Kissiedo Benson went into fashion for a powerful reason and one that is relatable to many. “I want to make something, a brand that will be immortal. I want to leave a mark through my work” he says. This is the driving force behind Kissiedo’s foray into fashion and his day to day entrepreneurial activities.
Just after Kessiedo graduated from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, he decided to stay true to his passion for fashion. He started out by purchasing shoes with the sum of N5,000 he had saved. “I bought five pairs of shoes and sold them out. I used the proceeds to buy more products and in time, I was able to make a few unique clothes [western outfits mixed with African prints], which I sold alongside the ones I bought. This was how my fashion brand, Christopher Macbeth, was born.”
Christopher Macbeth has since grown to be a unisex fashion platform where outfits and accessories from international brands alongside indigenous designs from Kissiedo are sold. The business has bloomed and keeps growing, but has faced some hurdles and challenges along the way. One of the pressing being the lack of trust some customers have for Nigerian brands. “Some people are usually skeptical of made in Nigeria products. They want to see products physically before they buy and a handful of them do not trust online platforms,” Kissiedo says.
One platform that has helped in lessening this challenge is the SME MarketHub which through constant communication, between the retailers and customers, has strongly reduced the fear of online shopping hazards. Thus, Kissiedo is full of praise for the e-commerce platform. “Unlike other platforms, it doesn’t feel like I’m working for them. It feels more like a partnership and best of all, it’s all free!”
The future is bright for the Christopher Macbeth brand. From N5000, the brand has grown to be worth above N500,000, but Kissiedo is not losing steam and says his aim is to walk on a street and see a minimum of five people wearing his brand.
Drawing from his experience as a typical Nigerian Hustler, Kissiedo caps his story up with these words of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Passion is essential because going into business just for the fun of it will not take you far. You shouldn’t just go into an industry like fashion just for the fun of it. You have to be specific, do you want to do production or retail? How much information do you have about the industry?