Men’s accessories get a dash of African swagger with the TonyWuu Collection. Created by Anthony Owusu, who originally hails from Ghana, the collection offers a variety of handmade accessories from ties and lapel pins to bracelets in traditional and African inspired designs. Subscribers to the TonyWuu Collection receive a tie and a lapel pin every month for $19.99 monthly.
And the accessories are unique. For example, the TonyWuu Collection offers such items as the “Blues” lapel pin and Africa, Skull, & Black & White bracelets. The collection was a long-time dream of Owusu’s. “I have wanted to start a business around sophomore year of college and have always been into fashion. So I just mixed the two,” he explains. He financed the venture with his own funds, growing it from a grassroots project to a small business. “I started the company with my own money. I started small and built up,” he says.
While he may have started “small,” Owusu faced the usual startup challenges. “Financial challenges were and are always present,” he shares. But that hasn’t stopped him from growing TonyWuu. “I found creative ways to overcome them; I used what I had at the time to solve my problems,” he says.
It’s not like Owusu picked an easy industry to enter. By all standards, fashion is highly competitive. But Owusu says his product is different enough and innovative enough to stand out. “I try to stay ahead by constantly looking for fabrics that catch my eye and paying attention to what people seem to be gravitating towards,” he says.
Owusu has taken full advantage of the Internet to market his unique collection and subscription service. “I market through social media! Social media has been huge for me,” he says. And he’s looking forward to an even more successful year ahead. “I want to double our profits from 2016 – a hard task since the (online) store has only been in existence since the middle of 2015,” he says. “Our long-term goals are to have our sales be more consistent. Also to get our products into a couple of stores.”
The process of building his new company the last year has taught Owusu a few business lessons. “Just start. Doesn’t matter if you fail; you just have to try. Who knows what might come of it? Also, work hard. You have to work for every inch of your business especially when it’s new and you’re starting from the ground up,” he points out.
All in all, Owusu is more than happy with his new venture. He says, “I love the
freedom that comes with it – being able to be hands on and seeing the store do well.”