Featuring on the blog today is one of Africa's finest when it comes to fashion accessories (bags, foot-wears, amongst others). She employs both western and African fabrics in producing "stand-out," quality pieces. Details of an interview we had with her are below. I hope you enjoy it.
9jafrik: Can you briefly tell us about yourself?
Joy: My name is Joy Nwokoro. I am a graduate of English and literature from the Abia state university. I used to be a practicing journalist before I delved into business.
9jafrik: Shannon Creations, what is it all about?
Joy: Shannon Creations produces all kinds of bags, footwear and accessories made with African and western fabrics.
9jafrik: How long have you been in the business?
Joy: We commenced business officially in August 2012 but I started with the "accessories" part while in my third year in the university. That was in 2005.
9jafrik: What initiated the change in professions? Why did you leave journalism?
Joy: Journalism is my first love and so I still do it on a freelance level. Now, back to the story of why I took a hiatus from practicing on a full time scale. After the company I worked for had some issues and thereafter went into oblivion, some milestone events happened in my life. I got married and had my child almost immediately. After three months I just couldn't imagine myself leaving my baby and going to look for another paid employment. So at that juncture I asked God for direction and wanted him to direct me into what kind of business to do. Then it dawn on me that I had made some money from selling beads on campus. Proverbs 31 woman's scripture just popped. So I went to read it again and then clarity about what to do became illuminated in me. To cut the long epistle short; that was how the whole Shannon Creations craft came about.
9jafrik: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Joy: Permit me go spiritual here! I draw most of my inspiration from the Holy Spirit. However, that's not to rule out the fact that my environment as well as those who have walked this path and succeeded does not spur me on too.
9jafrik: The journey so far, how has it being? What are the challenges involved in this kind of job?
Joy: Like a child growing teeth, there will always be a teething stage. No business starts off without some hitches here and there. It was challenging in the first six months of commencement as there was the issue of people really accepting your style. People are used to the foreign made bags, shoes, et al. However over time with consistency and what have you, it's been great.
The greatest challenge in this niche is man power.by this I mean getting darn right diligent and consistent workers have been a challenge.
Other than that, other challenges are a piece of cake that come and fizzle out in a short space of time.
9jafrik: Do you have a unique signature, what distinguishes your job from others out there?
Joy: Our unique signature is our choice of fabric. We go for very durable, appealing and attractive colors that would cause a potential customer to want to take a second look.
9jafrik: What are your fashion "must-haves" for a lady who wants to stay classy and trendy?
Joy: A statement bag and to-die-for accessories (earrings and neck piece)
9jafrik: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Joy: I see a brand that pervades everywhere. I see people being comfortable with our brand, as much as they would with foreign made ones.
In five years I also see a lot of people very comfortable with fusing a skirt and top, trouser and top with our African fabric bags, shoes and accessories line.
9jafrik: Thanks for your time Joy.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Shannon-Creations/417325121682303