At age five, my parents moved my older sister and me to Jersey City, seeking refuge from a deadly civil-war in Sierra Leone, West Africa. I have always dreamed of turning my passion for urban street fashion and design into a successful clothing line that would one day make a positive impact on communities all across the United States, and on the struggling nation of Sierra Leone.
While I had to wear a uniform in high school, there were a few days throughout the year when I was allowed to showcase my personal style. I always received compliments from my classmates on my outfits, which were always the latest and coolest designs. I realized that I spent a lot of money buying clothes, so I decided to turn my dream into a business. I figured that if I create clothes that people enjoy, I would save money while supplementing my income.
Fast forward 10 years, a full-time job, and a Bachelor’s Degree later, I decided to move full-steam with my idea by taking the Community Business Academy and O1Free was born! Since graduating, Rising Tide Capital has invited me to participate as a vendor at several events and helped me secure more than $13,000 in business financing to grow my business. I also launched my first e-commerce website O1free.com and partnered with fellow Rising Tide Entrepreneur Joanna DeLeon of Triple Green to print my customized clothing and accessories.
Within the next 2 years, I plan to significantly increase both my online and retail sales and transition into a retail space. Within the next 5 years, I plan to expand my business both nationally and internationally, ultimately establishing the O1FREE Foundation which will provide job training and entrepreneurial education in the apparel industry for people in Sierra Leone.
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Jersey City, NJ
Business Launch Date:
O1FREE designs stylish, cutting-edge, casual apparel for young men and women with a taste for urban style, trend setting, and enjoying life. “O1FREE” is derived from “only one freedom”, which is the freedom of self-expression that people create for themselves. Our brand promotes peace, love, hope, and happiness by providing uniquely designed clothing and accessories with which individuals may freely and fully express themselves.
Rising Tide Capital Support:
Community Business Academy Graduate Spring 2014
Business Acceleration Services:
• One-on-One Coaching
• BAS seminars
• Kiva Zip Loan
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