United Kingdom-based Nigerian fashion entrepreneur and boutique owner, Anne Namgbeh, aka Anne ATS, has described the journey to the height fashion business as tough and eventful.
Anne Namgbeh, who is also referred to as Anne ATS, is the owner of ATS Hair and ATS Boutique.
According to the Business Management graduate of De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, it was tough for her to decide going fully into the business, “but I am happy today that taking that tough decision has helped me.”
According to Anne ATS, “As an entrepreneur, one of my toughest decision was quitting my job. Quitting a job is hard because first you have to think about how you’re going to tell your boss you’re quitting.
“Quitting was particularly tough for me because I loved my job and that job paid my bills.
“Also, I didn’t know what challenges were ahead of me, but I believed in my dream and that made it somewhat easy for me.
“I knew in order to be successful I had to make some, if not many, sacrifices and quitting my job was one the sacrifices I had to make,” said Anne ATS.
After making the decision to quit her job, Namgbeh said of the predicament she faced, “Funding the business was another tough process, because we didn’t make profit for the first six months.
“Getting my products into the market was not as hard, because at the time there was not much social media.
“So I targeted universities and shopping malls. I would go to universities and malls to distribute my business cards and then I got referrals from there.”
On how she was able to overcome most of the initial challenges she encountered in the business, Anne ATS said: “There will always be challenges, but I don’t let them get to me.
“Instead, I think about strategies to work around it. To stay afloat, I make sure to keep producing quality products with not so high price tags and also do promotions every often.”
Anne ATS said that she got most of her products from China, noting that “I don’t take part in the production of my products as this happen in China.
“I just send my manufactures the design, style, grade and colour I want and then they make samples and if I’m happy with it, they go ahead with the production, otherwise we make changes if needed.”
Speaking on how she got motivated into fashion business, she disclosed that “I was motivated to go into hair and clothing business because whenever I dressed up, people usually asked me where I got my outfit or hair from and I would give them the name of the stores.
“But one day I decided instead of advertising for these businesses free of charge, I can open my own company, wear my own clothes and advertise my own brand.
“My mother also played significant role as she inspired me a lot because she is a hardworking woman.
“She singlehandedly raised seven children while running her little business. So that for me is a definition of a strong woman.
“Running a business is hard and staying in business is harder. I know I’ve met beyond my expectations because I’ve ran these businesses now for years and that can only happen if you’re doing something right.
“As a woman entrepreneur, Anne ATS philosophy of doing business and life are “Be yourself, and have confidence in who you are”.
“I made it to where I am through hard work and perseverance, but most importantly, I’m there. So I won’t conform myself to a man’s idea of what a leader should look like,” she added.