Everyone expected him to choose the comfort and respect that comes with working as an accountant. But Edwin Obi Wilson instead opted to sit on a veranda, sew and deliver clothes.
The joy that fills his heart after clothing a satisfied client has been enough to guide him on his rollercoaster journey of fashionpreneurship. Today, even though, the fashion industry is chocked, the Ed Obi brand is such a force to reckon with.
Edwin Obi Wilson is a fashion designer who is widely noted for churning out unique and innovative designs. His fashion company, Ed Obi Fashion House has a lot of local and international clientèle. The company delivers to lots of countries around the globe.
Obi tells us more about himself and how his love for art inspires him to give more than expected of him.
How did you decide to walk the entrepreneurship path?
I have always had art in me since childhood but I never knew I would be using it to branch into fashion. It all started when I was doing my national service after my tertiary education. I had someone who sewed for me. It looked good on me so I received a lot of compliments. The compliments later graduated into placing of orders. My friends wanted to wear some of my clothes. I contracted my tailor to sew for my friends. They were impressed. More people started ordering for the clothes. My tailor could no longer handle the volumes I was giving him.
I had to get more people on board to sew for me. In the course of looking for more people to sew, I chanced on one fabulous designer whose work surpassed all I had seen. I informed him I wanted him to sew for me so I could sell. I also asked him to kindly teach me how to sew, to which he agreed. In three months I could sew. I stayed on with him to perfect my skills. I started sewing the clothes personally. I haven’t looked back since.
How did you know this was the business for you?
The joy which comes with sewing made me know I was in the right business. There were certain clothes I had to sew for free but they were all done with so much joy. I was therefore fully convinced that I was on the right track.
How easy or difficult was it to set up a fashion business in Ghana?
Very stressful. Capital to start was a big issue. Top on the list was how to rent a shop to start. The prices were so high, so I decided to start on a veranda and do delivery service. I did that till I could afford a shop. Another thing which was a challenge was how society reacted. Everyone expected me to look for a job since I was an accountant and here I was, on a small veranda trying to sew. They didn’t encourage me. A lot of people mocked me but I stood my ground.
As the fashion industry seems to be a saturated one, how does your company, Ed Obi Fashion House, handle the competition?
The fashion industry is indeed a saturated one. There are a lot of incredible and amazing fashion designers. We always try to innovate and produce new designs in order to continue to keep our customers and also acquire new ones.
What’s your view on mentorship?
It is good to have a mentor if you’re an entrepreneur. You learn from their mistakes and you don’t get to walk the same distance they walked. Your distance will be “a catalyzed reaction path.”
What insight do you wish you had before going into business and your advice to budding entrepreneurs?
Social media is a very powerful tool in the business arena. Setting off, I underestimated the importance of its usage. I wish I knew better. It started paying dividends when we started a full time social media campaign. I will advise new entrepreneurs not to follow my foot steps and start the usage of social media right from the word go.
Read more about Edwin Obi Wilson.
Edwin Obi Wilson was born on 15th August, 1985. He had his primary education at Tafo Methodist School and later enrolled at Neumann International School all in Kumasi, Ghana. He proceeded to Tanoso Anglican Junior High school where he wrote his Basic Education Certificate Examination (B. E. C. E). While waiting for his examination results, he went under apprenticeship to study art. That was where his passion for art began to grow. When the examination results were finally released, he wanted to pursue a course in art but was advised against it by his family because “art didn’t have lucrative jobs.” He enrolled as a science student at Asanteman Senior High school. He enjoyed science and gave it his all.
After his secondary education, there was this passion in him to venture into business so he decided to pursue a course in accounting at Sunyani Technical University to enable him get a business background. After school he had to do national service and he was posted to teach in a school. That was where he discovered a business opportunity in fashion and grabbed it. He went under apprenticeship to learn how to sew and this was done alongside his national service. By the time he was done with his service, he could sew. He started his fashion company afterwards and the rest they say is history.
Edwin Obi Wilson is passionate about seeing people succeed in life so he is constantly motivating people to be successful on his social media platforms. He loves reading and listening to music.
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