I had the great pleasure to have an interview with Anthony Ujattah, the founder of Antoine Collections, a customer centric brand which delivers premium leather foot wears.
let’s get to meet Anthony…
Kindly tell us about yourself
My name is Sule, Anthony Ujattah. I am the CEO of Antoine Collections the term “smart work” as opposed to hard work was introduced to me by my father. So I would love to describe myself as a smart worker, lover of nature, shoemaking, music and good food.
When did you start your fashion business, how long have you been in business and what inspired your interest?
Antoine Collections started unofficially in November 2017, Officially(after registration) we started in March of 2018. We have been in business for three years and counting. It was personal for me. I could not get nice shoes that fit my big feet I soon realized that this problem was not unique to me alone Antoine Collections is a fash tech footwear company that produces bespoke and ready to wear footwear for our customer the Nigerian millennial while ensuring a delightful customer experience all with the tap of a button.
Tell us about your brand, how does your brand stand out from other fashion brands in
One thing that sets us apart is that Antoine collections is very customer centric.
What has been a major challenge for you as a fashion entrepreneur in Nigeria?
Where do I even start amongst the big three POWER, INCREASING PRICE OF MATERIALS, DELAYED LOGISTICS. I think I will go with the increase in price of materials.
How have you been able to develop your fashion business in Nigeria despite the challenges which you have faced?
I understood that I do not know it all. For starters I am a graduate of Physics. Fashion was basically a new terrain. I had to learn and unlearn thanks to affiliations from the Next Economy Program and the British Council Creative Enterprise Program. I Basically have a bulk of the knowledge I need. Resilence in the face of adversity has helped me a lot understanding that the life of an entrepreneur is one of problem solving the day you stop solving problems is the day you quit.
What do you love about being a fashion entrepreneur?
The ability to create. I tell people that us creatives have a Job description close to that of the Almighty God. We have the opportunity to imagine wide and create wonders with our hands.
What is that one fashion items that you can never be caught wearing? (and why)
T shirts with bold prints especially inscriptions. Makes me feel like I am a walking billboard plus I feel like it is a distraction from the actual beauty of the shirt. Crocs too I understand why health workers wear them but for you and I it just feels like fashion laziness.
What are your hobbies?
Movies, leather working, long walks.
Has your design ever been copied/ duplicated and how did you feel about it?
I advertised my products to a friend three years ago and he sent the photos to someone else to help with referral. The guy took these photos and advertised them as his in a bid to get customers for his own footwear start up. When I found out I was upset however I said to myself may the best brand win.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs who are interested in running a fashion business?
Give life to the brand. Get a name, register it, get a logo, create your mission and vision statements and talk about this. By doing so, you have given life to your brand. Feed it with fulfilling set goals to help you in your mission to actualizing your vision.
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