‘We Create Accessories To Complement Dressing’
The Vortex features correspondent Manasseh F. Paul-Worika speaks with Okwu Chituru, an indigene of Port Harcourt LGA in Rivers State and a 300 Level student of Linguistics and Communication Studies, at the University of Port Harcourt. Chituru is the CEO of Groovit Enterprises based in Port Harcourt.
Tell us about Groovit.
Groovit is a one-stop online store that produces and supplies accessories for both male and female outfits. The unique thing about Groovit is that we major on accessories and not making of outfits. As the name suggest, we are committed to ensuring that clients and customers Groove which ever outfit they choose with our exclusive and beautiful accessories. Our products are Tie clips, Lapel Roses, Brooches, Collar Pins, etc.
What’s the Inspiration behind Groovit?
Fashion is a lifestyle. It has been an aspect of life I paid attention to from my days as a child. Particularly, I love seeing people look beautiful in any outfit they choose. And that spurred me to start up a business that will cater for the needs of fashion lovers at least to give them a touch of class.
And then, I needed to be financially independent and not depend on anyone for basic needs. That also inspired me to start up my business.
On Government effort in tackling unemployment?
To an extent, I will say government are trying in the best ways they can to tackle unemployment. But more can be done because the rate of unemployment in the country is on the rise every day.
I’ll suggest to the government to focus on providing platforms for skill acquisition and development. Since everyone may not get access to the limited departments, agencies and ministries available, an alternative means of keeping youths engaged would be to invest in skill acquisition programs.
How long have you been in the business?
Groovit is six months old.
The Journey so far?
Honestly, it hasn’t been smooth. I’ve had ups and downs and times when I feel I should just give up. But I’m still here, and I know I’ll be here for a long time God willing.
Challenges so far?
Basically, it’s been the issue of finance to expand my business and put things in place. But I’m not letting that affect me as I make do with what I have now while I look forward to bigger days.
There’s so much I’m working on to achieve with Groovit; At least to make my brand one of the biggest in Port Harcourt and the Nation soon. But for now, I’m trying to build my online presence.
How does Groovit operate?
Groovit is an online store and since I cannot handle a physical shop at this stage because of academic activities, I use social media (Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook etc platforms to advertize our products and also get orders from customers. It’s easy, efficient and effective.
How do you cope as a student?
I’ve not had a serious clash with my academic activities. Besides, if I sense jobs I have to do clash with my academics, I’ll decline such jobs because at this stage, my academics is more important. I also believe planning has helped me in handling some situations.
How has your business helped you?
It has helped me financially. At least I can now assist myself academically and not depend on anyone for livelihood. It has made me bold and confident and has also made me stand out.
What makes you stand out in your work?
I ensure I give my customers the best for their money and also hold them in high esteem. I believe meeting target is one thing that makes me stand out also.
How has competition from others affected you?
There are thousands of accessories dealers in Port Harcourt. The thought of that makes me put in my best to ensure I’m mentioned amongst the best. I’ve never felt intimidated, rather I’ve always seen competition from others as a ladder to climb faster as I aim for the top.
Advice to youths hoping for white collar jobs?
I honestly wouldn’t advice any youth to hope on getting white collar jobs. I’ll only advice youths to learn a trade, acquire a skill, become an entrepreneur and be relevant to the society. There’s so much you can do if you search within yourself. You can learn tailoring, baking, fashion designing, hairdressing etc. no matter what you choose, do it legitimately and please don’t stay idle.
Aside Accessories making, what else do you love?
I’m a spoken word artist, I do poetry. I also make money from pedicure and manicure.
Plans for broadcast and communication?
Of course, I look forward to practice all I learnt in the classroom. I’ll be going for my Industrial Training soon, and I’ll use the opportunity to gain practical knowledge in communication arts.
Words for young entrepreneurs like you?
To every young person who has decided to take a bold step towards developing their skills, I’ll advice you to remain devoted and committed to what you do. Look for someone who can coach you to become better. Finally, don’t be discouraged by your small beginning. Celebrate your small wins and keep striving for greater heights.