Ekene Ofiaeli Pruce is the bubbly CEO and Designer on a mission to solve the fashion challenges of the “tall” woman.
Ekene Ofiaeli-Pruce is the passion driven and inspiring CEO and Designer of Belle Grande. Belle Grande Ltd is a high-end fashion brand manufactured exclusively in Italy with a mission to eliminate the challenges of finding a perfect outfit for the tall woman.
Highlights Of The Show:
- The story behind Belle Grande is a personal one to Ekene and in this interview, she shares the story of growing up as a ‘tall girl’ in Nigeria, Africa and the challenges she faced daily due to being tall.
- Ekene describes growing up as ‘horrible’ because she was ‘tall’ and ‘awkward’.
- It was a nightmare for her during her growth spurt as a teenager as she was forced make do with ill-fitting clothes and to wear male shoes.
- Eager to fit in, Ekene became a ‘tom boy’.
- Being fashion conscious from a young age of 15 years, Ekene sought to find fabrics and patterns that she felt suited her and she got her mother, who was a fashion designer to make clothes for her.
- At the age of 18 years, she finally started to embrace her height and who she was.
- Ekene who is a lawyer by profession started Belle Grande in 2008 after she was made redundant. However, Belle Grande officially started trading in 2014.
- She spent the first few years researching the fashion industry, attending fashion shows across Europe and understading the needs of ‘tall’ women across the world.
- Belle Grande’s pilot project running for three years (which ends this year) targets tall women looking for quality, classy wear with it’s limited edition made from top quality fabric and manufactured exclusively for Belle Grande in Italy.
- Ekene talks about the challenges of starting a fashion business from scratch and an early incident that landed in a court case.
- Ekene gives credit to a strong support network and she surrounds herself with strong passionate women entrepreneurs to overcome everyday challenges.
- She talked about her target clients and her desire to help women grow more confident throug fashion.
- Ekene also talked about her new brand titled “Ekene Pruce” which is an ‘Igbo, British’ brand and is for the ‘average’ woman. ‘Ekene Pruce’ is a reflection of her cultural heritage as an Igbo child who now lives in Britain. She is hoping to lauch by 2018 in London.
- Ekene talks about how she balances it all out and describes it as a special kind of madness!
- She talks about how a sponsored trade show became her jackpot moment and opened the door to all the information she was searching for. She hasn’t looked back since then.
3 Key Points:
- Time is precious, don’t spend it doing nothing.
- Plan and stay focused.
- Be yourself because everyone else is taken (by Oscar Wilde)