Guys meet Emmanuel Faleti, a graduate of Business Administration who is currently carving a niche for himself in the world of shoe designing. Faleti who is the brain behind “Minuel Designs”, is definitely one you should look out for if you are looking for quality shoes at affordable prices. Within the space of ten years, the young award-winning entrepreneur has become a force to reckon with as far as shoe designing in Nigeria is concerned.
In this interview with us, Faleti tells us how it all started, his vision for Minuel Designs, his challenges so far and why he would cross oceans for his celebrity crush, Toke Makinwa amongst other interesting things. Enjoy:
*Please introduce yourself to us*
My name is Emmanuel Faleti , CEO Minuel Designs, Graduate of Les Course Sonou University where I obtained a degree in Business Administration. I was awarded the Fast Rising Entrepreneur of the year in 2018 Bright Media Productions.
*How long have you been doing this and how did it all start?*
We have to take this way back…. Lol. I’ve been in the industry for over a decade now. I made my first footwear in 2002. It all started with trial and error actually, I had been trying so many footwears using cartons. During my primary school days, I went to live with a cousin for like a year, there used to be an old man making footwear right in front of the house. I would sit there whenever I got back from school. At the time, my cousins were in secondary school and they usually used return home late. I found it so interesting watching the man make footwear. I observed him for a long period of time without knowing I would pick interest one day. I got attracted to the grinding machine first, using the machine was fun to me. One fateful day I tried making footwear and showed the man, he corrected me and ever since I have been on top of my game.
*You majorly deal with men’s shoes would you consider expanding to women’s much later?*
It’s obvious I get orders from men, because they seem to pay more attention to the type of footwear they put on. I make female shoes too, but only on order.
*Obviously, there are loads of competitions as far as your line of business is concerned, how do you intend to stay ahead of others?*
I love the fact that it’s a competitive market. I always remember what my SWOT analysis is and also look at the possibilities of change in demand and other relative market determinants so as to give me an edge over similar brands. Our ‘most response’ to customers’ demand is key here. Again, given the fact that no matter the time frame as regards express orders, we always ensure we don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.
We make express custom made shoes within 48 hours and that is a challenge most shoe designers can’t beat.
*Is your brand basically an online shopping and retail line?*
We get orders both online and through retail sales. Our Head Office is located at No 32, Ladipo street, Mushin, Lagos. While @minuelfaleti on Instagram and Twitter, then Minuel on Facebook.
*How is your daily routine like?*
Time management is very key for me because as a shoe designer 24 hours is never enough, no not enough. Out of my busy 24hours I get to the factory, set the strategy for the day from 10am to 12noon then I leave for my office to confirm every order we have for the next day. After my launch, I fall back to the factory for production quality control and roundup the day.
*What is your vision for your brand?*
My Vision is to own a shoe company producing for the labour market both in Nigeria. Beyond. Also, I’d love to spread tentacles to Europe, and America then to the rest of the world. Again, I look forward to owning a vocational training centre for quality shoe production for youths that are interested in shoemaking, just to keep their dream alive.
*What are your basic challenges as an entrepreneur in Nigeria?*
The major challenge in shoemaking from my perspective is the unavailability of some raw materials needed for production.
*Who is your celebrity crush and why?*
Toke Makinwa. She carries herself in a way you can hardly ignore her.
*What stands your brand out?*
Outsourcing genuine leathers, ensuring fitting and careful finishing. You’ll see Minuel signature on our brands even without stamping our labels on them.
*Who would you say is your role model and why?*
Mudi of Africa, I like him so much. He has evolved with time and has proven there’s no limit to what he can achieve.
*How is your leisure like?*
My job normally leaves a little leisure time. Seriously improving on creating time out of my busy schedule to relax and breathe in the blissful air under a tree somewhere in a park. I love sightseeing too. Like embracing the serene of a wild zoo. I see animals whenever I work with leather. I wish we don’t use them in such manner but there’s nothing one can do. It is what it is.
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