Monday, 8 August 2016

Meet Anne Ekwueme fashion designer per excellence

Anne Ekwueme is an entrepreneur that is admired by many for her knack in starting businesses and excelling in them. She is currently the CEO of a clothing line, one of Abuja’s finest and fastest growing fashion houses.

Q: Educational Qualification:
I hold a post graduate diploma in business management and currently pursuing, The International Masters in Business Administration. I 
successfully completed "The Prince 2 Foundation examination with the Association of Project managers in the United Kingdom. The APM Group
I hold a diploma in ministry from Rhema Bible Training Center Nigeria, with specialization in Societal Leadership, a Certificate in Entrepreneurial management from the Pan African University formerly known as Lagos Business school. 

Q: Your restaurant though young received a couple of positive reviews. I was there a few times, why did you close it up?
Hmmmm I closed it temporarily, I will revisit it sometime in the future.

Q: You recently started a clothing line Zibah that is making waves, How did this idea come about?
I will say I started again after 11 years. I was making clothes back in 2003, But I had to  stop because I needed to focus on building my family. That is not to say the family is completely built now, but at least my oldest child will be 15 years in December and my youngest child is 6 year old.

I have always liked styling & helping people with personal grooming. 

Q: What class of people do you cater for?
I cater for every female, young and old. Besides my daughter, my youngest client is, I think 8 years old. 

Q: A lot of people think that designers like you are expensive. Do you think they are correct?
No I do not think they are correct because the word expensive is relative. We are all not at the place. We all place value on different things, some people place value on Time (too busy to deal with issues of their wardrobe & will rather pay for the service). Quality (A lady came to me to make her clothes and brought her zips & lining, I reassured her about the quality of my working materials). Finishing of a garment, some other people place value on the environment and ambience where they have their clothes made or bought. Some place value on excellent customer service while some simply place a value on your creative ability and are ready to pay for it. 

Q: Nigerians are said to be one of the most fashionable lot in the whole world. How true from your point of view is this?
Hmmmm we are fashionable, but not the most fashionable. Besides Europe, Brazils cultural influences, from Africa to Europe and Asia, make the country’s fashion extraordinary and internationally acclaimed. Today, Brazilian clothing industry has grown strong on the global markets. Original design and custom-made lines rival the world’s largest industries – the country is currently the second largest denim fabric producer and fifth largest apparel producer in the world.

Q: How important is looking good? Do you think people should spend so much money on grooming?
Yes it is absolutely important to look good. I heard a teenager tell other teens like herself that “you should dress how you want to be addressed" 

Looking good goes beyond wearing expensive clothes and accessories. It's first about ALWAYS looking NEAT and your CARRIAGE. That includes your hair, how you smell, your nails etc (For example, it doesn't cost anything to buy a nail file of N200 to keep your nails neat whether short or long). Be true to yourself & do a self-assessment. Then wear appropriate clothing for your body type.

The question about spending so much money on grooming is relative. That's why carriage is very important. You don't have to break the bank to look good. It's about paying a bit of attention to yourself. It is knowing where you are at every stage in life and pace yourself. There are good clothes out there for everyone. It also depends on how the clothes are worn. Follow trends, but not mindlessly. Adapt trends & make it your own. 

Q: You are a health freak, what is your motivation and how do you think obese persons can lose weight?
Lol @ the word freak. I have always liked the idea of being slim and always paid attention to my appearance. Exercise & watching my food type has always been a part of life since I turned 20 years old. And most importantly I believe that, God has given us the gift of our bodies and it's our responsibility to take of it. 

Yes talking about how to lose weight. The 1st thing about weight loss is understanding what makes you put on weight.

Insulin as we all know is a hormone that plays a key role in the regulation of blood sugar.  We know that the lack of insulin or inability to adequately respond to insulin, can each lead to symptoms of diabetes. Yes, but in addition to its role of controlling blood sugar levels, Insulin is also involved in the storage of fat. It plays a big role in the body's metabolism. 

Everyone can lose weight by suppressing Insulin. When you stay away from carbs & sugar, you suppress insulin and your body produces ketones which you burn as energy & turn your body into a fat burning machine. 

Weight loss requires a total life style change. I can tell you for free, (lol) that when you go on a low calorie diet, as soon as you get back to your normal lifestyle the weight comes pouring. Exercise is excellent to keep your heart active and your body toned. But weight gain & weight  loss is a direct result of what you eat. The big question is usually, how can you stay away from carbs & sugar for the rest of your life. Well if you switch it and make carbs & sugar a treat & begin to add health fats to your diet, Get your carbs from vegetables that grow above the ground and stay with the organic Sources of protein in moderate quantities, drink 3 liters of water daily add some exercise activity.
In trying to lose weight, sleep & rest are very important. When you don't rest, your body produces something called Cortisol and that impedes weight loss. When you get enough rest & sleep you in turn produce leptin that encourages weight loss. 

Weight loss is weight over matter!  

Q: What are your future plans for your business?
Begin manufacturing on a much larger scale locally. 

Q: What advice do you have for those who want to venture into entrepreneurship?
For me as a believer, first I have the Holy Spirit and He is my guide. 
But these questions can be a guide for everyone. 

Firstly, what problem you want to solve? What need do you want to meet? What do I need to know or learn to be able to solve the problem? 

Secondly, what is the viability of the business? After your family & friends have patronized you, are you able to sell your products or services? 

Lastly, you can begin to think of a viable financial plan. Money should always come last because if you are have money or given money, but you don't have a plan, trust me, that money will be wasted. 

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