Meet the Nigerian shoemaker challenging gender stereotypes with her successful bespoke business



IN NIGERIA, there is an increasing number of women entrepreneurs driving business innovation in the emerging markets.

While there are still gender challenges, women in the emerging markets are overcoming obstacles to break through the glass ceiling.

One of the women doing this today is Nkiru Emodi, a female entrepreneur who is currently making waves in the handcraft industry.

Nkiru ventured into the Bespoke Shoemaking business, often seen as a male-dominated business, about two years ago with very little capital.

Fast forward two years and she is carving out a name for herself in the bespoke shoemaking industry.

BESPOKE: One of Nkiru Emodi's creations

BESPOKE: One of Nkiru Emodi’s creations

Nkiru measures her customers feet for each shoe.

At the fitting, the customer tries the prototype pair of shoes made in an inexpensive leather and the shoemaker checks if anything needs to be changed.

If so, the changes are applied to the lasts and the shoes are created with precious leather and handed over to the customer as a complete product.

Nkiru does all this from her home and has personally hand-crafted over 1,500 pairs of footwear ranging from designer shoes for both men and women, loafers, sandals, boots, moccasins, ankle cuff sandals for women and unisex leather belts.

“It worthy to note that these shoes when spotted on display, one would think they were made outside the country or imported from Europe because of their outstanding finishing and quality designs,” commented.

Nkiri is the CEO of H.O.T Wears also known as (Home Of Theresa) Wears and currently has staff under her payroll.

Her company has participated in numerous expository programmes nationally, including the Lagos Shoe Expo held at the Silverbird Galleria in May last year. She has also won awards for her outstanding products at the Nigerian Footwear Industry Awards in 2015.

Nkiru Emodi is a graduate of UNIBEN and hails from Onitsha in Anambra State.



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