We are pleased to introduce our Love Life Series with a special Mother's Day feature of a cool mom, Mimi Ade-Odiachi, a garden designer, who loves and wears THIS IS US! We sat with her, shot some looks, and talked about everything from design to raising conscious kids.
Can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
I’m a garden designer and so I spend my days either going to set up gardens or inspecting already installed gardens. I may also have to attend corporate meetings so I need a style that is comfortable and flexible and THIS IS US does that for me.
Can you tell us a bit about your first childhood encounter with design or creating? How did you end up becoming a garden designer?
I can’t really remember my first encounter with designing. I think I’d just watched my mom doing it. I was always on hand to help her so I guess I picked it up unconsciously. It’s amazing what you pick up by being exposed to something.
Actually I even assumed that people knew how to do it so when people would ask me if I could help them arrange their plants or advise on their gardens I would be surprised that they didn’t know.
Gardening was my mom’s passion. Omar Gardens was her retirement business. She retired as director of HR in Chevron.
At that time I had just had my second child and decided to take a break from work, so I joined her and was helping with admin and accounts while she did the creating.
My dad also retired and decided to move out of Lagos and she asked me to run it. I reminded her that I was a graduate and was going to return to my profession - Insurance and she then said wind it up when you’re ready to go back to work. So that was how I became an entrepreneur.
How does your job affect how you dress or what you buy?
My job entails going to site a lot so I have to be comfortable. I wear a lot of loose fitting cotton or linen clothes or jeans / chinos and T-shirts.
I would define my style as comfortable, free and easy. It’s amazing how these pieces are even sometimes more expensive than other fashionable clothes because I’m very particular about the fabric. It must be breathable as my work is outside. However because they’re quality pieces, they last a really long time so the onus is on me to ensure that my size doesn’t change so that I can enjoy my clothes for as long as possible.
Do you buy a lot of local brands?
I buy a few local brands but my staples - trousers and T-shirt’s are mostly bought when I travel. My first thought when I buy any item is comfort.
How did you hear about THIS IS US? Do you remember what your first purchase was?
My first purchase was the work jacket and I bought it because I could throw it over jeans and tshirts and attend meetings. I saw it on Instagram and fell in love with it. Since then I’ve gone on to buy the work trousers, the shorts set, two Agbada dresses. I love all my THIS IS US pieces. They’re comfortable and versatile.
It’s Mother’s Day this weekend and we’ve heard (and can see) that you’re an amazing mom. Apart from Omar Gardens, how many children do you have? What are their ages?
I have three biological children and many children that I did not birth but who I also love dearly. I have been a Sunday school teacher for about 20 years and all the children I have taught I regard as my children.
So I am a mother of many children.
My biological children though are 36, 32 and 27.
As a mom who’s raised 3 kids, what advice would you give to moms today raising kids who value themselves, the people around them, and their environment — the conscious creatives of tomorrow?
My advise to today’s moms. Enjoy your children at whatever stage they are, and listen to them. Really listen. Let your children never doubt your love for them and teach them the love of God. A child who has that assurance is confident and conscious of others.