A few months ago, I was a guest at a friend’s wedding ceremony and I spotted works of him. I over heard another friend commending him of his great handiworks. Needless to say, he has ever since dazzled people with his nice crafts.
I recently had an instagram chit chat with Collins Kwami Kufoalor, CEO of Ego style in Ghana, an Electrical Engineer, and an astute IT specialist. He reveals his passion and secret in setting up a business of his own. From an Electrical Engineer to a Serial entrepreneur and a Creative Enthusiast, CEO of Ego styles makes the Headlines in the creative industry! Here is an e-interview between Kwami and I.
Akosua: I know Collins Kwami Kufoalor is an expert in what he does best. But who is he?
Kwami: I’m Collins Kwami Kufoalor. Now preferred to be called by my middle name Kwami.
I’m a creative enthusiast, serial entrepreneur and an Electrical Engineer by profession. I’m open minded who enjoys deep rooted conversations on all subjects and love to connect with new people.
Akosua: Kwami, let’s talk about how you combine as an Electrical Engineer, a Creative Enthusiast and a serial entrepreneur. What is serial entrepreneur all about and how did you venture into it?
Kwami: Great! To begin, If you’re a person who’s on constant look out for new ideas and starting new businesses, you’re a serial entrepreneur.
My entrepreneurial journey started after my national service and while i was still back in school for a degree.
I remember i had a little over Gh1500 in savings and wanted to invest it in a venture. So i went browsing on Alibaba to find products that I could buy and sell here for a profit. I did come across some amazing products (watches) and persuaded my friend and roommate Nathaniel to join funds in importing the watches so we can sell and make some profit. He did eventually and we bought the watches.
We sold half of the watches we imported through family and friends, e-commerce platforms and on social media.
sales started declining, my friend lost interest and a sister-cousin of mine told me she once bought this same watches on an e-commerce platform in ghana for less than half the price we were selling at. I was crushed.
Thinking about the amount we spent on shipping and duty charges and now this? I was devastated.
I told myself my next venture, I’d love to go solo. Create something I could call my own and that i could make here in Ghana provided i could source the materials right here.
That new shift of mindset landed me in the University of YouTube 😂.
I love to look good when i step out and accessories were my favorite (bowties & lapel pins). So i started learning the making of these accessories on YouTube and i kid you not within a month, i was able to make my very first lapel pin and the rest fall into place as I started advancing.
After the making of these amazing products, presentation was very key to me on how the world sees these products. So i fall back to YouTube to learn mobile phone / Camera photography, videography and editing and I’ve been exceptional at it. It’s my sanctuary.
I love the creative process; from designing, production, shooting and editing. All the beautiful creative shots you see me post are all from my IPhone.
Talking about how i combine these three disciplines is quite simple. I’ll summarize them to PASSION, DEDICATION and CONSISTENCY.
Currently I’m not actively working as a professional Electrical Engineer. I’m working as an IT support specialist in a government institution where i create and edit videos and provide technical support for staff. Days when there are no videos to edit and the like,i go to YouTube to learn more things and go about my businesses as well.
Akosua: Fascinating! take us through your early school days.
Kwami: Well, I completed my basic education (B.E.C.E) at St. John’s Academy (2010) in Ashaiman, Moved on to study General Science at Chemu Senior high school in Tema (completed in 2013) and then to Accra Technical University formely Accra polytechnic for my HND and B-tech degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering completing in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
Akosua: While in ATU, did you think of developing yourself to become a creative enthusiast and serial entrepreneur?
Kwami: Not at all Akosua. I focused on my studies. When i step out whether to class or anywhere, it’s only the engineering environment on my mind. I look out for transmission lines, substations and relating them to what has been thought in the classroom among other things. The closest idea i ever got in my Early days in the the University was how to make money. I wanted to multiply the allowances given to me by my parents because it wasn’t “enough” for my living expenses.
Akosua: So what transpired your career path?
Kwami: I’d say my cousin, Kwadzo Adika He’s also an Electrical Engineer by profession. I never once taught I’d be an Enginer because from childhood, all i wanted to ever be was a medical doctor but I couldn’t fulfill that dream and chose a different path. Kwadzo literally persuaded me that engineering wasn’t difficult, and that it’s just a build up on what has been thought us back in senior high school. And that was true when i had my first lecture in the university.
Akosua: How did you come by the name Ego Style?
Kwami: Uhm…Quite simple when you think about it. Whenever you dress well; you look good and feel good about yourself. Your ego level turns up.
It gets better when the style is right hence Ego Style.
Akosua: I believe your brand is not only accessories. Do you have others too?
Kwami: Yes i do.
I have another subsidiary brand by name Ego.Bridal(@ego.bridal.gh) that makes bouquets, corsages, flower crowns, boutonnières and anything in between for brides and bridesmaids.
Also, I’ve founded an e-commerce company /site called Dimedwa Afrika (@dimedwa_afrika) that is poised to give African businesses (products made in Africa and are viable for e-commerce) from small to medim and large scale businesses to trade intercontinentally and internationally.
It’s still in the process of actualization.
Akosua: Amazing! I’m really impressed with your story. Who do you draw inspiration from?
Kwami: I’m wondering how to answer this because I don’t have that one particular person i draw inspiration from.
My inspiration spans across different criteria from business leaders, young and talented creatives, nature and everyday problems.
Business wise, Vusi Thembekwayo is my source of inspiration. He’s a renowned ferocious business leader, investor and motivational speaker. When I discovered him my mindset of running a business shifted for good. You should check him out on YouTube. You’ll love him.
In the creative arts, Our very own Bob Pixel (may his soul RIP) twins don’t beg, sorce photography & focus n blur and some creative designers. Elsewhere in the world, on YouTube I learn a lot from Peter Mckinnon and Sorelle Amore (creatively insane that sometimes she takes her own photographs)
When I’m hit by life challenges and not feeling myself, i watch inspirational videos from the likes of Les Brown, Oprah & Steve Harvey to mention a few. I pray and sometimes read my Bible.
Akosua: Now, Kwami let’s get personal here If you were to change one thing about yourself, what will it be and why?
This is actually deep for me to answer and it feels like peeling some of my personal layers down but I’ll try my best to keep it together.
This may sound awkwardly funny to anyone reading this but it is what it is. The one thing I’d change about myself would be that i am too submissive and respectful to my caregivers which i think didn’t change their perspective about me regardless my potentials and achievements. It just didn’t pay off. Not even the slightest shift of mindset except that, it only afforded a roof over my head and not to pay for utilities.
My reasons why, are withheld.
I came to realize afterall, it was a learning curve, my life’s journey learning curve in order for me to succeed hence I’m resolved.
Akosua: Any words of encouragement for my readers or the youth out there who don’t know where to start from?
Kwami: I believe to a greater extent that a lot of us youth want to start our own businesses and we admire people who have taken that leap of faith to start and are doing well.
One thing that nearly stopped me; and I believe for every successful entrepreneur and you, the person reading this right now was and/or is FEAR. The second is, it was lack of money.
I feared the “what if questions”, the failures, doubts and all. After motivating myself on personal development videos, i came to realize that FEAR will never go away. It’s part of our being. What we choose to do with that FEAR is what will move us forward to greater success or keep us stationary in our comfort zones. It’s up to us.
So i did what i had to do inspite of the FEARS. I started. I got to work. I still do have those FEARS anytime I concieve a new business idea. So you see it never goes away.
My question to anyone with this same phobia about kicking start their business ideas is that in an idealic world where there are no FEARS what will you do? I believe the answer would be: I’ll start. So why don’t you?
So if it’s lack of money. I’m here to tell you that, you don’t need that much. If you really believe you do, “odds are that you’re not an entrepreneur”. Vusi Thembikwayo would say 😂 because entrepreneurs make it work with the little they have. I started my business with a capital of Gh150.00.
The bottom line will be a quote from Denzel Washington which says, “Do what you have to do in order to be where you want to be” So if you’re not even trying to make it work with the smallest of resources at your disposable what makes you think when given all the money you require to start you’ll succeed?
If it’s going to be, it’s only up to you.
Such a heart-warming and inspiring story!
Akosua & Kwami.
E-interview session with Poetessakosua’s blog
Interviews with celebs.