Founded in 2014, Zuvaa was an online platform that introduced African fashion and style to the global marketplace. The brand provided the easiest way for Africans and those who love African fashion to connect and flaunt their unique style. The platform was welcomed by people worldwide. In the shortest time, the brand witnessed massive success with a huge customer base placing orders from across the globe.
Kelechi Anyadiegwu founded the platform to bring African fashion to the forefront. And let’s say the platform did an excellent job in getting customers to admire and shop for African clothes and embrace their unique style. This online apparel company presented customers with bold and colorful designs showcasing the vibrancy and beauty of the African continent.
Kelechi started the platform with only $500 and soon built it into a $2 million empire. She also made it to the Forbes list of 30 under 30. Her inspiration for this platform was her love for African clothes and designs. People always complimented her fashion which led her to create a platform where she shared her favorite designs with the world.
As the platform began to grow, Kelechi approached the sharks for an investment of $460,000 in exchange for 10% equity. The sharks loved her idea and were super impressed by her annual sales. They thought it was phenomenal to attract approximately 120,000 visitors to her platform every month.
However, on the other hand, the sharks were curious to know why she needed an investment when she was doing so well. Her answer to their question was that she needed more money to scale and make a global impact.
Though the sharks were impressed by Zuvaa, they weren’t interested in making investments. Kevin was worried about the valuation, while Sara thought Zuvaa didn’t need investment. Later Kevin did make an offer of $460,000 as a loan for 12% interest and 10% equity, but Kelechi declined and walked out.
Our Review of Zuvaa
We think Zuvaa, as a fashion brand, has added immense value to the global industry. It provided a fantastic range of beautiful African clothes helping people from around the world embrace, appreciate, and get familiar with the African culture.
Though the platform earned massive revenues in 2016, Zuvaa closed its operations in 2019. It is believed that the company grew too big and too fast. We think if Kelechi had managed the growth of her brand skillfully, she would have stayed in business and reached greater heights of success.
However, poor operations and management brought the brand to a standstill. The brand should have redevised its business model to keep up with the changing market trends and meet the growing needs of its customers. The company has now pivoted and rebranded to UJUU Media, a company that helps promote its select African fashion labels to reach wider audiences.
Pros of Zuvaa
Now let’s take a look at some of the many pros of Zuvaa:
Introduction to African Culture
One of the best things about Zuvaa was that it was solely dedicated to and inspired by African fashion. It brought African fashion and style to the forefront. Customers from around the world appreciated the bold and unique designs and placed orders. The high demand for Zuvaa clothes showed that people loved the brand.
Breath of Fresh Air
The brand brought a breath of fresh air to the global fashion industry. Its innovative designs attracted the masses and became an instant success.
Added a Pop of Color
People loved Zuvaa also because the brand added a pop of color. It became the go-to place to shop for vibrant dresses and outfits among women.
Not only were their outfits and accessories fashionable and colorful, but they were also available at affordable prices. So, people could get their favorite outfits for a reasonable price with convenience.
Cons of Zuvaa
Not Prepared for Massive Success
The platform was not ready for the overwhelming response from customers worldwide. The massive success that came too fast was not handled by the brand, resulting in its downfall. They were not able to meet the growing demand of their customers.
Who Is Zuvaa for?
Zuvaa was the perfect fashion marketplace for all those who like bold designs and vibrant colors. It was the best place to shop for clothes inspired by African culture. From unique to stylish and vibrant prints, Zuvaa helped people worldwide connect to the African continent through fashion.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Yes. When Zuvaa started, the competition was fairly low. However, over the years, we have seen many brands popping up with the same philosophy but a better business model. For example, Etsy of Africa, also called Afrikrea, is a clothing line promoting African fashion and clothing. The brand earned €2,000,000 in revenue last year.
Likewise, other alternatives include Ofuure and Grass-Fields. Like Zuvaa, these brands focus on providing customers with unique shopping experiences. So, if you want to shop for fashionable clothes while enjoying a great shopping experience, then you might want to consider these alternatives.
Our Final Thoughts
We think Zuvaa was a brilliant idea. This African-inspired fashion brand would have been a significant success had the company modified its approach and focused on ways to cater to the ongoing demands of the customers. Kelechi made it big so fast that it all came crashing down. The company, though, plans to resume operations in the coming years.
However, this may now be incredibly challenging for the company as there is too much competition. Zuvaa may have to develop a new approach and business model to attract customers and grow its business like before.