Managing director of Arhecal Fashions, a former reporter with Vanguard Newspaper and former Public Relation Officer of Da Viva, Carol Arhere-Obih reported the fashion industry for five exciting years. Apparently, her knowledge of the fashion industry endeared her Da Viva and she grabbed the privilege with both hands when offered the job that would alter her professional trajectory.
Her major brief was to plant the name of the company and its products to the consciousness of Nigerians particularly the fashionistas who always crave for quality fabrics. She was committed to this course and for almost seven years, she was in charge of the company’s media relations. Being an industrious person, she approached the assignment with brilliance and hardwork.
Looking satisfied in her flamboyant skirt and blouse in her cozy store located inside the New Tejuoso Market in Yaba, Lagos, she couldn’t have wished for a better days as customers tropped in and out. Of course, her array of fabrics on display is captivating. From Indian dress to Arabian George and Zara designers bag, she has many items to offer its numerous customers.
Carol studied Theatre Arts at the Delta State University where I studied. She holds a Diploma in Mass Communication from Benue State University and PGD in Public Relations and Advertising. Raised in Warri, after youth service she moved to Lagos where she gave life to her passion for journalism by joining Vanguard Newspaper as a freelancer then joined Da Viva as its Public Relations Office and quit late last year to become her own boss.
Studying Theatre Arts wasn’t really her intention. She set out to study Mass Communications at the Benue State University. She finished the two years there as a diploma student and came back to Delta State University as a direct entry student. “Instead of staying at home or wasting another year I embraced it and funny enough I enjoyed theatre art because it has to do with colours and I cherished the life on stage because I feel life as a human being is on stage. I was able to relay performing arts to my life and was able to do well.”
I was so passionate about it that I learnt how to sew dresses through House of Henry based in Surulere and Ikeja owned by Mrs. Henriettha Agboola. I interviewed her and fell in love with what she was doing. That was how the story of fashion started in my life.”
After five years with Vanguard there was this inspiration for her to explore and when the opportunity came, she got a job offer with Da Viva as a Public Relations Officer.“For me, I have no regrets quitting the media then when I got the opportunity to infuse PR and Advertising, Theatre Arts and Mass communication into another terrain I embraced it. I spent six years and seven months in Da Viva as its PRO.
Recalling memorable moments with the company…” It was an eventful moment bringing that company to the consciousness of Nigerians through the media. In Da Viva, I remember less than five months with the company I took the brand to the African Fashion Week London. It was the first time the brand was entering the UK and people loved the fabrics. Also, we participated in many fashion shows in Nigeria such as African Fashion Week Nigeria, we partnered with Fashion Designer Association of Nigeria (FADAN), Lexy Mojo Eyesof Nigerian Fashion Shows and took the brand outside Lagos: Abuja, Port Harcourt participating in fashion events. I tried to bring Da Viva on board in every fashion show. So my year in Da Viva was eventful. I came to Da Viva, saw and conquered and the name of the company cannot be written without my name because I signed some shops: Ikeja City Mall, Warri and other Shopping Malls and launched the Apapa Store with my boss then John Paul.
Having learnt the rudiment of writing fashion, selling fashion and sewing fashion, Arhere-Obih decides to move on to become his own boss by floating her outfit in December 19th, 2017 which coincided with her birthday. Throwing more light on her latest move and inspiration to float a fashion outlet. “It was when I started getting comments on any dress I wear on my social media. I just woke up one day and said to myself that “I can actually do something with fashion.” From there, I started thinking about floating a fashion store where I can sell fabrics and provide tailoring services as well. That was when the seed started germinating and when I had the opportunity to leave Da Viva, I saw it as an opportunity to realise my ambition.I just went straight and established Arhecal Fashions and more.
Why Tejuoso? She explains her preference for that magnificent market. “Well, for every mission there will always be a provision. The first place that came to my mind was Tejuoso Market because if you know the market in the late 80s and 90s, it was on top of the game as the biggest market in Lagos. It is classy and organized.”
For her, it has been three months of testing the waters. “It has been rewarding and encouraging” she responded. “ I have no regrets about this decision. I am just starting and as you know that there are challenges that come with new businesses. In all, I am happy with what I am doing and where I am and with time I will get to where I want to be. As said, last three months have been encouraging and the next one year Arhecal will be a household name for those who want to do weddings, aso-ebi, looking for quality and affordable bags. We Nigerians love parties and Arhecal fashion is an arena where you can get those quality items that would make you look georgeous on your big day.So I am the next big thing in the Nigerian fashion industry,” laughing.