Your names/a little about yourselves ?
Our names are Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo. We're two fly sisters from Brooklyn who celebrate our Nigerian heritage through our dope accessories.
What do you do?
Chioma is a strategy consultant as well a founder of Cee Cee's Closet NYC. She plays a major role in the marketing and sales strategy for Cee Cee's Closet NYC. Uchenna recently started working on Cee Cee's Closet NYC full time. She manages operations and the creative direction for Cee Cee's Closet NYC. Cee Cee’s Closet NYC offers a wide array of African-inspired accessories including headwraps, backpacks, leather handbags, clutches, tablet covers, waist beads, and chokers. Headwraps are by far our most popular product, but our bags have their fans as well. We hope to continue offering our customers products that seamlessly fit their everyday lives.
Why did you get into that?/ How did you get it started?
We decided to start our business after Chioma visited Nigeria for our paternal grandfather’s funeral. We started out selling high-quality, unique shaped clutches. After successfully selling our first bags, we decided to go into designing our bags. Uchenna went to Nigeria to design our first clutches and Chioma designed our first backpacks. After we realized the high demand for designs, we continued to design and sell various styles.
The birth of our headwrap business differs in that we created this segment of our business purely out of need. Uchenna had recently completed her “big chop,” and needed some bold prints for styling her hair on bad hair days. We couldn’t find any companies that offered headwraps handmade in Nigeria, so we decided to expand into that business. Over time, we realized that customers gravitated towards our tutorials and Instagram feed. Today, headwraps have become a large part of our business.
Name 3 words to describe you?
Determined, Tenacious, and Fly
Which females influence you the most?
Oprah, Madame CJ Walker, and Rihanna
What struggles have you over come and how?
We got to a point where we constantly felt overwhelmed. We conquered that by getting more disciplined about creating a schedule and sticking to it.
How do you stay positive and focused?
We stay positive by working out and taking time off. Establishing boundaries is very important when running your own business. You shouldn't feel guilty about taking care of yourself.
Any words of advice for future girl bosses following in your footsteps?
We would recommend that future girl bosses shouldn't let fear of failure deter them from starting their own businesses. When we started Cee Cee's Closet NYC, we didn't even know how to sew, but as we grew we attained the skills necessary to push our business forward. We would also recommend learning how to outsource tasks that can help you save time. If you try to micromanage every single aspect of your business, you'll end up wasting a lot of time. Finally, mentorship is key to fostering growth. No one knows everything. You should be humble enough to admit what you don't know and eager enough to take advantages of opportunities to learn more about information that can help you grow your business.
What is one quote you stand by?
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."