Babajide Ipaye, a Nigerian entrepreneur, has always been a sneaker fanatic. With a love for shoes and the goal to create a manufacturing sector for quality footwear in Nigeria, Ipaye created Keexs, an Africa-inspired brand with a social brief.
“We look at creating a style, a style basically is a unique pattern or design that has been created for the shoes,” Ipaye said. “In this case, what we have started with is this style, which I designed, whilst I was studying in the Netherlands and it formed like a canvas.”
Ipaye explained that he was able to raise $20,000 through crowd-funding, money that went into producing and launching his first collection.
Keex has sold 1,500 pairs of sneakers so far. They are available online and in stores across Lagos for $59.
“If you ask me to compare, it’s fairly great for the sneakers I know,” customer Ogo Maduewesi said. “We don’t have … I don’t think we have any sneaker brand in Nigeria.”
Nigeria’s manufacturing sector is in a poor state, electricity and raw materials are scarce and expensive because there is a shortage of U.S. dollars.
Ipaye said he is looking to attract more investors to expand his business and fund his dream of building a manufacturing industry for quality shoes made in Nigeria.
- Original article can be found here.