We had the good fortune of connecting with Chanda Okafor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chanda, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Growing up I was always looking for something to show how proud I was about my Nigerian culture besides clothing. As an adult, I began making items for myself. First it was a passport cover and then a keychain. The idea was to make small things with ankara (or African print) fabric that can be carried daily. After receiving a handful of compliments, I realized I am not the only one looking for items like these. So Jobim Clothing was created to help everyone show their love for African culture in a variety of ways.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Some say they key to business is to fill a need. I did just that. I figured out what I needed for myself and in turn provided it to others with the same need. At Jobim Clothing, we take it a step further by ensuring the best quality fabrics all while supporting other women in business. We hand select our fabrics directly from small businesses in markets across Nigeria. The journey to where I am today has not been easy but tremendously fulfilling. Working each day doing something that I love cannot be replaced. Learning is a continuous requirement and I see it as an adventure. You have to not only read and learn but also apply that knowledge moving forward. Above all else, everyone should be proud of their culture and heritage. I am unapologetically African and would not trade it for anything in the world. There is no need to tone it down or be afraid of what others might say. Be courageous to be you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There is always something to do in Oklahoma City. Personally, I am not out much but we’ll start with food because that is always the most important decision. We are headed over to Industry Gastro Lounge. Their fish tacos hit the spot every time. Shopping at Back 2 My Roots clothing store. They have a ton businesses represented in one place. Lastly, Trappy Hour at Ice Events Center is a must on Fridays. With great deals on food and drinks, it is literally an entire vibe.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This moment could not pass without acknowledging Khenya Barnes of Tej Bath Company. Not only is she family but we are in this small business thing together. We motivate one another to go harder for our respective businesses. We learn together, we celebrate together, and I am positive Jobim Clothing would not be near as successful as it is today without her by my side.
Keshia Ezerendu Photography Lawrence Kelly Photography Lens & Snap Photography