Some hairstylists and fashion designers in Abuja have expressed concerns over low patronage for hair and tailoring services as the yuletide approaches.
Some of them told journalists in separate interviews on Sunday that so far, patronage has been low when compared to previous years.
Rita Adegbite, a fashion designer in Wuse, said preparations for the festivity have been slow because of the economic challenges in the country.
She said, “Not many people have patronised me yet as compared to last year, and I think it is because things are harder this year.
“If I were to rate the patronage in percentage, I would say that by this time last year, I had 100 per cent patronage, but so far today, I will say 60 per cent.”
She, however, said that she was hopeful that the coming days would bring in more customers and increase patronage.
Similarly, Madaki Joyce, a hairstylist in Wuse, said, “Many families have had difficulties feeding their families; this has also affected businesses like ours.
“In 2022, before this time, there was already an overflow of customers in my shop as of the third week of December.
“Things are so horrible these days that some people will come to make their hair and plead to pay less for the service later,” she said.
She attributed the low patronage to the country’s hard realities while praying for a better tomorrow.
“By God’s grace, people are still coming to make their hair, though the pace is slow. I am hopeful that it will get better.
“Despite this, I have produced enough wigs for people who preferred wigs, with the hope that people may still come to buy.
“I am still hopeful, actually, for a change, she said.
Another vendor, Chidera Joseph, a fashion designer in Wuse, said that even though she has had loyal customers who patronised her irrespective of the economic hardship, the numbers had dropped.
According to her, the challenges of the country have not given people room to feed themselves and wear clothes at the same time because of the high cost of living.
She added that the Christmas season was one of the periods when tailors experienced high patronage and made a profit, but this year had taken a different turn, and “only a few can afford the luxury.”
Ms Joseph said the situation had stopped her from having new customers during the yuletide, unlike in the previous season, where there was usually a rush.
She added that things in Nigeria had become harder than before, adding that God was still providing and doing the impossible.
Christmas in Nigeria and other parts of the world is celebrated on December 25 annually and it usually involves the buying of all sorts of foodstuffs, materials, and human and home adornment.
The situation this year is different because of the current economic situation.