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Meet the Ashesi graduate tailor who employs 20 people

In Ghana, most people expect that after one graduates from the university, you are expected to find employment.

Enoch Aworo Frimpong

However, some young Ghanaians have decided to change the status quo. Most of these people have started their own businesses which are doing well.

One of such people is Enoch Aworo Frimpong.

According to Enoch, he grew up watching his tailor grandfather make clothes for people from all walks of life. His grandfather taught him a lot about working in the fashion industry. 

He added that even though his grandfather’s business folded up he never forgot how intrigued he had been watching his grandfather work.

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After he graduated from Ashesi University, he worked in the finance sector where he observed high unmet demand for bespoke clothing.

This caused him to resign from his finance job and signed up to be an apprentice with a tailor in Accra.

“I was fired by that tailor very quickly. I had too little knowledge, and the tailor didn’t appreciate how long it was taking me to pick up skills. He needed someone who could help him work faster, not slow him down. Even though it was a disappointing start, it was not that big a setback. I decided to keep at it.”

He later purchased his own sewing machine and spent months learning how to make men’s clothing on his own. 

He did not have clients at the time so he started wearing the clothes himself to events. He started receiving a lot of compliments, and eventually, requests for some of his clothes. 

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“People loved the simplicity of the clothes,” he explains. “But what they did not know was that my clothes were simple because I had only one machine and did not have the range of skills to do much more. I was still a novice. Reflecting on that now, I consider it a good lesson in having the courage to just start something and learn as you go.”

He started his business and named it Grandpa, as a tribute to his grandfather. 

Even though he was sewing for the clients, he started facing challenges. He soon realized that he had a lot to learn about running a proper business. 

“We were receiving far more orders for clothes than we could complete,” he explains. “And for a while, the pressure of constantly working to meet demand distracted us from realising that great customer service experiences were just as important. It took some painful learning, but we eventually paused to think through fixes for our customer experience processes. And we have resolved not to let it get away from us like before.”

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This led to him employing more people to deliver on time.

Grandpa’s now employs some twenty tailors and makes over sixty clothing items each week. 

“In our early days, I was thinking about meeting very specific fashion styles and preferences,” he shared. “As we keep growing, however, I see more opportunities to serve a broader client base. And at this rate, we are now able to take on training for new tailors and others interested in tailoring. I am hoping I can help others gain skills, without having to go through some of the disappointments that I did when I first started out as an apprentice.” 

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