We had the good fortune of connecting with Victoria Carlos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Victoria, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
One Sunday before church, my African husband looked disappointedly at our one-year-old son’s outfit and said “*sigh* I want our son to wear African clothes to church.” Being the budget babe in my family, I could not justify paying hefty prices for custom made outfits he would only wear once or twice. Still, I wanted our son to showcase his African pride in a practical way that would last him years. I went on a search to find African print bandana baby bibs, and I couldn’t find any that I liked. So, I bought a $20 mini-sewing machine and some African fabric. I taught myself how to use a sewing machine to make baby bibs. Once finished, I texted a picture of it to my sister and she said “Wow, this can be a business!” I replied “No way, I am just making them for my son.” Then my husband shared the same sentiments as my sister. I eventually started selling my bibs to my church members and then found myself selling my bibs online. I am truly grateful.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
All of the bibs on Osisi & Co. are hand-sewn by me. What separates us from our competition is that we choose African fabric colors and patterns stereotypically not used for baby garments like black and deep browns. That is because food stains are so hard to get out of light-colored baby bibs, I’m saving moms all around the world the headache.
I am most proud that I taught myself how to use a sewing machine during the pandemic. If the global pandemic did not slow my life down tremendously, I would not have had the time to learn such an amazing skill.
My faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, gave me the courage to start Osisi & Co. I have to give credit to my business coach for walking with me step by step on how to set up and market my business. One of the challenges I had to overcome was spending a lot of money on my business coach and start-up costs while not breaking even yet. I am overcoming the anxiety by leaning on my support system and reminding myself that all great things take time.
A major lesson I have learned along the way is to PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE. You are the ambassador of your brand, try talking about your business with everyone, you never know who you’ll meet.
The one thing I want the world to know that when you purchase a bib from us, you are supporting a Black-owned, woman-owned, immigrant-owned, Christian-owned business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Here is what we will be doing for your DMV weekend visit:
We’ll be playing tourist and visiting all the popular FREE attractions on Friday. We will visit the national zoo, and all the museums, we can even take selfies in front of the White House if you like. On Saturday, we’ll go on a Black Restaurant tour. I’m talking Ben’s Chili Bowl, Hakuna Matata Grill, The Jerk Pit and more. Since you are leaving Sunday around noon, it will be our day of rest.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give a shoutout to my husband for his all-around support in this business endeavor