Explore how innovation and intelligence drives Nigeria fashion entrepreneurs – Gozie Nzenwa, GORGOR
Let’s get to meet you. Please tell us about yourself and your background
My name is Gozie Nzenwa. I am 26 years old, born May 3rd. I attended Command Secondary School Ipaja and Abia state University, Uturu where I studied Library and Information Science. I am a very shy person, I like to sing and act. I’m not a good swimmer and cooking for me is a chore, it’s not something I enjoy doing. I create Youtube Videos and just content that show a glimpse of my life. I have always wanted to be a TV presenter but that dream is just one side. I am the first of 7 children, and I consider myself my dad’s favorite child lol. People say that I am strong-willed, I don’t know that though lol.
What inspired you into starting this business? Did you face any obstacles in the beginning and did you overcome them?
I have always had large feet. I would always hardly see my shoe size in the market and I noticed this when I was in secondary school. It was a big challenge for my mom and dad. When I started shopping, my size was always found where the ugly shoes are, and no one likes ugly shoes. Even when I wear my mom’s shoes, she can’t wear them again because my feet have expanded them. Now, this was the problem. I found out that many people had the same challenge and a solution has to come and that birthed my brand, GORGOR.
I faced challenges in the beginning, such as getting reliable workers, and drawing up my designs to bring them to life because it seems everyone makes the same product but I just continued and kept on pushing, I’m not there yet but I am steady
How do you research and create your latest designs to keep up with the latest trends?
Pinterest is my go-to app. Nature as well. I see something and I know that something beautiful can be gotten from any image and I just sketch.
What would you say is the most challenging part of being a fashion entrepreneur?
I’d say the most challenging is raising funds to produce new designs. I have lots of hand-sketched designs but funds are majorly an issue in producing them but we keep on pushing. As I’m talking to you, I have another design in my head and really want the world to see them.
To satisfy a customer these day requires a lot of skill and tact knowledge, Can you share with us an expected brand experience from prospective clients and how you would maintain it
I have always been a people person so most times, it is always easy to know how to satisfy a client. Most of the clients just want you to know what you are doing and also that you put them first. One time, a client complained about a product, I was trying to explain from a professional point of view but all he wanted to hear was “sorry” so it’s majorly on understanding your client, understanding their need, and gaining their trust.
Can you think of any examples of how working as a fashion entrepreneur has been personally rewarding for you? If you could work with a popular figure in Nigeria, who would that be?
I’d say it’s been rewarding my creative tank. Sometimes I cannot imagine that I could think of certain designs and sketch them then produce them alongside my team. It also made me improve my style. The way I dress, and style my pieces too.
One of the biggest challenges facing the leather industry in Nigeria is the poor quality of output. Many People often complain about the lack of durability of locally-made shoes or bags. How do you intend to change this narrative in the future? Do you have any advice for the government on how to support this industry?
One thing about my brand is the quality control before it hits the market. My motto is, if I cannot use it or buy it, I cannot push it to the market. One issue I have found out is that most people want quality for cheap. Forgetting that if you want quality, you have to pay for quality. One thing I always do is to sensitize my clients on how durable quality products can be and how spending money to get handmade products is not a waste. The government can help the leather industry by creating more tanneries for us, and also reducing the cost of the importation of raw materials. Buy Nigerian brands and push out our products instead of always wearing other popular designers.
We are in a dispensation where skills have become of great value for career growth, What kind of training or education do fashion entrepreneurs need to excel?
Client Relations, branding, marketing, public speaking, negotiation, and any training that would harness your creativity are highly important.
What are the key influences on your fashion brand style?
Simplicity, my personal style, and feedback.
What should Nigerians and the world expect from you in the nearest future?
Expect a worldwide known brand, more creative designs, and more edgy designs too