Recruiting with a MessageJul 13
This was the challenge facing 18 year old Owen Osinde, who immigrated to Canada from Kenya only nine short years ago and is now ready to enter the world of entrepreneurialism.
Over the past several summers, Owen worked hard to get the pocket money he needed for personal business essentials, but he also came to the realization he would be happiest if he could work for himself. He had been fascinated by the fashion industry from an early age, and has decided to venture into it with a plan and a philosophy – “Everybody’s recruited to do something big with his/her life”.
With this in mind, Recruits Clothing Company, Owen’s new business, was born. Owen’s understanding of fashion and functionality lead him to launch a series of sport/leisurewear products beginning with casual tops – casual tops that have an inspirational message individually sewn in.
Owen was originally inspired by his Mother, (“…who was really into fashion and abandoned her own lucrative clothing business to come to Canada”) and his father, to whom he credits a fierce work ethic. He took advantage of an opportunity provided by the Summer Company, a program through the Government of Ontario that endows younger entrepreneurs (15-29 years of age) wanting to go into business for themselves with a small honourarium, provided they meet all the requirements – including a sound business plan.
When he received approval for the program, Owen went to work partnering with another associate to create a website (www.recruitsclothing.com – launch date July 4, 2012) and began to research where he could obtain quality fabrics, packaging materials and tags for his motivational messages. He will be “going to market” in a modest way at first, introducing a unique line of tee shirts he calls his “World Series Collection”, but he has ambitious goals.
“Eventually, I want to branch out into jeans, sweaters, shoes and accessories …even watches,” Owen explains, “and then maybe establish outlets in other countries with fashions that reflect their own indigenous culture and philosophies”.
His marketing plan will be largely web-based, concentrating on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, and posting his merchandise on VIMEO, a sort of “U Tube for artsy people”.
While planning to attend Ryerson this fall for a business management program, Owen will be continually upgrading his website and merchandise throughout his post- secondary education period. He has read the lives of many successful business luminaries like Steve Jobs of Apple fame and believes the strength of his products lies in the fact that, “Wearing these clothes will motivate you to be a better person.”
Owen doesn’t think twice about providing advice to fellow entrepreneurs:
“Know what you want. Enter a profession that you truly love. Do not be afraid of failure – it is only the most temporary of defeats. Maintain your self-belief, keep a positive state of mind and have faith that it will work out in the end.”
If his philosophy of combining fashion and inspiration mirrors the needs of a local, national and global market, Owen has a very positive future ahead of him.