Meet Jokelinks, the talented young aso-oke weaver. Her story will inspire you.
I am Adejoke Lasisi, founder and Creative director of Jokelinks Clothing Limited; a company that specializes in the production and training of Asooke (handwoven fabrics). Jokelinks blends traditional with modern wears to create a unique style in clothing.
I am an entrepreneur who is able to bring concepts and ideas alive through mastery of yarn, thread and loom
It seemed impossible to start my weaving profession despite the fact that I’ve had a lifetime experience in weaving. I started weaving at age 9.
At first, this idea of being a professional cloth weaver didn’t receive a warm welcome by my family especially my mother despite the fact that its also her line of business. She had this perception of me impacting into society with white collar job. I convinced her with through the right attitude that this weaving profession can help to disseminate new ideas and innovations into the society thereby reducing over-reliance on government and be independent.
I am an advocate of knowledge and discourage idleness. I train people especially youths to be self-dependent and to be an entrepreneur. I have also impacted the knowledge of weaving cloth (asooke) at different levels especially at secondary school level in line with Oyo State government acquisition skills program for senior secondary schools.
Weaving Profession has taught me how to have good interaction with my community outside my profession because weaving teaches us patience, perseverance, the ability to make decisions, visualization and creative problem-solving.
In 10 years, I see myself and my profession being accepted globally and to be the leading producer of loom weaving cloth (asooke).
My most innovative idea was when I created a diversity in the profession. In the past, people only use asooke for occasional purposes but not for casual wears due to its non-durability. Now, I’ve found a way not only to make it more durable but also lighter and fit enough for casual outfit.
My professional accomplishment was when I went to audition at AYEEN 2014 about my weaving business to some international business experts. They believe my business would move Africa forward through its creative problem-solving and employment opportunity. It was important to me not just because I won the funding award but the fact that they believed in my work. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt is always to believe in my dreams until it attained. Also, never to give up no matter how much I’ve failed
I and my team are working on having a weaving school where people can come from all over the world to acquire weaving skills. The challenge I am facing is access to enough capital to acquire locally made loom, big space for weaving centre and housing facilities with other logistics included. I have the right attitude, experience and skills to train people to be a successful weaver. Even as I impact positively, I want to learn to be the best entrepreneur. To me, weaving isn’t just an occupation, its a feeling, an art, a passion. I use my creativity to inspire people especially youths. I attend business and entrepreneurship classes not just to learn but also to have access to guidance from proven leaders so as gain experience in leadership, accountability and ethics. I also need to be financially empowered in order to carry out these ideas efficiently and effectively.