Miss Haowa Bello is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Madam Coquette and Fula Farm in Lekki, Lagos. She talks about her business ventures.

Haowa Bello. Photo; maestromedia

Madame Coquette

Madame Coquette

This CNN Africa edition already aired but i was deeply inspired by these young African entrepreneurs. So i decided to feature them here .

H-a-o-w-a (not H-a-u-w-a) Bello,  is the founder of Madame Coquette, a company that designs and manufactures a line of luxury leather bags using tanneries in Lagos, Nigeria. She is also a goat farmer and owns Fula Farms, a commercial goat farm in Lekki, Lagos.

Her handbags are manufactured  in Nigeria, and have been sold in New York, Berlin and London. She has been in the handbag business for eight years and her company  in that time has produced over 600 handbags. As for the goat farm that has been on for less than two years and she won a grant to set up the farm.

She said to CNN  that Madam Coquette is working with local tanneries to produce customised leather to boost the leather industry in Nigeria. The desire to do this is what gave birth to Fula Farms, she said.

“Fula Farm is a commercial goat farm, but it is not only expected to provide healthy meat, it supplies tanneries with a superior source of goat skin which will be processed into high quality leather.

She also added that when she tells everyone that she is a handbag designer, as well as a goat farmer, the look on their faces is always priceless.

Fashion designer Dennis Chuene Photo Credit | Chris Saunders.

Other African entrepreneurs that were profiled include South African designer Dennis Chuene , of fashion label Vernac (short for vernacular),  who recycles immigrant plastic bags popularly called Ghana must Go Bags (In Nigeria)

Into wallets, backpacks, clothing etc and has even gone as far as printing it on urban wear. Other designers have now caught on with different imitations , but that does not deter him as he is already exploring other areas of creativity such as embedding this aesthetics in interior design. He was inspired by the beauty of creating ‘something from which others consider as having no value’. His first foray in the fashion industry was a total disaster after he ruined a matriculation dress, for his first customer and his dad had to refund the money.

Vernac Overlock Coat as modeled by Manthe Ribane. Photo | Chris Saunders.

 

The final designer featured was Witnei Chamusso of design house Wumburi from Maputo , Mozambique.

The Wumburi fashion line is known for their signature print head wraps, and the vision of the brand is simply a  message for the youth in Maputo , Mozambique that ‘modern fashion doesn’t mean rejecting tradition’. She uses  the local Mozambican fabrics and designs them into crop tops, skirts, and other forms of clothing seen on the international runway, making the younger generation more accepting of these fabrics.

Do you have an idea for a business ? Do not sit on it for too long, because you just might be the next big African success story.

 

 

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