Monday, March 31, 2008

To Buy or Not To Buy?

I love the glam glads as much as the next girl.

I love the way these look…and my finger is hovering above the 'BUY' button..but the question remains, will I ever wear them?

And FYI at £30 from its really not a big deal but this year, after sorting out my wardrobe over Xmas I realised I honestly do have WAY too much stuff.

Choice is the enemy of focus...which explains why I can still never find anything to wear when I really need to. Daily attire is easy but whenever I need to do anything else...dinner/drinks/cocktail party...and all of a sudden I have nothing to wear.

So I guess what they say is true, whoever said retail therapy doesn't work, just didn't know where to shop.

P.s. Things are moving swiftly along with Ikeja and we might just be able to open for business next Monday! Will keep you all posted.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Questions, Questions, Questions

I get a lot of emails asking me similar questions and I just answered one tonight and decided to share the Q&A with you.

Owning a boutique has helped me understand what retailers want from a product and a designer. Fashion and retail is a much harder field to be involved in than it looks. ESPECIALLY in Nigeria as the retail industry is still very under-developed.

Why not open a new boutique in Mega or the Palms?
I haven't been seduced by the idea of a mall. They sound great but think about it. The rent is really high and they're not full of my target market. Just so you know shop space in a mall tends to run around the same price or more than a stand alone building. Yes really.

From my observation not that many shoppers in Nigeria go to malls to shop. Its more of a recreational habit. At best they'll spend money on food (Shoprite/cafes/food court) or electronics (1st floor Mega/Game). Its not like the US or Europe where everyone has a card and every shop accepts every card so opportunist shopping doesn't really exist. So bearing in mind the malls aren't likely to be full of your target market...just how exactly do you intend to feed yourself after you pay your rent?

I've asked around and not many of my shoppers spend much time in Malls and as long as you're in an accessible location, if people like your product, they'll find you. (hopefully!).

How Can one break into European, American or generally the Western Market?
As far as I can see, that is the million dollar question. I'ms till trying to answer that myself. Breaking into the market covers a wide range of exposure and success. But the starting point is to get your product carried by foreign retailers and I'd say a number of things are needed first.

1. Is your product really ready to be side by side with what you see in shops abroad? be objective here...not optimistic. If it isn't wait.

2. If it is, what type of shops can you realistically see your product in? Target those. The big department stores sound great but come with A LOT of pressure on costs, delivery times and large quantities.

3. Is your production ready to cope with the demand? If you are successful and have an order placed by one shop, mess up delivery times and they'll probably never order from you again.

So on that one, I'd definitely say take your time to perfect your product. The stronger your product, the stronger your chances. Slow and steady wins the race.

How did you get featured in Vogue (or which mag was it)? Was it because of your stint at Conde Nast or is there a proper formula or code to break?
I get asked this one a lot. Conde Nast is a HUGE building and the Vogue floor is the only floor with a if you don't work there, you ain't getting in. Seriously.

I'd left Conde Nast about 3/4 years before I started Tiger Tem. (so a lot of the women I was friends with had moved to other publications by then anyway). Fresh out of uni, I worked in the Contract Publishing Department which was great fun(and to be honest, WAY more relaxed). That's the department that does magazines for other companies like Harrods, The Savoy etc. I worked mainly on the Harrods magazine, fashion assistant so helped all aspects of the photo shoots which require more preparation than you think.

I got the mention through a bigass stroke of luck and timing. A friend works for Glamour, she was talking to a girl that works at Vogue. Girl at Vogue was researching her piece on Global Hotspots and asked my friend about that little Boutique & Tea Room in Lagos my friend had mentioned a few weeks ago. Said Boutique & Tea Room was Tiger Tem so the girl from Vogue emailed me to ask a few questions.

Now with magazines, they research a gazillion things and a lot of that never makes the page. So I assumed Tiger Tem wouldn't make the page...but lucky me, it did!

Here it is.

A real blink and you missed it moment but people are STILL coming in on the basis of reading this. Amazing. (and FYI Roberts only got mentioned as they asked me to name another Boutique/Tea Room, I told them there wasn't one but figured Roberts was the closest thing to a Tea Room).

How did Valentine Leung break into the market as a new entrant? Is it also because she was(is) an insider?
I don't really know. But in life everyone gets further faster by knowing the right people in the right places. Knowing people can open doors but its up to you to do your little dance to get the job once you get in. So while she might have known people, she'd still need to have a good product.

Temi, do you have a formula? Could you be a sort of mentor to me since it seems to me that u have been successful at being a 'start-up'. I really admire your determination and dedication to getting it right.
There is no magic formula unfortunately. Work hard, work on your product, work on the package. Tiger Tem is a product and a package (the boutique) so I need to work on both. Stay one step of ahead as people will most definitely copy you in Nigeria. But that's no biggie as it makes you work harder on what you do. Hire and fire until you find the right team and when you do, keep them happy. Stay focused and keep going. Most people fail when they stop trying.

Use opportunities well and they will continue to open more and more doors for you. e.g. I got my column in ThisDay because Ruth Osime had been told that I harboured a fantasy to write a column (like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex & The City). I was young, I'd just opened Tiger Tem and she was looking for a young, new writer to inject some youth into ThisDay Style. She called, I jumped and nearly 3 years on...I'm still writing. ThisDay has garnered me acres and acres of free press, keeps the name Tiger Tem in people's minds and has given me a secondary career that I love.

BUT...I must add, everything about what I do is way harder than it seems and no, its not always fun. But I do love what I do and wouldn't trade it.

I need a lot of tutorials with blogging itself before I try to acquire new knowledge about e-commerce, e-payment etc which seems like is the way forward to the next level.
If you want to get into e-commerce the easiest form of payment is Paypal. Either take a look at a lot of start up websites or speak to a web designer about the best way for you to set up a retail website. But if you're based in Nigeria, bear your shipping costs and delivery times in mind.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tiger's Daily Bite

And oh my golly gosh it would be downright cruel not to share such hotness with all of you. Is he married yet?

I loved him on LA Law and then didn't see him for a while until he came back to us briefly as Miranda's short lived boyfriend on Sex & The City. But now he's back properly on Dirty, Sexy. Money. Aside from the fact the show 'had me' with the name, its a great show, one of my favourites from the new breed.

And the fact that his character is a sexy, mysterious billionaire probably doesn't hurt (yes billionaire not millionaire).

Tiger Tem....decor idea

Doing mad research on decor ideas for the next Tiger Tem and I found this rather fabulous picture.

Its extremely unlikely I'll have a huge piano in there but I love the colors, proportion and print. And that dark brown it!


I'm not talking about the Ikeja one, that's already been decided...I'm talking about the next island boutique, which is still very undecided!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Tiger's Daily Bites - Triple Threat

Thanks for all the support. Will definitely keep you posted on how things progress on the relocation front. Work on the Ikeja branch starts this week so that's pretty exciting.

In the meantime how about some fashion frippery.

Here's what I call a triple threat. And yes I probably would wear them all together. They don't call me Tiger for nothing.

This green Hermes Baccara clutch is uberglam. The slick green croc, the structured shape and the simple style make this a winner on every front.

These Givenchy D'Orsay heels are just fantabulous.

I love purple. I love skirts and I love Vanessa Bruno so this cutie gets my vote.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Location, location, location

Today went really well. Nigerians officially love GoldenBleu!

We had a good turnout and sold a lot more than I expected so I'm happy.

I mentioned a while ago that Tiger Tem would be relocating this year. Well, the time for that is getting sooner. I'm not renewing my lease on our current Musa Yaradua property. After initially thinking a mall might be a good idea and speaking to a few people about it, I've vetoed it.

Ultimately I want Tiger Tem to retain a degree of exclusivity and be a 'destination' boutique. The quirky nature of what I do would be lost in the intrinsically homogenous nature of a mall. AND I must add there's too many people doing some approximation of accessories in most malls so I feel that would devalue my brand. Tiger Tem's only going to be more upscale with time so I might as well continue on the same thread now.

I'm not carrying on with the Tea Room. Its not a scalable plan and I'd like all branches of Tiger Tem to be fundamentally similar enough to be instantly recognisable. So I want a smaller space, but I don't want a stand alone building....far too much hassle and boy oh boy have I learnt that lesson.

So readers, I'm asking for suggestions. What are your suggestions, thoughts, ideas on where I should move my Island brand of Tiger Tem to?

I happily say Island branch as I'm opening an Ikeja branch off Allen, next month. Which has highlighted the importance of fundamental similarities.

So....your thoughts please.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tiger Tem Launches GoldenBleu this SATURDAY!

Hey people, Its been a ridiculously busy week for me so sorry for not updating. And naturally when you don't have time for these things is when something like the internet packing up happens. Anyway today its working so let me not jinx myself by complaining!

The GoldenBleu launch is tomorrow and I am officially EXCITED! There's a bit of a buzz going so I'm sure we'll get a good turnout and the bags are so absolutely fabulous they definitely sell themselves.

GoldenBleu is the hottest handbag brand from California.

Launched in 2004, GoldenBleu quickly distinguished itself with its striking designs and luxurious Italian leathers in bold, unique colours…and they continue to seduce shoppers the world over.

Since the company’s launch, celebrity trendsetters have sought out their little pieces of GoldenBleu. The bags have been spotted with Cameron Diaz, Rachel Bilson, Eva Longoria, Lucy Liu, Halle Berry, Nicole Richie, Amerie, Beyonce, Jessica Alba…to name a few.

The accessories brand is sold in over 300 boutiques and high end department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, across America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

And Tiger Tem is ecstatic to be their first AFRICAN stockist!

The collection will hit the shop floor on Saturday 22nd March. From 12 noon onwards.
Tiger Tem, 22 Musa Yaradua Street, Off Idowu Martins, VI.

See you there.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More pics as promised

I've been a busy little bee...big conference. More on that later.

Here are some more pics from our day on camera as promised.....

We've got lots and lots of fierce new sunglasses.

Lights, camera, action!

The hysterical Denrele made sure the models were kept entertained!

Say it with me.....FIERCE! Even Tyra would have to agree.

Thanks for all the support!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ready for your close up?

So yesterday at Tiger Tem was the most fabulously fun day.

Why? Because then entire day we had a camera crew in there with us. The Soundcity team are launching a new channel, Spice TV, that's billed to be the African E! and the program being filmed at Tiger Tem is a hybrid of The Fabulous Life of and Cribs. Which sounded like far too much fun and free publicity to pass up on. The channel's being launched in April and Tiger Tem has top billing for the show. Will confirm when it will be aired as soon as I know.

Its the first time I've been the focal point of what's happening on a TV set, I've been to a couple before when I was much younger and obsessed with the idea of being an MTV Producer. So lights, camera, action. And oh my is that a hell of a lot more complicated than it look!

Exec Producer Kemi Adetiba was fabulous as she was pretty clear on what she wanted and it felt like a true meeting of minds. I LOVED every second of it...well apart from how HOT it got under the lights. Next time I'll have to be a lot more vain and get hair and make-up in to 'look after me'!!! I felt a little unprepared as the original plan had been to shoot a few days later but due to conflicting was game on.

Anyway here are a sneak peek pics of the 'set', even I have to say Naomi and Lex and Tiger Tem did a sterling job of helping me make sure the place looked absolutely FABULOUS!

Mic check, one two, one two.

The fabulous fabulous GoldenBleu bags on display in the Tea Room.

Creative use of a fabulously sexy carving. And yes, the carving's for sale too.

Naomi, an invaluable member of Tiger Tem staff.

I'll post more pics tomorrow...tired now.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just Blaze

There's a new hot commodity in town and its the eternally stylish blazer. Tuxedo style, preppy chic or cropped are the way to go. Gone is the power shoulder pads and stiff formal look. These are all about laidback sex appeal, via a touch of masculine tailoring and softened lines.

Here's my pick of the bunch.

Balenciaga did one of the best preppy chic blazers. The classic navy blue with white trim makes this so Hamptons. Fabulous.

BB Dakota are a very affordable and very cute brand and this blazer just tips the $50 mark. Not bad.

I wasn't too sure what to expect from her TopShop Collection but the result has been stylish, affordable and wearable...and so the rich continue to get richer. (i.e. Sir Phillip and Cocaine Kate).

This foxy chica at the LaRok fashion show rocks the layered look with the diaphonous top and cropped military style blazer. Hot.

For a little more spring in your step, try this pastel striped blazer from ubersexy brand Nickel. Its the perfect little blazer to throw on with jeans and a tank (from Tiger Tem) and look absolutely fabulousy turned a moments notice.

A white blazer makes a strikingly sophisticated alternative to black and as expertly styled by the team, this Vanessa Bruno blazer teamed with True Religion jeans and Missoni wedges is the perfect way to add a touch of quintessential style to your blazer.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Glam Glads

Its not summer all over the world yet but its fast approaching..and the hottest footwear on the block is set to be the glam gladiator.

Tha gladiator itself isn't new, this will be its 3rd summer in a row..but it is getting a liitle more sexy and a lot more glamourous. Think luxurious finishes, exotic skins, stud detailing, bedecked with bling and metallics always look great on pretty pedicured tootsies.

Here's my best of the bunch.

ASOS £28
The stud detail on these tan leather gladiators takes it up a notch or two in the style stakes.

The authentic looking muted gold croc on these Dolce Vitas make them glamour deluxe at a fantastic price of $90.

Loved Giuseppe Zanottis since I first set eyes on them many moons ago. I love the rose gold leather on these....and aside from the fact that they probably take half an hour to put on, at $ will be many moons before I get a pair for myself.

These gold glamazons are from Jessica Simpson's collection. Not bad, missy, not bad. And only $79.

I am loving the two tone effect snakeskin on these stylish and comfy looking pair from everyone's 'favourite retailer' M& £29.50, me likey.

I love the simplicity of K Jacques. A little (now large) family business started in St Tropez in the 30s which has now has a star studded client list. Nice work. At $244 they're pricey but each pair is made to order with premium quality leather in your choice of colour.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Tiger Tem Loves A Little Wrist Action...or a lot

My favourite accessory right now has to be bangles.

I'm so in love with the African inspired fabulously glamourous chunky bangles. Wood and gold being the top of my list...and when you put them together, well, that just gets me rather excited.

Its all about channeling the secy, glamourous, fabulously laidback urban explorer this season. A little bit of everything from everywhere are this big world of ours just gets smaller and smaller by the day.

Just got these for Tiger, love, love them.


Ok, I don't think I'd actually wear this many at once...but they look hot.

This is a little more like it.

Still can'y pick a favourite!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Chic Afrique

I see Matthew Williamson has finally gotten bored of pimping India and has now moved onto the tribal chic of Africa. As you might have noticed the deluxe boho hippy urban explorer meets out of Africa is HUGE for summer 08.

Matthew Williamson has created a 'vivid expression of the global fashionista'. 'An English rose who dreams of travel and adventure' as his muse, he's utilised African prints and African detail on his new collection. FYI, he's just had a massive cash injection into his company so maybe he just decided to get on a plane to Africa (the country) instead of using up his airmiles on Air India.....

I poke fun but I actually really like Matthew Williamson. he might not be the most exciting but he's consistent in his 'pretty' collections...and for a girl like me pretty will always trump edgy. And I like this collection. One of the best Chic Afrique I've seen from a mainstream designer. I'd wear A LOT of this stuff. You?

I'm loving that soft cotton tie die scarf. Looks fab with the white blazer. I want one. And FYI yes he did do that 'dip dip dye' dress Thandie wore (

... I like the 2nd and 3rd in this pic. Its the scarf....

I love the skirt in the 3rd image. I wear skirts like that a lot. Love this print...and that bag in the left...nice.

Matty often does great belts and this Masai style belt with the yellow dress....I. Must. Have. And yellow is my new favourite colour. But wait, its the scarf again in the 3rd image....I really want one.

Very Talitha Getty rocking the kasbah in Marrakech...but I so want the 3rd dress. Black and pink are always a hot combo and the little peek of lace makes this damn sexy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tiger's Daily Bite - Taste of Africa

No stone is left unturned in the current Africa trend.


Available from

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Steppin It Hotter

A couple of weeks ago I got a very interesting email from a reader who was a bit pissed off that I’d said Beyonce has ‘no style’. She thoroughly disputed this statement and believes Beyonce looks ‘very well put together and sophisticated and frankly it’s a polished look’.

I don't dispute the fact that Beyonce is abso-friggin-lutely beautiful but her style...hmmm. But being the guerrilla researcher I am, (and D is too as she sent me about 20 links)…I took a deeper look in the B Style. While I wouldn’t want to raid her wardrobe as her style isn't really 'me', she does often turn out looking better than the media at large would have us believe. I think the red carpet frequently trips her up…that’s probably Mama Tina’s work.

I’ve put together a selection of images of B looking…surprisingly well put together. D this is for you!

She's steppin up hotter in these pics and I'm not going to fight it...(click on teh collage to see bigger pics)

I WANT that yellow dress.

How cute is the little beret? And yes I did eventually find a couple of red carpet looks I liked.

And this one, its pretty old, from 2005...but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this.

BUT remember fashion is what’s on offer…style, is a personal choice.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Everybody wants a piece of African Style...

Well, well, well...what have we here.

On my usual research mission, I stumbled upon this interesting collection by an Asian designer called Valentine Leung. She's a New York based designer known for her playful and quirky take on timeless shapes and styles.

Valentine Leung is a New York based fashion designer known for her playfully quirky take on classic and wearable silhouettes. As a styling assistant on major titles like Italian Vogue, W, I-D, Dutch, Japanese Vogue and Teen Vogue to name a few, she definitely has the inside track on what is hot now and what will be hot next season. Her firsy collection debuted in Autumn/Winter 2006 and since she's already managed to be featured in magazines as ELLE, HarperÕs Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Nylon, Lucky and People amongst others. AND she's got a handful of stylish celebs in her clothes...Rachel Bilson, Camille Belle and Isla Fisher to name a few.

In her fourth season as a designer, Valentine is already stocked in 26 stores worldwide such as Barneys Tokyo, Nordstrom, Intermix and Printemps in Paris.

Take a look and let me know what you think.
Valentine Belle Butterfly Dress

Valentine Belle Butterfly Dress

Valentine Jewel V Shape Yoke Dress

Valentine Jewel V Shape Yoke Dress

Valentine Shelly Tank Ruffle Hem Dress

Valentine Shelly Tank Ruffle Hem Dress
Love this dress! No disrespect intended but I have to say I have something shockingly similar courtesy of my tailor in Lagos. Still can't knock her hustle. I just wish more African designers would get their stuff OUT there properly. There's a lot of talent but for some reason people seem to reluctant/scared to sell abroad...why is that?

Instead behemoths like Old Navy, and designers like Cacherel and now Valentine bite our style. Hmmmm.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tiger Tem Presents GOLDENBLEU

Game on people!

Would like to invite you to the official launch of GoldenBleu handbags.

GoldenBleu is the hottest handbag brand from California.

Launched in 2004, GoldenBleu quickly distinguished itself with its striking designs and luxurious Italian leathers in bold, unique colours…and they continue to seduce shoppers the world over.

Since the company’s launch, celebrity trendsetters have sought out their little pieces of GoldenBleu. The bags have been spotted with Cameron Diaz, Rachel Bilson, Eva Longoria, Lucy Liu, Halle Berry, Nicole Richie, Amerie, Beyonce, Jessica Alba…to name a few.

The accessories brand is sold in over 300 boutiques and high end department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, across America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

And Tiger Tem is ecstatic to be their first AFRICAN stockist!

The collection will hit the shop floor on Saturday 22nd March. From 12 noon onwards.
Tiger Tem, 22 Musa Yaradua Street, Off Idowu Martins, VI.

See you there.

Join the facebook group I ♥ Tiger Tem for more info.