Behind the Magic – Tribe of Dumo
Today on the “Behind the Magic” series is my interview with CEO’s of Tribe of Dumo, Ijeoma and Chioma. “Tribe of Dumo” is a name coined from the designers West African last name “Odumodu”, which translates to “LION” and symbolically means “STRENGTH”.
Their mission is to bring their love of African Fashion to the world stage and intertwine the African textiles with everyday western styles, to make every man, woman and child feel like part of a Fashion Tribe, “Tribe of Dumo”, where Culture meets Couture.
I was intrigued that despite having a lot in common as sisters and business partners, they each have their own unique style and take on life. Read the full interview below and I hope you enjoy it.
- How did you know what to do with your life?
Ijeoma – It came naturally to me. I always had a flare for fashion and I enjoyed dressing up people and making them look good. I initially started styling people with other people’s designs, but later I wanted to use my own designs and creations.
Chioma – I still don’t know what to do with my life, it feels like trial and error. I know I have to do something though, so for now I’m doing anything and everything I want to do.
- Give me 3 words to describe your brand and individual style?
Our Tribe of Dumo brand is afrocentric, modern, street fashion but personally….
Ijeoma – Urban, street style, artsy, punk.
Chioma – Ethnocentric, daring, unique.
- What is your favorite thing to wear?
Ijeoma – Boyfriend Blazer, an A-line or shift dress and rings.
Chioma – Maxi skirt and lapel pins.
- What is your favorite fashion trend of all time?
Ijeoma – Glam punk style with bright colors, leathers and prints.
Chioma – Vintage style with florals and mixed prints on prints.
- Who is your favorite fashion icon?
Ijeoma – Iris Apfel
Chioma – Jessica on the show “Suits”.
- Who’s your favorite designer?
Ijeoma – Delpozo and Moschino.
Chioma – Moschino.
- What did you want to be at 5 years old?
Ijeoma – I really don’t remember wanting to be anything at 5. I first knew I wanted to be a lawyer and fashion designer at 13. I studied Psychology in college and one day I’ll either be working with a non-profit organization or I’ll go back to school to be an Occupational Therapist or Counselor, after I graduate from Art School and my business is stable.
Chioma – I always wanted to be a Medical Doctor, but now I’m the first best thing, I’m a Nurse Practitioner. I also dreamt to be an Entrepreneur. I love fashion, arts and craft. I just want to create.
- Where will you like to be 1year and 10years from now?
Ijeoma – In 1 year I’ll be rounding up with school, working on my senior collection and portfolio to showcase for graduation and in 5 years our collection will be in little boutiques around Houston and we’ll be opening up our own store. I want to launch my personal high end brand called “Ijeoma Odumodu” to compete on the same level with the current Fashion Power Houses. I want to be the most recognized African inspired high end brand. Also I want to be married, with 3 kids, living in the city and running a successful business.
Chioma – Still married to my handsome hubby. As an entrepreneur, I want to be running a company with a few employees, be more autonomous and have more free time to travel. Meanwhile, I’d like to move up the cooperate ladder as a Nurse Practitioner.
- What is currently keeping you excited?
Ijeoma – The opportunities I’m getting, the doors that are opening to help me build and expand right now.
Chioma – My dreams that are coming to fruition and building on those goals.
- What’s the first thing you do when you have an idea?
Ijeoma – I quickly write or sketch it on anything, even a tissue paper.
Chioma – I call somebody.
- Who are your mentors, who inspires you?
Ijeoma – My mom, my sister/partner Onyinye (aka Chioma) and Ms. Maria Saba my Fashion Design instructor.
Chioma – Oprah, my mom, Alero Waterhouse a Nurse Practitioner.
- Who makes you laugh?
Ijeoma – Hmmm…interesting. Goofy people.
Chioma – My brother, he’s the most ridiculous human being on earth.
- What 3 things do you need for success?
Ijeoma – Discipline, determination and prayers.
Chioma – Consistency, passion and planning.
- What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned within the last year?
Ijeoma – Laser focus. How to focus on one thing and not be all over the place.
Chioma – You can’t succeed alone. You have to have a band wagon, your cheerleaders, your tribe, people of like minds and like spirit on your side.
- What’s your favorite quote?
Ijeoma – “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove” – William Shakespeare Sonnet 116.
“Blessed are the hearts that can bend, they shall never be broken” – Albert Camus.
Chioma – “Education is a necessary evil” by” Shooo! I don’t know who wrote it, but I know I heard it 10 thousand times from my mother, growing up.
- What advice will you give your younger self?
Ijeoma – Time isn’t a luxury you have. Don’t waste and splurge your money. Get it done once and for all and you never have to repeat it.
Chioma – Whatever you want to do, do it now and don’t wait for later. We may be in control of a lot, but we’re not in control of time.
- What is coming up for Tribe of Dumo?
We are releasing 2 collections this year – The Spring/Summer 17 Collection on April 30th and our Autumn/Winter Collection during African Fashion Week Houston this September.
- How can people shop your collections and follow you?
You can shop on www.tribeofdumo.com
And follow us on @tribeofdumo on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
Contact us at ContactUs@TribeofDumo.com