Inspiration sometimes comes from the most unexpected places. For 22-year-old Hogoè Kpessou, she self-titled her brand to help remove the negative feelings she felt towards her name.
Turning Stigma into Celebration
After moving to the United States at six years old, Kpessou experienced a lot of bullying because of her name. Needless to say, this affected the Togo native a great deal.
However, in October 2020, she decided to use her name for her luxury handbag brand. Now, people associate it with luxury and the finer things in life. Kpessou constantly meets people who ask her how to pronounce and spell the name, which increases its allure.
She single-handedly turned her name into a status symbol.
Not Your Average Brand
Kpessou launched the brand with just $10,000 from her mother. The brand has already earned close to $500,000 in sales thanks to a transaction increase of 3,900%. The brand’s direct site traffic has gone up 50,000% and its social media traffic is up 31,000%.
By the start of 2022, Kpessou expects the brand to hit seven figures.
This year, the brand’s product lineup includes its signature backpack adorned with bumblebees and a new addition: a collection of bags emblazoned with fireflies. Kpessou has also expanded the brand’s color selection.
Getting Beyoncé’s Attention
With Kpessou’s brand on the up-and-up, it’s no surprise that her next goal is even more ambitious.
She plans to venture into wholesale and make apparel in addition to handbags.
Then, she’ll be in a position to grab the attention of Beyoncé herself. She revealed that this would be absolutely perfect for her.
Working to the Top
Hogoè Kpessou isn’t the 22-year-old’s first foray into entrepreneurship. Before launching the luxury brand, she was selling poetry books and candles online.
At the same time, she was working at an insurance company as a sales representative. On the weekends, she also delivered food for Uber Eats and worked at a local restaurant.
To other businesspersons, Kpessou tells them to always keep their vision of what they want their business to be on top of mind.
She also believes that now is the best time one can start a business. Since July 2020, Black-owned businesses have been on the rise.
Self-employment is also increasing, and more consumers are spending money at companies they actually support.