Wednesday, 1 January 2014

2014 Dream Business No1: Is Ghana ready for Versace furniture?


Versace Apollo Cushion – Blue -£175

Versace Les Trésors de la Mer Cup & saucer -£144

Nana Aba says: As big boys and girls of Ghanaian origin try and outdo each other in new business launches in 2014….think .......soon to launch/spring-up new cigar lounges, some one trying to bring Pucci to Accra, the possibility of one big boy or another bringing Louis Vuitton to Accra and you start to see what I mean –thus, I’m thinking that the only fashion label/brand still left for me to take to Ghana is Versace… not Versus their diffusion line or even their clothes –as I feel with the little research I’ve done in the past --that Dolce & Gabbana’s little black dresses from their more reasonable D&G diffusion line is better for Ghana –the likes of singer/TV presenter Deborah Vanessa Owusu-Bonsu are already fans.

Also, when the likes of make-up maestro Sacha Okoh (Sacha Bruce-Adjetey) is selling fab out-side-the-box quirky labels like Moschino in her much feted Viva Boutique, one of Ghana’s premier stockist of luxury high-end designer goods –you know you need to come better and uber niche or stay home!!! So I’m thinking not garbs but furniture and I’m thinking OTT -over the top high-end Versace soft furnishings and furniture alongside a much more reasonable line of quirky pieces like the furniture you find in Habitat and Heals!!!!!!

There’s something about Versace –no? Over the top sexy and in-ya-face but you can’t deny that everything about the label stops traffic** Big in the 80’s and huge now, rich and expensive and dripping in sass and attitude, it really the Queen B*** of all the labels –no?

Anyway I was thinking about taking the Versace home collection to Ghana??? What do you think? Do you think I’ve gone mad –I do….

I’m thinking not the whole shebang but maybe their cushions, some of their crockery –you know the ones with the wings, their chic beddings and one or two big furniture pieces –what do you think?

I’ve probably banged my head but I’m thinking I better compile a list of possible clients, get my only friend in Ghana (laughter) Ms Jagger-Jagger to road test a few pieces –then take it from there. But what if they don’t sell? What if I can’t sell enough pieces to sustain a business?

I think I’ll have to sell other interior pieces –a much cheaper but no less aspirational brands –I can’t think of one right now but there must be some.

I could also sell Jo Malone candles, Ghana’s style elite love them and drag them back from London and the likes --as and when they’re overseas…

I could sell exclusivity, very few businesses in Ghana understand the concept of selling exclusivity. I could lock-in the likes of Versace and Wedgwood, thus, becoming the only stockists of their brand in Ghana –maybe West Africa –what do you think?

But would they allow exclusive dealings/tied selling or would they complain about market restrictions –Nigeria is only down the road and they have more high-end brands than us (Ghana), plus their population is more attractive -even though Ghanaian consumers are more elegant in their tastes.... Plus, I think it was only earlier this year that Nigeria’s most exclusive boutique Temple Muse starting stocking another favourite and out-side-the-box brand Emilio Pucci (Pucci to you and me) –the first in West Africa to stock the much feted society brand!!! So as you see the luxury market in Africa is most definitely real and blossoming and I’m Versace might be next.

But what if I forgo the overheads of a shop ---and just buy and ship via an uber exclusive secret high-end website, where prospective customers are invited (only) –would that be better?

The thing is …..the only place one could really sell Versace furniture full-stop in Accra is in uber chichi Airport City –and who can afford said locale apart from those (unmentionable) women living off Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)? Those women whose weav-ons are paid for by unseen men in the highest offices in Ghana, come on you know them. most are TV presenters....

Anyway…I know that many of you like myself --have been keeping a beady eye on retail spaces in Airport, come on be honest---and like me you’ve discovered that they are more expensive than those retail spaces in the Kumasi of London and you know what I mean…

But what on earth can one do when the pressure to go back home to Ghana and do something profitable–is overwhelming!!!!

All you have to do is spend a minute on Facebook and there’s another new-born baby shipping China made goods or Primark dresses to Ghana to sell as high-end designer goods in one street or another off Osu main high street!!!!

I’m happy for them, honestly I am –I love enterprise but I’m sick of seeing cheap, tacky tat passed off as designer goods in our sweet motherland Ghana –plus can you believe how much they are charging for all that wannabe cotton and leatherette stuff???

Anyway my Jojo has just come in to wake-me up so I must stop here….but Versace in Ghana –can you see it… xxx

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