A Thankful Heart
A personal account of my interaction with people as I build my shoe brand
Like many entrepreneurs with limited resources, I started my business counting on the classical 3Fs (friends, family and fools) to build the business. As optimistic and ambitious as I am, my strategy was to start small by focusing on my immediate contacts and scaling up my business quickly to reach a broader audience.
Over the years, the experience I have gained has changed my perspective for life. I am still learning but with my humble business beginnings, I have had the opportunity to interact with many people from different walks of life and I am greatly surprised by how much people are willing to support me to succeed in my business.
Most people I have interacted with are people I most likely will not meet if I didn’t have a business. Therefore, I am deeply grateful. Also, these interactions with people have immensely strengthened my faith in people. It is through these interactions that I have developed my brand to this far.
I will be bias to say that I have not had terrible experiences in my interaction with people, for example I was scammed by a shoe designer I contacted online to design my first pairs of shoes, and a shoe maker I met in Kenya took my money for my first shoe samples without delivering any sample.
But the positive experience outweighs the negative and that is the point of this article. To share with you a few stories;
I met a group of friends who helped me create a highly professional video campaign for my brand without asking for a penny. These friends I had known them for about a week.
A star professor at INSEAD business school spared 45 minutes of his time with me to help me tell my brand story better.
Many of my friends, some of whom I had just met, bought into my crowdfunding campaign to help make it a success.
One of my professors upon knowing that I have a shoe brand, bought some pairs of my shoes for herself and for her family. A couple of my professors have also bought my shoes.
A senior vice president at Mckinsey, was intrigued by my story and decided to buy a pair of my shoes and write about my story to be published by a reputable journal.
Two of my friends that I have met just through social media, composed a song and made a video about my brand in the hope that it will go viral.
I started off my business by reaching out to my classmates for advice and some of my best ideas have come from my mates. In fact, my brand name Brouges was decided by a majority vote from my mates. About 40 of my mates said that Brouges sounds better than Exique.
A senior manager at my work shared my story with her colleague with the caption “good shoes for a good course”.
Many of my friends buy my shoes repeatedly to support my business.
A lot of my friends have recommended my brand to their friends who later became customers of my business.
The story can go on and on…
Today, I share these stories to inspire you as it has inspired me to be grateful and have more trust in people. It is my hope that we channel more of this type of energy into healing our world of all the negativity as we enter 2021.
Visit www.brouges.com for more about my entrepreneurship journey. You can also buy a pair of the shoes for the new year!