On how the reality of owning a store challenged her pre-existing expectations.

So far, we have surpassed our expectations as is shown by our target consumers’ response to the brand. Pre-opening the store, I had no expectations as to how people would react to what we were offering. However, with faith in my work as a Christian and a believer, I knew everything would work out great and it has!

Although my business manager and accountant disagreed with my opening a store, I stuck to my guns. I could see that the turnover and response from clients at our stockists weren’t great. Baring this in mind, I knew that designing a store with the brand’s aesthetic would be a benchmark to determine its ability to be the pioneer ready-to-wear retail store with all products made by hand in Nigeria.

Today, we have a long list of loyal clientele who anticipate the release of new products. This list is so extensive that we’ve had to create a waitlist for clients who want to purchase products they haven’t even seen, i.e. they want to be the first to be contacted when new styles arrive in store to ensure they have every style available in their size. It’s oh-so-amazing!

To summarise, the response we’ve gotten from the Wana Sambo Woman–our target customer–far outweighs the general challenges of operating an independent store in Nigeria (electricity, staffing, etc) which makes it all worth it in the long run.

Paula Okunzuwa for the #WanaSamboBloggerEdit

Paula Okunzuwa for the #WanaSamboBloggerEdit

On how her multiple collaborations with bloggers and influencers have translated into sales.

Campaigns in fashion are necessary for brand growth as they enable a brand to stay relevant and reach a wider audience every time they are released. This is what birthed our Blogger Edit collaborations. In January 2016, we started the #WanaSamboBloggerEdit which is a collaboration between the Wana Sambo Brand and a fashion blogger. The monthly campaign features a different fashion blogger each month and we collaborate on coming up with locations and ideas for each shoot.

Our idea behind this concept was a partnership with strong, independent bloggers who have built a network around their personal brand. The beauty about working with fashion bloggers is their influence and control of their followers. This does encourage sales, as people like to dress like the influencers and own pieces their influencers say are in for the season. Also, the average female prefers seeing what a product looks like on human form to help her decide on her purchase(s).


On her dream collaboration.

Rihanna X Wana Sambo for sure. And, as a sneak peek, we are switching up the Blogger Edit this month to the #WSNollywoodEdit which would feature a collaboration with a Nollywood starlet.