Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Conversations in Ghana: Renée Q - Entrepreneur

Bespoke fashion always hints at a certain luxury and appeal. Renée Q offers just that with her bespoke t-shirts; which are T's glammed up with an African inspiration. Being told that 'no two are the same' adds that exclusivity element. Renée is taking it a step further by offering Ghanaian women a 'beauty haven, a serene place of retreat '.

She has already expanded her service offering to include not only her exquisite one-of-kind T's, but has now ventured into the beauty business, with her  Hair and Nail Place, which she wants to be a 'place of pleasure' for women in need of a bit of pampering. "I want it to be a place where you can come in, get your hair done, have your nails manicured and leave feeling like a goddess, rejuvenated and beautiful!".
She's come a long way from selling accessories from the back of her car, when she was still treating the business like a hobby. The Renée Q brand is a long way from the corporate world she one inhabited armed with her degree in Banking and Finance. Her aunt, she says encouraged her to open up her first shop 'in order to be taken seriously' when she saw demand for her services grow. She started with a small shop in Osu and her marketing was mainly by word of mouth. She has, since 2007 managed to grow Renée Q into a recognisable brand. I first heard of her two years ago when I heard one person compliment another, with "That's that a Renée Q?"

Photo courtesy of: Renée Q
Was fashion what she always wanted to do? Not at all, although, she admits, she has always dabbled in fashion in some way or other. She would always re-design her clothes when she was younger, armed with a pair of scissors and ideas, and was always playing with her grandmother's make-up. She laughs when she tells me that fashion design as a career option was discouraged from the very onset. The first time she mentioned to her mother that when she grew up she wanted to be a fashion designer, the response she got was, "If you say that again, I am going to beat you!"
No surprises there, since fashion is not always a career that in line with many parents' ideals for their children -not in the mould of being a lawyer, engineer, doctor...
Her mom, she says, now helps her in the management of her business, handling the quality control at her factory and managing the tailors she employs. "It helps significantly to have someone with the right eye to spot the kind of mistakes that tailors make - one of the challenges of the business."

Where does she draw inspiration from?

From everywhere, and she makes it a point to keep in touch with current trends in her industry. She admires designers like fellow Ghanaian Aisha Obuobi of  'Christie Brown', "I love her creativity and freshness".
There are some great tailors in Ghana that she favours, together with Nigerian designer, Tiffany Amber and international influences like Ellie Saab.

Where to now for Renée Q 'The business'?
More marketing for the business, focusing on the beauty side, offering professional make-up classes, (Renée also studied Professional make-up and hair) and events and for women, not only on issues of beauty but a lot more. "I want Renee Q's to be not just a place for women to come, get pampered and relax in...but also a place when we can organise talks for women by other women to engage them on other levels." 

Renée Q
Trade Fair Road
Tel: 0302 777 926

The glamorous African-inspired T's that sold the brand...

Above photos courtesy of: Renée Q

The boutique with the textured chairs in one corner...

And accessories in the other...feels more like a place to come play dress-up in.

The famous Renée Q t-shirts on a rack

1 comment:

  1. Am a huge fan of Renee Q - the person AND the brand! I think she takes excellence to a whole other level where mediocrity or stale ideas are absolutely not tolerated.

    Her new shop/salon is truly a haven for busy women to relax, get pampered and release their "inner goddess".

    Keep up the good work!