Mushin Leather Market - Part One

This post was originally made in 2011, but to be honest, not much has changed. I was at the market today and decided to put up a sequel to this post...it will be up in a bit, in the meantime refresh your memory before then will ya'


I was in Mushin a few days back doing what I love doing best...you guessed it, buying leather! It was a wet day and it had to be a quick in and out for me, I was in the market like a few minutes past  8:00 am and out by 10:00 am (that is a record for me cos visiting this market is usually like a full day's event for me, I never get tired of this place, it seems I am always discovering new stuff... it's great I tell you) 

As far as I know Mushin is the largest retail leather market in Lagos (I stand to be corrected) where you can get both imported and locally produced leather and not to mention fake leather (though the sellers will swear that it is genuine) You can get just about any kind of leather here... that's if you are willing to get on your knees (errr not reeeeally or rather not always..but you get my drift) and dig through piles of musty leather for that greeeeeeat looking piece that you have been searching for all your life, just to be told that most of that greeeeeeat piece sold out a few days back - if not you will just have to settle for what is hung on nails and hooks, but trust me digging for leather is much more fun!!! I get most of my metal/bronze accessories here too. 

                                          

Continue for more pictures and tips on how to make this wonderful market work for you

                                          
This seller sells mainly shoe making stuff, but that's not to say I wont buy from him when I see something that might work for me

 This is Joyce, I get most of my metals and other accessories from her. The pieces pinned on the board behind her are samples of what she had has available... just pray that the piece you want at a particular time is in stock cos a piece being on the board doesn't necessarily mean it's in stock (That's Mushin for you) 
More of Joyce's shop, how she makes sense of all this stuff amazes me
See what I mean about making making sense? 

Over time I have learnt that to get the best out of this market, you have to;
  1. Have an idea of  Know what you want
  2. Have the time to search for what you want
  3. Never shy away from asking questions and always take what the sellers tell you with a pinch of salt
  4. When the sellers tell you it wont work, say thank you but buy it and try it out first
  5. See accessories you like? TAKE EVERYTHING!!! or if you are short on cash at the time, put money down on everything but make sure you go back to collect ASAP, chances are you might never not get them again
  6.  Fight the urge not to always buy the first leather you see (easier said than done I tell you) cos chances you might find something better just when you have run out of cash.
  7. Ignore sellers that shout and make noise to get your attention, those that have the good stuff wont call out, they will wait for you to find them after many hits and misses
  8. Learn to talk from the corner of your mouth to other buyers to feel them out on what you are purchasing to get their view on genuineness and price- some might oblige you and some will try to be standoffish- forgive but forget them!
  9. Wear flats or slippers, jeans/pants in short dress comfortably and be ready to climb, duck, jump, push back, dodge and where necessary elbow through buyers, sellers, hawkers, children, cars, bikes, goats, chickens... you name it hehehehe
  10. Last but not least (I need to sleep...it's 1:57 am) learn to take in a lot from the corners of your eyes without alerting the sellers... window shop in style while still moving fast on your feet - dodging, ducking, jumping...you get my drift
  11. Oh....and another last, when you see what you reeeeallly reeeealllly want... look bored, uninterested and almost angry even, act like it's not really what you are after but are going to make do with it anyway, don't act over excited or that way they will never reduce from the initial price (easier said than done I tell you, most times I get carried away and get cheated in the process, but I still end up a happy camper lol!!!)
On a final note (this is the last I promise) always take the time to be nice and courteous to the sellers, it cost nothing I swear and don't forget that just like you they are out to make a killing (so to speak) I have come to learn that you can make loyal customers too out of them, you will find that some that are willing to go out on a limb for you i.e holding down items for you without prior deposit, telling you what and who not to buy from, alerting you of new stock deliveries and such small favours... you know


Kai!!! I need to sleep. I hope to take pictures soon... I have been working and neglecting the pictures part mainly because I do not have a proper camera... there is just sooooo much a phone camera can do (even for a smart phone) So hopefully I should be able to take care of that bit this weekend or early next week and I will put'em up for all ya viewing pleasure. 


But in the mean time be thankful for what you have and thank you ever so much for stopping by and the support.  


Xoxo

13 comments:

chiaka said...

Are you kidding me!! I thought you imported your leather yourself.... I've been to mushin to get leather for a set of leather couches & I felt it was a harowing experience since the "original" leather came in varying quantity of pieces you had to cross your finger & pray silently it was enough for what you wanted. But now I'm motivated to go back with tips I got from you....thanks

Gidan Nodza said...

I wish I had the resources to import my leather myself, soon Insha Allah.
Good luck on your next trip to Mushin...

Ms. Catwalq said...

Hi, I need to talk to you. How can I do that? I sent you an email as well...

Good Naija Girl said...

This was a very interesting trip to the market...love these kind of posts!

hannah foullah said...

Dear Amina,
My role model. Yes always remember that you have a BIG fan here in Sierra Leone.
You know after going through this piece, I realise that I should probably take another shot at sourcing materials I need. I honestly thought you ordered stuff from somewhere. Little did I know that you made do with what you had locally. You have helped me see that I need to take a different route in getting what I want. So though we don't have people here who sell such material, I see that many do sell second hand bags etc. Now what I could do, is talk to one or two and tell them what I am looking for and check them from time to time for bits and pieces.
Thanks Amina. You're amazing.
Hannah
Freetown, Sierra Leone

Gidan Nodza said...

@ GNG: Thank you, will try to see if I can post more of these kinda posts.

@ Ms. Catwalq: Sorted!

@ Hannah: Way to go Hannah! Although my head is kinda swelling from your compliment :D
I know of a lady that re-uses leather garment for her bags. I will send you a link to her site, that could help.
Thank you guys for stopping by.

Lola said...

Hello Gidan,

I really appreciate your post, please can you help me with a particular customer of yours there in mushin if you have any?

Thanks

Adeyemi Oladotun said...

Kudos. I intend getting leather for couches. Can you help with a reliable seller and price range? Would love to contact you. Jazakallahu khayr.
08166772966

martins olaide said...

I love this. I've learned something here,cos I visit that market every week.

Unknown said...

Aside from Mushin is there any other leather market in lagos?

Unknown said...

Aside from Mushin is there any other leather market in lagos?

iam sultana said...

Wish you had more pictures, i would love to see. I reside in Abuja n my search online for leather fabric led me here, lool!! Good write up. The tips will certainly b helpful, i can relate to alll of dem.

Adekunle Adeleke said...

lol pls hw can i get trust seller dis my number 08163752336 thx

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