Chit Chat With Dominique Footwears
Yass! On another edition of Beauty Hub, I was opportuned to interview another great and determined mind. Thanks for the recommendations guys! It’s always fun getting to hear people share their success stories from a different but yet unique perspectives. So I had Anyanebechi Dominic Ebuka; CEO of Dominique Footwears and to think this amazing human is currently a 400 level Engineering student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and successfully manages a brand that has carved out a niche for itself in the fashion industry was breath taking. I once interviewed him at Anambra Fahion Show and Awards as a red carpet host. I think his bio will say the rest about him. Here is a short bio of Dominic.Little chit chat with Anyanebechi Dominic Ebuka; CEO of Dominique Footwears. Check it out! Click To Tweet
Short Biography Of Anyanebechi Dominic Ebuka
Anyanebechi Dominic Ebuka is a serial entrepreneur, an electronics and computer engineer in the making (400 level, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State) and a writer. He is the CEO of Dominique Footwears, an online leather company that makes anything leather ranging from shoes, bags, belts and so on. He has been able to bridge the gap between leather accessories produced in Nigeria and those produced outside Nigeria.
Dominique Footwears has its headquarters in Abuja the Federal Capital and has been able to train young and serious individuals. He makes ‘shoe contact’ before ‘eye contact’. He learnt how to make shoes for 18 months and the business has been in existence for 3 years now.
The serial entrepreneur further combines books and shoes as an engineering student in a Federal University and his grades are never bad. According to him, he travels from city to city in search of raw leather materials with the best quality and new designs from talented cobblers. He has been able to win the love of over eleven thousand genuine followers on Instagram in 100 weeks, made many sales and gave and is still giving a long lasting solution to the thirst for better and quality footwears made home in Nigeria.
Dominique Footwears was nominated as ‘Best Entrepreneur’ at the Anambra Fashion Show and Awards 2017 and ‘Best Entrepreneur Unsung Heroes 2018’. He is of the strong belief that life is more than just living but making dreams come true and being remembered for what is just and right.Check out this inspiring biography of Anyanebechi Dominic Ebuka; CEO of Dominique Footwears! Click To Tweet
Whoop! Now that’s some inspiring bio! Just in case you prefer listening to the interview than reading, there is an attached audio file of it at the end of this post which you can stream or download to listen later. Please scroll down to see. Now, let’s dig into the interview shall we?
Like I promised before the music break, I’m now on to Anyanebechi Dominic Ebuka, founder of Dominique Footwears. Most people nominated you for this because you are student doing so well and I mostly see your flyers all over the place when I board a public transport. At a point, I asked myself; who is this guy, the face and mind behind this and I was recently havng a conversation with a friend and you came up. The same but related question was asked, ‘Who is this guy and why did he start up this brand? That is my question: What inspired the startup of Dominique Footwears?
Life in addition to my elder sister. She encouraged me to start something and for the record, I wanted something that could live over time even when I’m no more in existence, something with my name on it I could look back and say, yeah! I did this!'I started the brand Dominique Footwears because i wanted something that could live after me when i'm no more in existence; something with my name on it i could look back and say yeah! i did this!' - Anyanebechi Dominic; CEO of… Click To Tweet
The amazing thing about all these is the fact you are a student; a 400 level student of engineering faculty and it makes me wonder how you shuffle entrepreneurship with your education!
Well, people ask me this a lot but most times I tell them it is just God’s grace you know because Engineering is not a child’s play at all but when you have the spirit of God in you, you just have to shut down distractions that will eat up your time. Most times, I travel very far to Kaduna and Lagos States from Anambra State to get items. It’s not been easy but it’s just time management and discipline. That’s all.
I know it has not been all rosy because even roses have thorns. Can we know some of the challenges you have encountered shuffling entrepreneurship with studentship? How has it been?
It’s been very stressful and challenging but like I said earlier, it takes a lot of self-discipline and time management. If you can manage your time adequately, everything will fall into place and of course, the God factor. It is extremely important. It is never easy.
Yeah! I totally understand. I must congratulate you because going through your bio like I read before putting this call across to you, you were nominated as Best Entrepreneur at Anambra Fashion Show and Awards, 2017. How did that make you feel?1 I was there that day you were among the nominees. How did that make you feel?
I felt very excited. I felt like wow!; even with this little thing I’m doing, people are seeing them because I’d always felt I was doing it on a low key. Even though I didn’t win, I met people of like mind and the experience was awesome.
I know sometimes people will always want to see the face behind Dominique Footwears and when they see you, the constant expression or reaction is ‘Oh! You are the owner of Dominique Footwears!’ how has that made you feel overtime because you’ve been so low key and everybody is asking ‘Who is Dominique Footwears?’ His work is speaking for him but then when they see you, they are impressed and like ‘Wow! He is a student’. Doesn’t that make you feel shy, run away, withdraw or made you want to be behind the scenes more often?
Naturally, an entrepreneur is not a shy person but sometimes I tend to feel that way because people are always very amazed when I introduce myself. I don’t actually introduce myself as Dominique Footwears but as Dominic unless I’m networking or telling someone about my products. It’s been very awesome. I feel very shy and people look at me like a celebrity but sincerely I’m still very low key. I still want to do more, acquire more skills, help more people, empower people to learn more skills and encourage young people to do things while they’re still in school.I still want to empower people and encourage young people to do things while in school' - Anyanebechi Dominic Ebuka; CEO of Dominique Footwears Click To Tweet
What is the big picture? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What does the highest biggest picture look like?
Well, five years is a long way. I see myself probably in Nigeria definitely having a very big company. I have a company already but I want something extra large where 60 or 70% Nigerians will patronize me at an affordable price with the best quality, train as much people as I can and employ people to be able to meet their needs. At the end of all these, the whole idea is not just about profit. I told you this when we met at the Anambra Fashion Show and awards. If it was about the profit, I would have stopped because most times, I have to give out free pair of shoes to people; not because I have a lot of raw materials but because I’m trying to pass a message and let people know what I do. These things are awesome. I’m trying to sow into their lives. In five years time, I see myself touching lives not just an electronics and computer engineer but a philanthropist and a better serial entrepreneur helping people.
I wonder sometimes, do you have plans of expanding or you just want to make footwears? Do you have plans of making handbags, leather clothes and all that? Is it just footwears?
No! I make bags, leather belts, shoes and so on. People request for footwears more often so you’ll hardly see the others on my social media pages but once bags, belts and others are requested for by a customer, it’ll be produced immediately but I’ve not really taken time to take pictures of bags and the likes of them. It is not easy you know. People always ask me how I take these pictures and most times it is time consuming but like I told you earlier, it’s all about proper time management, discipline and God’s grace. I tell people God came down from heaven to help me but they still don’t understand. They’d always say God sent people around to help me but really it is just the grace of God.
When you mentioned the picture taking aspect, people don’t really understand. Personally as a content creator, I know a lot of hard work goes into visual content creation. Being able to take pictures of products or services you render in such an appealing manner that will make someone desire to buy it requires some level of dedication and I must really commend you on that! Your Instagram page aesthetics is very beautiful and whenever I go there, I would always want to buy footwears and guys I’ve patronized this brand a couple of times, he makes the best footwears. That takes me to the next question which might actually be the last question; what advice will you give to students wanting to start up something as a side hustle?
I usually tell people close to me or have sought my advice to always put God first. The whole God factor is very important. Secondly, you have to start in school. Most people complain they can’t start in school because they are studying a huge course but I tell them, ‘Hello! I’m studying engineering’. When you get to the faculty of Engineering, you’ll see these people don’t joke around, there are hard working lecturers there. Combining the both and to think I travel most times takes God’s grace and my grades are still good. Start in school. Start small. If you want to venture into hair dressing, start in school because the University is an amazing place and I love it. I look at her as a universal city where you meet different calibers of people.
One thing about me is I can’t stop talking to people. Not just about my products but because I love networking; because in a place where you have over hundred thousand people with different mindsets, opportunities and people are willing to tap into whatsoever you have on the inside, why shouldn’t you start in school? Start in school first no matter how much you have. Like I said earlier, don’t put money first. If you do, you’ll definitely fail. Yeah! Money is important and good for the business but keep it aside and start small anyways. CONSISTENCY! You see that word ‘consistency’? It is highlighted. I listened to Aliko Dangote (Africa’s richest man) and he said one has to be consistent in whatever one is doing and put quality on the high.'Start that business in school no matter how much you have' - Anyanebechi Dominic Ebuka; CEO of Dominique Footwears Click To Tweet
I am impressed as someone out there definitely has/had to hear this. Maybe he or she is afraid to start that dream. I love the fact you said ‘just start’. Thank you so much Dominic for your time.
Thank you so much for the opportunity
That’s pretty much it guys! You can find Dominique Footwears on Instagram and Facebook @dominique footwears. Be sure to buy footwears from him and I guarantee you that you’ll never regret it as I am a witness. (This is not an ad at all). Attached is the audio file for your listening pleasure which you can stream or download.
Remember to keep the recommendations coming. Who do you want to listen to or have on the show! Share your thoughts in the comment section and I’ll advise you to subscribe to get more of these quality content updates. Till next time, peace out!