Chinemerem Nduka: Building a successful clothing brand | Popgen Tech
Chinemerem Ogbuokiri-Nduka is the founder of Top-Notch Fit (TNF) Collection, a small medium clothing brand that manufactures and sells Durags across Nigeria.
Launched at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, TNF launched its first clothing lines in May 2020.
The young entrepreneur says his brand supplies 11 states in Nigeria.
The young entrepreneur was inspired to launch TNF by his love for Durags and positive feedback from his family and friends, as well as his passion for creating quality, unique products.
The young entrepreneur says that inspiration boosted his morale as he purchased the necessary materials and began manufacturing his sewing machine at home.
“I started making Durags for my personal use because it took time to order from overseas. People eventually started liking my Durags and I decided to make them for sale,” he says.
Chinemerem says he got N8,000 from his mother to start the business. However, his parents supported him with other initial means.
He says, “My parents have always been supportive of all their children wanting to pursue something of their interest.
“And they always call on us to inform them and defend our interests. It looks like they want to be the first investors in their children’s business.”
Since its foundation, my business has developed thanks to the help of family and friends, as well as thanks to constant and conscious improvement of products, – he notes.
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He adds that customer feedback has also accelerated business growth.
Speaking about how he managed to combine entrepreneurship with school education, Chinemerem says that it was difficult to achieve maximum concentration in business as a student.
According to him, despite this, TNF has grown from just friends who love and buy his products to receiving orders from customers all over the country.
He says, “So far, profits have been gradually increasing. And I think after graduation there will be more focus on meeting the need for a greater variety of products.”
Chinemerem tells BusinessDay that he sourced the raw material in Lagos State. As for FX, Chinemerem says it’s a major effect that cuts across all lines of business.
“For my brand, I always have an open and constant line of communication with sellers and in the production process,” he notes.
“I buy all the materials I need for the intended long period, and from a proven supplier.”
On the challenges facing the business, he says it has been difficult to find the right set of qualified people for his business.
In addition, he states that due to the pandemic, it has been difficult for the business to increase sales, noting that he has used social media to sell his products.
“I also tried to be more present during the production process because being Nigerian (negatively intelligent) is becoming more of a mentality,” he says.
On how he is dealing with the new crisis in the cost of doing business, Chinemerem says it has been a difficult period.
“Despite the challenges in Nigeria, we try to maintain all the qualities that our customers like and try to maintain the best experience no matter what,” he says.
“We have maintained our prices for a long period and we guarantee that yesterday will never be better with our customers.”
Asked about the short-term goals of his business, he says TNF aims to increase product diversity, explore new markets and introduce new products.
On long-term goals, he says the business plans to build a self-sustaining system for the brand, open doors for Nigerian creatives and have a competitive presence globally.
Chinemerem, meanwhile, says his business has employed nine people since its inception.
He says, “We were able to hack the quality factor in our products and services by doing direct internal access.”
In his advice to other entrepreneurs, he says that “a belief system must start with you, with you, and for you.”
“Belief remains a thought until it is put into action, and ideas disappear. Realize all your beliefs,” he advises.