When it comes to crossing the Ts and dotting the I’s in youth entrepreneurship around the Calabar circle and the south-South region as a whole one name that is very difficult to skip is the name behind the fast rising La’shakara Empire, Mr Joseph Edet. This young energetic and highly instrumental lifestyle entrepreneur has been a leading figure to the development and nurturing of a handful of young men and women around his circle and has been tagged the “Armancio Ortega” of this era.
That’s a secret though.
Because he has been on the spotlight and we’ve had stories about him here, here and here we took out time to follow Joseph on his journey through building the La’shakara brand and a few things in between.
Here is how it went….
What led to the creation of La’Shakara branding and clothing company?
The desire to impact lives via entrepreneurship and fashion.
Take us through your journey as an entrepreneur, what is the best thing that has happened to you since you choose this path.
Gaining the reputation of a branding and fashion entrepreneur and being one of the forces to reckon with in entrepreneurship in the South-South of Nigeria. (My multiple awards can speak for me. LOL)
How did you finance your start-up?
From my NYSC allowance savings, I saved up #20,000 which later turned to #10,000 after i had to give out lots of free t-shirts.
What defines the La’shakara Brand?
Innovation, Creativity and Style.
How has the market response been since you launched?
It’s been a bit tough but most times profitable.
How does it feel to see people wear your brand?
Fulfilled and proud of myself.
Looking at the present state of the nation,where do you get materials for clothing?
Lagos, Aba and China.
Do you make ready to wear or just made to order only?
We make both ready to wear clothing and also take orders with customer’s specification.
What is the cutting edge you think your brand has above its competitor?
Our ability to re-invent trends and imply creative marketing strategies.
How many employees do you currently have?
Do you offer training opportunities?
Yes, we do.
Any regrets having your business based in Calabar?
What are your expansion plans?
Currently, we have three branches which we hope to make five within the next six months and twelve in two years.
What inspires you as an everyday person?
The need to be a pace setter and solution provider to many problems facing our generation.
As an entrepreneur, do you consider yourself really as impactful as the society perceives you to be?
Yes, I do. My firm collaborates with skill acquisition centres and thus i have been able to motivate and inspire over 500 Nigerians to start up their businesses and grow existing ones.
Do you have mentors, who are they?
Yes, I do. In leadership: my pastor, Dr. Austin Mboso and in business one of my senior friends: John Etim Bassey (D.G Investment promotions Cross River State).
What’s your favourite business quote?
You do not have to be great to start but you have to start to be great.
How do you relax?
Spending time with my beautiful wife , watching movies and hanging out with close friends.
Advise for young entrepreneurs coming into business?
To be successful, you must decide exactly what it is you want to accomplish then resolve to pay the price to get it.
And it’s a wrap guys, do you know Mr La’shakara, do you believe he has done more or less than we have covered in this interview? we’ll like you to hear from you and don’t forget to share this inspiration with your friends on your timeline.