Life Conversations: King David's business started inside his room and now celebrities wear his shoes

This week on Life Conversations, I had a conversation with King David Enyinnaya who owns a shoe line called King David.

King David started from selling shoes to making them

King David's shoes have graced the feet of many Nigerian male fashionistas and celebrities like Ebuka, Davido, Ayra Starr, Joe Boy, Laycon, Burna Boy, Fireboy DML and so many others.

I sat down with him about his humble beginnings and how he achieved some measure of success.

King David Enyinnaya is 26 years old. The last of three children, he was born and raised in Lagos State. He started his business while in the first year of his four-year business administration course.

“I used to go to Abule Egba to buy shoes for about N1,500 and sell them for about N5,000. At 200 level, I just decided to start making shoes. Then, gladiator sandals became a thing and I decided to start making them myself.”

“I graduated in 2017 but I have been making shoes for about seven years now. I knew that I didn’t want a 9-5 structured job, so getting a salaried job was never an option for me.”

“No, it is way more complex. I mostly make boots for men, though some women might wear the boots.”

“I wanted to do something different, something that was not common in the Nigerian market. Most people have to order online to get these boots and it is more accessible if I make it.”

“Most times, it is the stylist who links me up. Other times, they contact me personally. Recently, Buju reached out to me that he loves my shoes and would like to have them made.”

“It felt great. He wanted to pay for it but I didn’t want him to. I just told him to tag me, and when he did, I got over a thousand followers that day and many orders.”

“I collaborated with Emmy Kasbit and Orange Couture. The impact of Lagos Fashion Week was massive. I used to get 100 orders per month; after Fashion Week, I had over 200 orders.”

“A lot, but I find a way to overcome them. Just last week I bought 100 expired soles from Aba. You just have to find a way when the challenges come.”

“Strategic positioning, looking for a need, and knowing how to fulfil it. I make shoes with particular people in mind.

"I used all my allowance to buy machines and used to keep them in my room, then I moved from there to a shed downstairs and then to a duplex in Ajah which is where all the production takes place."

“I want to expand to leather furniture and become a national and global brand competing with other global brands.

King David has about 13 salaried employees and is involved in the creative direction of the shoes. For such a young person, he has done well for himself.

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