What started with a compliment turned one young woman’s idea into a million dollar business.
When Kelechi Anyadiegwu started her online African clothing store Zuvaa with $500 two years ago, her idea was to share African-inspired designs with consumers around the world. Zuvaa is estimated to make $2 million in sales in 2016.
After receiving a compliment on her outfit, the tech savvy 24-year-old bought a domain name and started social media accounts.
“I didn’t really know what I was getting into, I just had a vision and I was excited about where that would take me,” New York-based Anyadiegwu told CNN in an interview.
“As a women of Nigerian descent, I grew up with African prints and fabrics. I loved wearing African inspired designs, and whenever I did wear these pieces, people wanted to know how they could also shop African inspired prints.”
Instead of just referring these curious customers on to the designers she knew, Anyadiegwu saw a business opportunity.
“I decided to use my skills in social media marketing and online community building, to create a platform that would provide more exposure for the talented African-inspired fashion designers I knew existed around the world,” she said.
Her success has already landed her on the Forbes 30 under 30 list.
Passion x expertise = a winning formula
While the path of a tech entrepreneur is not an easy one, Anyadiegwu’s education set her up for success.
After studying User Experience Design in the U.S., she combined her passion for representing Africa on the world stage, her keen eye for design and tech expertise.
“I’ve always been a techie. I’m very interested in how technology and design could be used to change lives.
“Zuvaa brought together everything I was ever interested in. My love for Africa, my interest in fashion and my skills in technology