We had the good fortune of connecting with Ayo Aigbe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ayo, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
“There has to be a better way.” That was the thought that came to mind whenever I saw my favorite sweater ruined. As I took off the sweater from the hanger, I noticed that it had shoulder bumps on each end. I was flustered, searching Google for options on how to remove the shoulder bumps. I tried everything—from putting hot water on each end and drying it to ironing out the shoulder. None of it worked. Still flustered, I was curious to see if anyone had gone through the same thing. I began asking more of my friends and people on campus if they had similar issues through a verbal survey and I found a common narrative: the traditional hanger design sucked. The current design gave way to stretching, slippage, shoulder bumps, and wrinkling. People had issues with their hangers and it had a negative impact on their clothing. To top this, no one had an ideal solution to resolving these common issues. I observed how much unneeded stress this created in people’s lives and I knew that people cared about their clothes. I wanted to create a solution to this problem that would alleviate this stress and a solution that would treat people’s garments with the respect they deserved. With this, I set out to create a hanger that would actually work—a hanger that would revolutionize the way people stored clothes in closets. I tried out different options and eventually landed on a bendable hanger design. After creating an initial prototype, I began to see early traction where people asked me where they could purchase the hanger. From there, I saw the opportunity for this mere idea to be a business that could make a positive impact on people’s closets and further, peoples lives.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Hangio is an innovative closet-organization company optimizing the everyday closet experience through unique, well-designed, and well-made products. Hangio’s flagship product, The Hangio Hanger, is the first premium bendable hanger that alleviates shoulder bumps, clothes slippage, and collar stretching. I got to where I am today through countless mentorship hours, trial and error in product development, and belief in what I am building. One of my biggest struggles has been the knowledge gap and managing my time. I had never brought a brand new product to market before, so there were so many things I had to learn in product development and marketing. To overcome this, I surrounded myself with mentors, books, and seminars that helped close this gap more and more. Secondly, the biggest thing I had to learn was to set boundaries on time and deeply understand what mattered. As a full-time student and business owner, I am oftentimes pulled in many directions at once. The biggest thing I have learned is that there will always be competing priorities but to push the needle, you have to focus on what is most important. For me, that was finishing school well, creating a practical and beautifully designed product that my customers would love, and building a strong community around me to enable that process. I would like the world to know our big mantra of “respect and love your space”. To us, this means treating your space with care and intention. We believe that by sharing this message to the world and through creating products that embody this mantra, we can promote peace of mind and make a positive impact to people’s lives. Our vision is to simply have the closet space be a place everyone looks forward to every single day. Further, I would love for people to know that their dreams are possible. They may just take patience, smaller failures, and belief along the way!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am taking him/her to Velvet Taco for some of the best tacos ever. I would also take them to the mall for day shopping and end the day with donut ice cream!
Alright, so let’s jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
Organization: Texas Tech’s Innovation Hub at Research Park Future Founders MassChallenge Texas Business Hall of Fame Book: Start With Why by Simon Sinek, How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen
Other: Tik Tok – @shophangio
Anjelica Marie Photo Matthew Greene Delaney Moreno