Christine Kato, a 400-level Sociology student of the University of Abuja started House of Christine (Kristiinz_Collections) two years ago. She was born in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria on May 2, 1994, the youngest of three children.
Christine Kato - House of Christine
Christine started with normal African prints better known as ankara, with which she started making fashionable hand bags with accessories (bangles, necklaces and earrings).
Christine says the rate of unemployment in the country is alarming and the need for youth, especially women, to provide employment for themselves by being entrepreneurs and taking their own fate into their own hands instead of waiting for the government to provide jobs for them.
"I believe that, to be able to get rich or make a proper living, you have to do something you haven't been taught to do in school otherwise everyone would went to school would be rich. I acquired the skill of bag making from someone whose into bag making and with the idea I was able to create," she says passionately, her eyes glowing with excitement.
Christine started with normal African prints better known as ankara, with which she started making fashionable hand bags with accessories (bangles, necklaces and earrings). In December, 2015, Christine was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by Pearls International, an Abuja-based outfit.
Christine says her bags have been carried by public figures such as Mrs. Omenasa Oruma Akomolafe, Founder, Pearls International; Monalisa Chinda, Nollywood actress; and Bolanle Olukanni, TV show host.
"I always had the deepest love for art and artworks. I wanted doing something that had never been done; something that people could see and relate to and it just occurred to me that why don't I put pictures of artworks (paintings and drawings) on my bags. I was able to get some artworks from my artist friend Davinci Iklaga k. Otukpo. It sounded like a good idea but it needed a substantial amount of capital to become a reality," says Christine.
"I managed to get a little capital from someone close after which I proceeded to produce few bags as samples which turned out to be great and got some major attention. Especially by foreigners."
Christine plans to fully establish the company to be much bigger than it is now: one which gives opportunities primarily to women - meaning the company would hire and train interested women, hence reducing the rate of unemployment amongst women.
Her bags are currently on Kaymu, OLX and eBay. She is currently working on getting them into major stores like Shoprite, Cash & Carry, Payporte and Jumia.
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