I love art and it brings me great satisfaction to create unique works of art with my knowledge and skills. I believe in the grace and will of God for my life. I am a textile graduate from the Takoradi Technical University here in Ghana . I believe in working smart, growing and nurturing one’s value. I am the founder and creative Director of Trudie Art and Craft (TAC) . This is an indigenous Ghanaian business known for designing and making quality and functional handmade bags of all kinds such as laptop backpacks, pouches, travel bags, ladies purses among other great products. Most of the materials we work with are genuine leather, wax prints, denim and burlap /jute. I started this business in my last year on campus because I felt I could use my passion and skills to quench the quality thirst with regards to handmade items made here in Ghana. Even though I graduated as the best graduating female student from my faculty – Faculty of Applied Arts and Technology and graduated on top of my class with a first class honors, I knew I was cut out to do great things with my hands in the craft industry . With this, I didn’t hesitate the decision to do full time with the business after I was done with National Service at Tex-Styles Ghana Limited ( GTP). In the period of four years, Trudie Art and Craft has grown to become a great brand for anything but quality handmade bags of all kinds. My entrepreneurial journey hasn’t been an easy one because when I started the business in 2017, the local market here in Ghana was already choked with similar products I made. But I would say, with sheer determination and the grace of God, my team and I have worked hard to carve a solid name which is always associated with quality and great display of artistry in both the Ghanaian and International markets.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
Just like any other growing business, the business has faced so many challenges in the 4 years of its existence and operations . Getting individuals (workers) to understand the need to grow and maintain the quality our products have been known for was and is still a great struggle. But I learnt to involve my staff on the business journey by discussing the business’ vision and direction of existence to them. By doing so, every staff on board knows that we would all have to work together and do our individual parts as a team to successfully accomplish our ultimate goals. The local market does not provide enough options of materials for production and it is discouraging to learn that even the available materials can not be found and purchased for work on regular terms. So any time I had money to spare I would always buy things in bulk which guaranteed that I will have enough materials to work with for a period.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
Thankfully, I have been blessed with the most amazing and the best support system of friends and family. My parents were my primary cheerleaders. Growing up, they realized my desire to pursue art at a tender age of 5 years and they have been relentless in supporting me all through these years . They make learning and growing in art very easy for me till date.
I worked hard to produce quality bounded bags even when I knew my standards of quality may not sell fast because of the time and cost of production involved as compared to the other inferior products which were already in the market and were fast absorbed by users. This I would say has been a great influential factor in my success these 4 years because I knew the market and the world will learn to appreciate my standards of quality with time.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your success?
I wish I knew how to manage the business’ funds and returns properly with regards to prioritizing the needs before the wants in business. Thankfully, I’ve learned and grown very much over the years. We all have what it takes to materialize what we dream of. Taking a step is the fear and challenge of many but in every step there is a challenge and equally a lesson for growth.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
It all began with an amount less or equal to Ghc500 and here we are creatively moving ahead with the global market in perspective. It wasn't about the money we started with but the steps we took in the right direction.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
Persevere until you get your reward of success!
Contact Trudie Art and Craft:
Call or WhatsApp us on 054 7304 323
Instagram (Trudie_art_craft) @ https://www.instagram.com/p/CI2xygbpL3k/?igshid=1gkrh00qrna5b
Facebook ( Trudie Art & Craft) @ https://www.facebook.com/pg/trudieartandcraft/about/