to give it one more try. So I applied again and my application was accepted. To my greatest amazement and by help of the Holy Spirit it took me 12 days to acquire a skill I wasn’t able to acquire in 12 years. This was a mega testimony and breakthrough for me. I couldn’t really explain how I understood all that I did within that span of time but for the first time I could make a dress for myself.

TSWI didn’t let me float after graduating from the fashion school. They believed strongly in my abilities and enrolled me for internship with Bedazzled Designs.

My most valuable internship experience was seeing and understanding that I could actually start from where I am while working to where I want to be. I was exposed to the business of fashion designing by my Mentor Mrs. Toyin Abiodun (Creative Director of Bedazzled Designs). I saw a different level of creativity that I admired and she was an inspiration to acquiring our first set industrial sewing machines.

TSWi: What was the biggest rookie mistake you made when you started out?

Isioma: One of the biggest mistakes I made was trying to skip a phase of growth.

TSWi: How do you want women or your clients to feel when wearing your designs or using your product?

Isioma: I want every woman who wears a BrielleWalter design to feel Classy, Stylish and Beautiful. Hence we are a contemporary brand serving our customers with elegant, neatly finished, Ready-to-Wear outfits for the modern woman.

TSWi: What projects are you currently working on? (If you have a website or social page where these products will be released, please tell us as well):

Isioma: Currently we are working on new designs of maxi dresses/boubous, corporate dresses and casual easy wears. These products will be released on our social media page on Instagram/facebook @briellewalterofficial.

TSWi: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before starting out, what would it be?

Isioma: Hmmm….I’ll tell myself; “Baby, No one can do you better than you. You are not too young to achieve great things. You are wise, Keep soaring and be consistent. You are the daughter of a King and I know that you will do great things”.


My name is Isiomah Fortune Enefazu, the creative director of Brielle Walter Apparels and AVI.J BRAND. I am from Rivers State - Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA, Nigeria, West Africa. I graduated from Covenant University where I studied Policy and Strategic Studies. I am a philanthropist with a passion for children and teenagers and I am wife to an amazing man.

Are you a female business owner/manager?....Maybe not, do you know one? Don't you think they deserve this kind of attention? It's real easy to get them on our list, comment on this post or reach out to us via email or social media & boom-chaka-laka! We'd reach out to them and schedule the discussion.

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