Nkwo Onwuka, the founder of NKWO; an artisanal design brand at the fore front of sustainable fashion in Nigeria, took us through her journey into her business today. Sticking to her gut feeling against all odds and nay sayers to bringing her brand to life and staying true to her style of being different as portrayed in her pieces is what has made her stand out in the fashion industry. She is a fan of the organic way of growing a business as she believes that your brand should be able to speak for you which will in turn bring the right customers for you. Nkwo ended her session by challenging the entrepreneurs to uncover the existing problems within the value chain and trying to solve them. She also urged the audience to have the patience and work with artisans in order to maintain and keep African traditions alive.
“Always do you and be different. Ignore the pressure and go at your own pace.” Nkwo Onwuka
Ihu Anyanwu aka G.Rizo is the founder of Naija Tech Creatives, a space for problem solving and knowledge sharing and infusion of tech into our everyday lives. She started in January 2019 via a WhatsApp platform and at first, people couldn’t relate to what she was trying to do but she was convinced that they would catch up eventually (which they did). Ihu holds several workshops under her platform and that has been gaining a lot of traction. Her advice to the CESP participants was to hack everything and experiment with everything but most importantly she believes it is important for a designer or creative to know everything there is to know about their craft so they can be in a better position to innovate. She also advised the entrepreneurs to continually research what others are doing out there and keep up with technology trends to help sharpen their skills.
“Dream big, scale down and then scale up eventually.” Ihu Anyanwu
From a humble beginning & a basic start off point, Sarah Audu is a trend setter in the contemporary fashion blogging industry. Her collaborations focus more on “Made In Nigeria” brands that are affordable and of quality. She enjoys working with big and small brands alike. “It is not always about the money but there has to be a value exchange between the two parties involved”. She advised the participants to choose the right influencers to work with their brands by checking factors such as price points, values and aesthetics.
“Focus on your content & make your brand relatable to your target market.” Sarah Audu
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Words by Akumishi Ayenajeh