Ese Odiete-Ehikhuemelo is the founder of Hesey designs. Hesey designs is an indigenous fashion accessory brand that encourages the use of locally sourced products like Ankara. Ese started her business with funds which she had saved up immediately after graduating from the University. Her work has won several awards and has been featured in several top magazines. She remains an inspiration to many youths.
Ese started out with no prior knowledge of fashion as a graduate of mass communication but she had a passion for Ankara accessories which she learned by watching tutorials on YouTube. She decided she was going to be her own Boss. Since inception, Ese continues to empower women entrepreneurs through her training programs and create job opportunities.
Enjoy STM’s exciting interview with Ese:
Can we meet you?
My name is Eseoghene Odiete-Ehikhuemelo. I Am the creative director of Hesey designs.
What line of business are you into and how were you able to start?
I am into Fashion accessories. I started after my university degree (I studied Mass Communications) with my savings of N10, 000.
Apart from capital, were there any other challenges you encountered when you were starting up?
As a young entrepreneur, starting up was difficult. My first main challenge was sourcing for capital for my business. I had to make do with the little savings I had and grew from there. Also getting the products out. I couldn’t afford a store so I made use of the Internet. I sent emails to several fashion sites requesting that they feature my designs. I knew I had a great product but I needed to be known. So many of them featured the product with my contact. A lot of people started contacting me requesting for the product.
Business management. I started after the university and didn’t have an idea of how to go about running a fashion label. So I read up a lot of articles and business management books. Books and articles on how to start and run a fashion label especially with little funds.
My present challenges are getting adequate materials, dealing with craftsmen and shipping products internationally. It is very expensive sending our products to customers abroad. We looking to work with a courier firm that can offer us great services at a fair price.
Tell us about Hesey designs
Hesey designs are African inspired. We sell our products through our website, retail stores etc
What is your vision for your business, in ten year time where do you see Hesey designs?
I see Hesey Designs becoming an internationally recognized brand with outlets in different countries. Am looking to expand; increase sales, empower more people and get closer to our vision.
Who is your mentor?
Advice for young, upcoming entrepreneurs
The internet has provided you with all the resources you need to run a business. The Government and corporate organizations are supporting small business with the necessary funds to take their businesses to another level. You don’t have excuses not to succeed anymore. All you need now is the passion and determination to follow through.
How does it feel like to be the Google Africa Connect prize winner and to be featured on an international magazine (Vogue)?
It’s really amazing; am grateful for the opportunity to be recognized. It is also a motivation to improve myself and my business and impact more lives positively
What changes have occurred in your life after the prize you won in the Google competition?
Well, I have somewhat become more hardworking because I can’t afford to fail.
What is Ese like on a normal day aside business, what do you love doing?
Reading, hanging out with friends.
What clothes make up your wardrobe, what accessories do you like to us along with your clothes?
Am a jean and t-shirt kind of girl. I also wear dresses occasionally.