Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Cick here to read full interview with the founders of Malakh&Sco
Demilade Ademuson (left)and Tobi Tikolo (right)

Demilade Ademuson and Tobi Tikolo are the founders of Malakh&Sco. You may remember my little post about them a couple of months ago. They took a few minutes from their busy schedules to tell us a little about their experience of setting up and managing their online store and how things are going for them so far.

 Hi guys , thanks for taking some time to do this interview . Can you please tell us what inspired you to start Malakh&Sco
We love African fashion, art and culture. We also became increasingly interested in creating an online shopping mall where the social interaction we have in a physical mall can be translated online. It was only a matter of time before we married the ideas and Malakh&Sco was born.

Do you have a fashion background?
Fashion and style has always been a big part of our lives, and it has been really exciting to see the African fashion industry take off like it has done within the last few years. Between us, we have held very minor roles as brand consultants, personal shoppers and fashion show coordinators. But no, we do not have any formal education in fashion. We are just a bunch of fashion lovers!

Who is your typical customer? 
Our typical customers are fashion lovers, not just African fashion lovers but fashion lovers in general. Usually stylish, 18-34 years old, who are fashion conscious and lay emphasis on the quality and craftsmanship behind clothes.

What are some of the brands you carry in your store and how do you select the items to be sold?
We work with `Republic of Foreigner, GREY, House 38 and Andrea Iyamah (We are in negotiations to work with many more designers). We look for brands that are growing- those that have long term growth in mind, we focus on quality, and in general, individuals with a good core team- those that are in line with our vision. 

Are you planning on adding more brands in the future?
Definitely, talent within the continent of Africa and the Diaspora is palpable, there are numerous designers that we don’t even know of.......bottom-line, if you have talent, promise, and a quality brand, we will love to work with you. 

There are a few African fashion online stores out there right now, how do you differentiate yourself from them.
There are a few stores, we are pretty impressed with all of them and we know that we can all be facilitators in the growth of African fashion, but what makes us different is our focus on building the brands we work with, we like to see ourselves as more than just the middleman, we have a genuine interest in the designers we work with. We are also working on making online shopping much more interactive/ social, and this is something no other retailer has done. 

Here on ciaafrique, I focus on highlighting the work of African designers. Name some African designers whose work you admire. [Laughs] Have you got all day?! We love and believe in all the designers we work with-(GREY, Andrea Iyamah, House 38, Republic of Foreigner, and Toju Foyeh)........... Deola Sagoe, Lanre DaSilva, Jewel by Lisa, Tiffany Amber, KemKem Studio, Maki Oh, Tsemaye Binitie, Christie Brown are just genius, the list is endless; we literally could go on all day. The truth is there are many talented African designers.

What surprised you most about the process of setting up your online store? 
I guess the biggest surprise or challenge (although we thought that we were pretty ready for the challenges that had to do with setting up the store) is publicity. Getting more people to know about Malakh&Sco and the designers that we stock. This we’ll have to say is the most difficult part, but we did expect it. We are working hard to get publicity and that at this point is our main focus.

Do you have any advice to anyone out there who wants to someday own their own online store or get their foot into the fashion industry?

Research, research, research. It’s always best to know what is out there; there may be some existing brands that are a better fit for you.

Also, we believe that it is important to get some mentoring, where young designer learn from the more experienced people within the industry. Yves St Laurent learnt from Dior, Tom Ford worked for Gucci and YSL. Such experience is invaluable.

What are your plans for the future? 
We have so many amazing plans for our brand! One of the main reasons why we created our website, malakhandsco.com was to make online retail as social as possible. Our goal is to become an online shopping mall where all the social interactions you have in a physical mall are recreated online. (If we tell you any more, we would have to kill you [Laughs]) but certainly look out for these fresh/ new ideas in the next few months on our website.

Where are you located and do you ship internationally?
We are located in the UK, but we ship worldwide for a flat rate of £4.50. It is important to us that all those who want the clothing are able to purchase them via malakahsco.com

What else do you wants the readers to know about your business? 
We are the most approachable/ open bunch (team) that you will ever come across. We want all our customers to ask us questions and give us suggestions on how to improve our website, we want your feedback! We are also open to those designers who want to work with us! We want Malakh&Sco to be as much the customers company as it is ours. The consumer is King and we are their right hand men and women!!

Definitely ‘Like’ us on Facebook (Malakh&Sco) www.facebook.com/malakhandsco
Follow us on Twitter @malakhandsco
Drop by our website www.malakhandsco.com and SHOP!
And, send us an e-mail at malakh.sco@gmail.com, info@malakhandsco.com, customerservice@malakhandsco.com

Thank you Ciaafrique for taking the time to interview us!

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