Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Samuel Edward Koranteng, CEO and Product Design Lead of WARDO TENGO., located in Accra, Ghana, Africa.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
WARDO TENGO. is a streetwear and lifestyle brand based in Accra, Ghana. The brand aims to create high-quality products for people who appreciate everyday luxury without compromising on their identity this means WARDO TENGO. believes in a world where people can be themselves without judgment and can experiment and express themselves. WARDO TENGO. has a presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
Tell us about yourself
I've always admired Kanye West, from his music to his personality and now his creative ventures under YEEZY. So, being a creative person from birth, I knew I'd do something big with the arts and my craft. I just never supposed it would be in fashion or youth outwear. But still, what started as an interest in denim fabric, then upcycled fashion, and then t-shirt design, and now leather bags, has evolved into WARDO TENGO today. Getting the opportunity to bring out designs and have these ideas become reality is such a thrill for me. I am a strong believer in being Holy Spirit-led in every aspect of your life, and this business is no exception. I believe strongly in what WARDO TENGO. has the potential to become because of all that God's put inside my heart to show the world. I look at fairly young brands owned by Africans like Daily Paper, Casablanca, and Anima Iris that are owning the big stage, and I'm motivated to keep doing this. There's no way WARDO TENGO. can fail.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
As a business owner, your dream is to have your brand gain recognition and complement the work you put in. I saw that happen for the first time when WARDO TENGO. got shortlisted for a spot at a prestigious fashion pop-up event. It really did feel like we were finally making a mark with our latest Everyday Bag collection. It was a great feeling.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
For small businesses, managing every aspect of the business in the beginning is tough. You're everything all at once, every time. And this is even more difficult when you have a day job to be present at. For most parts of WARDO TENGO now, I have to personally take care of matters. I admit that I've had a ton of assistance from friends and partners, but still, it's challenging to be the sole financier and brawn of the business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
There's so much I can say here, yet I believe that firstly, you've got to love what you do. And that means aligning passion with reality and action. If you believe in something as much as you think you do, then prove it with the work. Next, learn as much about your industry as you can. In truth, never stop learning. It may require that you step out of what's comfortable and talk to people. Get active on your socials, send emails, read, skip silly cat videos (lol), and watch some industry content on YouTube, anything, but never stop seeking more about the industry you want to own. Finally, get a team. One person only goes so far. I'm learning this now and will be making the adjustments necessary. It may be hands-for-hire or commission-based staff, but ultimately, get someone, some people, to work with on your business. No one who ever made it big long-term did it alone – even Jesus needed his disciples.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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