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Life and Work with Ugochi Iwuaba

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ugochi Iwuaba.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ugochi. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started my journey as a fashion designer back in Nigeria. I loved all the vibrant colors and rich details of my cultural prints and fabric.

I became even more enamored by the fashion industry when I worked as the fashion editor for Connect Nigeria, a big online information portal.

While I worked there, I met my husband, who lives here in San Diego (on Facebook!). About two years later, I got on the plane, came to San Diego and got married to him.

I worked a bit in the real estate industry as a property manager and then as a realtor.

However, one thing kept calling me, that was my love for designing beautiful clothes.

So, that’s how I got here. I quit every other thing and now, this is what I do!

Has it been a smooth road?
I would be lying if I said the road has been smooth. Learning to do business in a new country is never easy. There is also the challenges that come with being both the designer, seamstress and everything else in between as a sole proprietor.

I can say that I have been blessed with an amazing partner and husband.

This business would have been more difficult without him (he is a videographer), business partner and brother, Goodnews Iwuaba (photographer) and his friend, Robert Buchanan (videographer). They have helped me create these beautiful videos and pictures with which I constantly promoted my designs. Being able to constantly market me has been a big blessing. So, finding ways to constantly be in people’s eyes is a great business practice.

I need to also mention that I have three amazing children under five years old. I love them a lot but running a business with them has not been an easy journey.

My advice to other women business owners constantly keep doing something for your business every day, no matter how little and do not be ashamed to ask others around for help with errands and the children. Getting some alone time to focus on business tasks makes a lot of difference.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Ugochi Iwuaba – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My designs are Afro-inspired, meaning that I draw my inspiration from my home continent and all the richness of her culture. I make mostly female clothing, but I also have a menswear line and make some children clothes from time to time.

I am proud to say that although my designs are Afro-inspired, they are also made to be appealing to anyone who loves beautiful, well-made clothes. So, the designs cut across cultural differences.

I can also say that I stand out a lot because my designs are all about style and not at all focused on trends.
It’s for the woman who isn’t scared to stand out!

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
Women do face challenges when navigating through the business world.

However, we do have the advantage of being overlooked or underestimated. I think this is a huge advantage because when a competition can see you coming, they are better prepared. But when you are underestimated, you definitely come better prepared.

I also believe that because we are already marginalized, there are resources out there that are focused on helping women grow. The SBA and other such organizations have tools and resources specifically for helping women in business to get grants, loans, and business support.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Goodnews Iwuaba, Quitin Carson, Mkkan Can, Adam Kupka of KUPKAPHOTO

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