Alaska: Combining Law and Business is Herculean but my Passion is my greatest drive
In this interview
Can we meet you?
Alaska: I'm Alaka Micheal popularly known as Alaska. I'm a 300 level undergraduate of the Faculty of Law, OAU and a social being. I'm also the CEO of Vibes Nigeria, a contemporary clothing brand
*Interviewer* _We are pleased to have you here this afternoon. Can you give us a quick introduction of your brand "Alaska wears"_
*MR ALASKA:* Vibes Nigeria is formerly known as Alaska Wears. I launched this brand April last year at University of Lagos and in our first market year we sold Vibes drawstring bags and they are almost everywhere. In our Season 2.0, we'll be launching Tees and we are sure they'll go far in the market too
*Interviewer* _How have you been coping being a law student in OAU and still having a famous brand?_
*MR ALASKA:* It has really not been easy to be honest but my passion is my greatest drive. Combining law and business is a herculean task. But one principle to note and use is time management. When I have classes I attend them and read at my convenient time. I use my leisure time to meet people and plan my business too. Set your priorities right, I must say, I'm in school to study and that's my number one priority for now and I don't joke with it. I try my best to balance both. I love business so much though
*Interviewer * _Talking about "Business, passion and formal education". Relating this to yourself, do you think there is a clash? I mean does one disturb the other in any way? And how do you deal with this?_
*MR ALASKA:* Normally these three are different things and each of them needs attention. Business is a big hold on its own, passion will make you do anything you've set out to do and formal education is key.
Balancing the three is where the wisdom and strength of every entrepreneur is tested.
I must say that I've been trying my best and its paying. Business is what I do, its who i am. My passion to push my brand is very solid and I also want to learn in school. Time management is how I deal with these three and when I'm done with my legal pursuit, I'll at least have time to push my brand well. Plan your time well. And if my education and business clash with each other, it's usually difficult for me. For example there was a time last session I was supposed to have a photoshoot with Zeek photography and I had Legal methods class that morning, I missed the class because the shoot was important and I told someone to fill in my name for attendance. Thus, I was able to kill two birds with a stone.
*Interviewer* _In life, nothing basically runs smoothly at the beginning, I mean no gold goes out fine without passing through fire. what has been your horrible experience as an entrepreneur?
*MR ALASKA:* My worst experience as an entrepreneur has to be the day I almost had an accident on my way to deliver a knapsack to a customer in lekki, lagos. I injured myself and the sad thing was that the money i got was small and it only covered my transportation and snacks, I didn't get any profit.
*Interviewer* _How do you deal with the demands of your customers?_
*MR ALASKA:* They believe they are always right and we just have to work with their preference. If I tell a customer my price and he/she doesn't agree I try to make it clear that it's fine if they don't buy it politely. And the aggressive ones, I don't get aggressive with them too, I just try to be calm with them. It's annoying but i tell you, tolerate them. Its business ethic
*Interviewer* _"Alaska to the world". Initially, they were knapsacks. Now "vibes T shirt". I must really say that's a good progress. However, can we know your plans for "Alaska wears"? I mean, in some 5 years time, where do you see your brand or where do you want your brand to have gotten to?_
*MR ALASKA:* I have plans to make my brand grow in the country and abroad. See the likes of: Supreme, Vlone, Trasher, Gucci and the likes all started from somewhere and they're now global brands. That's where I see this dream #VTTW,
I've planned what I'll be doing in the succeeding years from now and how I seek to make this dream a reality. I'm taking it step by step. Slowly but surely this dream will come to pass. I'm not sleeping at all on this dream. I'm pushing it with sweat and blood.
Time will tell, God is with me, I know.
*Interviewer* _As a big brand on OAU campus, what is your advice to students who may have this passion but have a barrier stopping them especially "parental issues"?_
*MR ALASKA:* My advice to you is to do it. Its as simple as that. Time doesn't wait for anybody. My Dad for example doesn't support my idea of running a clothing line because of my academics, although I made him understand that it won't affect me in any way. He still insists it'll affect my legal pursuit but here I am anyway. So Do It !!!
However, make good plan for yourself, meet people to advice you well. If you don't have money to start a business, go get money. Save up. Passion will make you get what you want as i said. Then at the same time, don't be lazy, Work. . There's a lot to say.
God will let our dreams come to pass, Amen
You have such beautiful dreams for your brand and you are a law student. After your degree, do you intend to practice law or what?
Guest: I don't know yet. I love my brand so much but I'll love to practice law too. Let's say do business and law together, that's a legal-preneur. There are people I know that are doing well in the entertainment industry and are lawyers too, the likes of Falzz, Chinko, Lola Oj, Timi Agbaje and so on. I look up to them. I'll want to do both and I'm still young too.
What is your advice to young entrepreneurs like you who are giving up already because they feel they aren't making any progress or feel quite intimidated.
*MR ALASKA:* DPA is my tagline
D - Dream
P - Plan
A - Action
If you're not making progress right now, don't give up, except you're losing a lot of money. Meet people that are trailblazers in your field and get advice from them.