My name is Chukwuemeka Okoye. I hail from the Eastern Part of Nigeria called Anambra State. I had a memorable childhood because we moved around a lot. I developed a habit of being industrious as I come from an independent family. From a young age, I have always thought of ways to support my grand parents and parents. I developed several interests in Agriculture, Fashion, Entertainment and Arts. I fostered a lot of knowledge and add ons which helped me understand each of my interests and I can speak diversely on acquired skill on any of them if called to be exact. I have a knack for learning new things that would improve my life, therefore you would only find me seeking for more information, knowledge and growth.
My journey started way back 2009 during my academics year. I thought of several ways to support my educational bills as it was a lot of responsibility on my family at the time. So I went into several business options such as BUY & SELL. I would visit the popular ONITSHA MAIN MARKET in Anambra Nigeria, or FABRICS MARKET at SCHOOL ROAD ABA ABIA STATE NIGERIA to purchase ready to wear merchandise which I would resell. A few students identified with my fashion style which prompted me to also make more of my designs and trade with interested buyers. I survived quite a number or hurdles as a result of my passion and over a time, I decided to make an advancement into custom clothings . I made Tshirts and have different inscriptions on them and we have grown internationally and now we have options for male and female. Soon we would be launching our traditional wear line, which would be used to express the versatility of our native wears.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
The biggest hurdles I had to face on a scale of preference. Firstly, I would say finance because it is a huge factor and one of the most important thing. An entrepreneur can hardly thrive if he/ she does not have access to finance. Secondly, social media presence would today be accepted globally as the worlds best tool for reaching a wide range of clients and prospects . My social media background wasn’t one to be boastful of as I had very few followers on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. However, God blessed me with an opportunity of being a competitor in the reality tv show know as 2019 BIG BROTHER NIGERIA PLATFORM where my talents and skills were developed and my brand image was seen by all. That alone grew me an organic fan base whom have greatly supported my journey and helped me overcome my fears .
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I would advise any young Entrepreneur to read a book that motivated me called (SMALL MONEY, BIG BUSINESS By Akin Alabi)
(TEACH TO BE RICH By Robert T. Kiyosaki )
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I encountered little troubles with my dad , as he isn’t a big fan of talents and expressions. In a typical African family you are expected to follow the footsteps of your father. But I wanted to follow my own step, initially it was difficult but I later won when I started becoming successful.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
The fact that I remained consistent and I never ever thought of giving up.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I learnt never to procrastinate, I move ahead with my plans and ideas and I follow my instincts. What you plan to do now should be done immediately if convinced, rather than keep overhauling your plans.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Dear entrepreneurs, I would advice you to study your terrain carefully and know what the market / industry wants and strive for it. So no pursue a carrier in trade because you think it’s trending or you’d succeed judging from other point of views . Well, learn to follow your perspective, read verse, study a new mentor and have a vision board or plan and this would help you set your priorities straight. Never expect things to be easy, but I wish you good luck.