Amaka Ononibaku is the pretty entrepreneur behind Amystunner, a luxury footwear brand that caters for men who are out for classy and trendy footwear. She is also a make-up artist who is self-taught. We had an interview with her about her new found love and much more.
What inform the decision to go into footwear manufacturing?
I have always been a sucker for good shoes. And being a certified shoe addict, it didn’t come as a shock to me when I got the inspiration to own my own footwear brand.
I made my research and discovered that a lot of our men with taste for well finished quality footwear would rather shop abroad, hence my decision to start up a brand that can solve that problem. Amystunner tends to the foot need of men with taste for the finer things with a certain standard of class.
How would you say business has been since you started?
Believe me when I say that it has been awesome, I mean it. God has been faithful. It is so refreshing when your vision starts taking shape and gradually becomes a reality. I mean, we only just unveiled in January and the patronage here and abroad has been mind blowing. I am beyond grateful to the Most High. It gives me so much joy and pride knowing that the brand is doing it right.
What exactly do you do at Amystunner?
Amystunner is a made to order luxury footwear brand that produces bespoke sandals and slippers handcrafted with the finest of leathers right here in Nigeria. They are made with attention to details. We aim at customer satisfaction. We are always willing to work with you to tailor your needs.
Our finishing is second to none. I honestly wanted to concentrate on men only when we started out but the demand for the female collection has been high. So seeing that I often get calls in that regard, I said, why not? Let’s do this. We are currently working on unveiling our female collection soon. Trust me, we have mind blowing designs for our women of style, good taste and class. Just wait for it.
Who are your target audience?
Our target audience is that man or woman who would rather buy an Italian made or designer footwear just because he feels same quality and finished look is not obtainable here in Nigeria. I say to you that Amystunner is here to solve that problem. We are here to quench that thirst for quality.
We produce leather foot-wears that are as good as what is obtainable from top foreign brands and this is no exaggeration. Don’t take my word for it, order for a pair of Amystunner and do give us a feedback. It is time to be proud of our root.
Where did you hone your skills for what you do now?
Researches, I educate myself daily in too many ways because it is not exactly easy to satisfy the needs of various people from all walks of life. I will continue to oversee that the brand is of a remarkable quality.
What about your makeup business, is it rested for now?
Makeup is my handwork. I am a self taught makeup artist. I didn’t learn in a makeup school. Therefore, I will never trade it for anything because it is a gift. That being said, my footwear brand is just like a new born baby that needs tending to and proper nurturing. So I am doing the needful by giving it all the attention it requires for it to grow. This I have to do until such a time it can survive or stand on its own, until it becomes a household name.
God willing, I will most definitely give attention to makeup but sometime in the nearest future.
How challenging has it been setting up a male dominated business?
When you brand yourself properly, competition becomes irrelevant. What matters is what stands your brand out. What your brand is doing differently and how you carve a niche for your brand. I am more concerned with how my brand is solving a problem.
I am a firm believer of finding what works for you and running with it, which is exactly what I have or I am doing for my brand. I realise that no one will fight for your brand like you so for me, I try not to see the challenges because I am determined to ensure our stylish and classy client wear amystunner proudly. The input of hard work is what spurs me on.
How price friendly are your foot wears?
Amystunner is a luxury brand and by all standards, luxury is not cheap. For the quality of what we produce, our price range is very accurate. When you charge what your product or service is worth, those who appreciate the value of what you bring to the table will be very willing to pay. That’s just the way it is.
What is your dream for your brand?
To make Amystunner a household name globally.
To walk into a room filled with dignitaries, personalities and our luxury loving men and women all adorning a pair of Amystunner (smiling). I trust the process and I am very confident we will get there. God will always reign supreme.
What is your role at Amystunner, do you also handle tools and make shoes?
I will eventually. Like I mentioned earlier, we only just unveiled in January and believe me, it is overwhelming. I have people working for me, so for now, I am concentrating on other things that gets done. By no means is that easy. I source for raw materials myself. The brainstorming, endless researches, the sleepless nights, the numerous meetings to take measurements, the rush to meet up with deadlines, not to mention that I also tend to my other business (exotic accessories) on the side.
This is a project that I have been working on for quite a long time, suffice it to say it was worth the wait. I can’t complain. I am instead most grateful.
- SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN