Growing up, Christabel Ama Agbottah wanted to become an influential entrepreneur that will make an impact in the world. In achieving that, she started Chrisbel Accessories, a fashion accessory business, in 2019.
“I have been inspired by billionaires worldwide, and my dream is to be an influential person who will at least make a difference. I am a go-getter who achieves anything I set my mind to,” she told Kuulpeeps.
Christabel is a third-year Business Administration student at Ashesi University and a MasterCard Foundation Scholar. She is also an alumna of Mfantsiman Girls Senior High School.
Before gaining admission to Ashesi, Christabel realised that there was no jewellery shop around or close to where she lives and decided to set up a shop that will provide such services.
“Where I live, for instance, I realized that there was no jewellery shop around. People would have to go all the way to Accra to get them. So, I thought, “why don’t I go get it for them.”
“When I started, I was teaching, so I initially got them for the teachers, and that was how it began. I started selling to the people in the neighbourhood. When I got to school, I realized there was more potential for the business, so I expanded it,” she said.
Her business, which is located at Dansoman, Accra, provides jewellery, clothing and fashion tips and services to customers. According to Christabel, her brand saves people the stress of overthinking, making it convenient for people to purchase accessories at an affordable cost. “The business’s mission is to enhance the life of its customers because their beauty is a priority,” she said.
After gaining admission to Ashesi, Christabel expanded her target market and included university and high school students.
Christabel reveals that the unpleasant part of being a student entrepreneur who sells fashion accessories is when some students look down on her because of what she deals in.
“They believe that once you start a small business, you are poor and are only trying to make ends meet. While some students do not support my business for only God knows their reasons. They try to tarnish my brand,” she said.
However, while some students try to “tarnish her brand”, others are proud of what she is doing and encourage her to achieve more.
“On the other hand, I get massive respect and accolades from my fellow students. They refer to me as C.E.O and sometimes Chrisbel Accessories instead of my first name Christabel. And this serves as a motivation for me to do more to attain my dreams. It is always great when my friends refer potential customers to my business.”
On how she is able to manage academic work and business simultaneously, and succeeding in both, Christabel revealed that it was not difficult before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everything was running smoothly, mainly because I was in direct contact with my customers. However, everything changed post corona. Online studying has been pretty stressful and delivering products to customers has been challenging. I have partnered with delivery firms, and now I set priorities to finish my schoolwork and then have time for my business,” she explained.
With what she has been able to achieve so far as a student entrepreneur, Christabel thinks it is important for students who dream of owning businesses to start now.
“Students with the dream of being entrepreneurs should start early. It does not have to be perfect or something big from the start,” she said. “The road to success is not easy, there will be standing blocks, but with determination and tenacity, you will be able to overcome them.”
“It is always great to start early while you are in school than to wait any longer. Besides, school creates more opportunities due to the students serving as potential customers and the experience you would have learnt,” she added.
According to Christabel, being a student entrepreneur has been one of the best decisions she has ever made, and she is also proud of her humble beginnings. “So far, the journey has been good, it is getting better each day,” she said.
Christabel hopes to grow her business into a global brands like Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Versace and others.
“My plan is to grow it from a sole proprietorship into a company with at least a branch in countries. Within five years, the business should conduct transactions all around the world and ship products to foreign customers. The company will continue to grow into the foreseeable future. To date, it has established a vast customer base in Accra and it is in the process of establishing a more extensive customer base across the world.”
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