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MUFUATU AZEEZ OLUWASEUN: SHOE MAKER/DESIGNER (ZAGGA WEARS)

So, guys we have another Shoe Maker in the House!! I don’t know how things could get any better. Azeez has been a part of the Nigerian fashion world for more than a year now, this is his story!

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Azeez was born in 1989 in his hometown Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State. Azeez attended St Johnbusto Nursery and Primary school and Deje High School both in Ijebu-Igbo. He then studied accounting at Olabisi Onabanjo University.

His mother has a business which Azeez has been a part of since age 5 so he grew up to be business-minded. Immediately after school he set out to do his own thing. He applied for jobs but things were not looking optimistic so he turned to entrepreneurship, something he was already good at.

SHOE BUSINESS

After carrying out feasibility studies, in December 2016 Azeez settled for the Shoe Business because it wouldn’t require a big capital and at the time Nigeria was in the middle of the Buy Naija Grow Naija campaign so he just tapped into the groove.

As a shoe lover with a lot of design ideas, he often cringed at the prices of Men’s shoes and since Entrepreneurship is an opportunity to make money from solving a problem, Azeez went into the business of making stylish and affordable shoes.

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Azeez works from home; he turned a room in his 3-bedroom apartment into his workshop, however, he is currently looking to expand to owning a display and retail store. For now his market is online.

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Azeez works with a partner, Ariyo Ose (@osesax) who handles social media and negotiations while Azeez concentrates on the craft. Zagga Wears also works with other social media influencers; @demolaexpoze and @ernalzz

THE ‘ZAGGA WEARS’ BRAND

Zagga Wears is registered as a Business venture with the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission). The name Zagga is a slang coined from a famous Nigerian musician Mr Eazi, but to the team at Zagga Wears it represents trendy but affordable. For now, Zagga Wears produces Sandals, Slippers and Corporate Shoes, they only design and produce shoes for men (Size 40 being the smallest size) and Children shoes are only made on order.

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On why Zagga Wears don’t produce female footwear Azeez said;

     Honestly, ladies price Made in Naija shoes not too well. Men are more open to paying the going price.

CHALLENGES

  • Getting quality materials: To get original leather Azeez had to travel to Lagos regularly. Several months into the business he still travels once in a while but he now has suppliers that can send him leather through a road transport system.
  • Delivery: The cost of personal delivery was very high so Azeez now uses Logistics Companies. He still delivers himself within Ibadan but he has a vendor that helps with Lagos deliveries and he uses GIG Logistics for deliveries outside Lagos.
  • Pricing: Many people ask for ridiculously low prices which upset him, but now his partner, Ariyo Ose, deals with that issue by setting a base price that the shoes do not go below and pricing sizes 40 to 45 differently from sizes 46 and above.
  • Social media goodwill: It has been difficult for Zagga Wears to convince people on social media that the business is legitimate because of the many stories of scammers posing as online vendors. However, they have been able to build a good name with the help of their Influencers.

 

To make inquiries or to place orders you can reach Azeez and his team on;

  • Instagram: @ZaggaWears
  • Twitter: @ZaggaWears
  • Facebook: @ZaggaWears
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FATIMA UMMIE LAWAL: HENNA ARTIST

Hey Guys, we have a new guest, she’s a Henna Artist! Exciting right?

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Fatima Ummie Lawal was born on the 4th of June in Lagos State. She is a Kambari lady from Yauri in Kebbi State. She attended New Capital School, Stella Maris Primary School and Stella Maris Secondary School in Abuja where she held the position of a General Prefect. Ummie studied Computer Science at the American University of Nigeria, Adamawa State from 2009 to 2013 and mastered in Information System Management at the University of Salford, Manchester from 2015 to 2016 where she trained to be a Business Analyst and Developer.

HENNA ART

At the end of the year 2014 as Ummie was preparing to go for her Masters program, she came across a beautiful picture of henna, the design was different and it was neat. She went through the person’s page, saw more designs and thought to herself ‘if this is possible I should find where to learn when I go to school’. So she met up with a Moroccan henna artist she found on Instagram in Manchester and had a class with her; then she kept practicing on her own to perfect the craft.

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Ummie decided to turn her Henna to a brand in the last months of 2016 and she currently has a Natural Traditional Spa in Kado estate Abuja. Ummie has some standard designs she displays on her social media and in person to her customers to choose from but usually people come with pictures of what they like which she recreates with personal tweaks here and there.

CUSTOMERS

Ummie’s customers are often Ladies between the ages of 19 and 35. She has had a few male customers who have requested for lines and tribal looking designs but she stopped receiving male customers after she got married.

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PROFESSIONAL CAREER AND HENNA

Not too long ago Ummie had a 9 to 5 job so she only opened her Henna spa on the weekends. However, using the internet as a working tool, Ummie now does her Business analysis and development on the go (online/part-time) leaving her with enough time to attend to her wonderful customers.

CHALLENGES

  1. Appreciation:

‘A lot of people don’t regard being a henna artist as a job so they don’t want to pay what you charge. Downgrading it constantly to isn’t it just henna. Some will say. Anh anh. This simple henna ya charging this? I think this is a general problem in Nigeria. We don’t appreciate people that do hand work. But, the Customer is always right remember? So, I usually smile, take a deep breath and reply with I understand you. Unfortunately, this is my price.

You can reach Ummie for her services or further inquiries on;

  • Instagram: @houseofhermanaabj
  • Twitter: @Ummie_L