The Guaranty Trust Fashion Weekend is a consumer-focused fashion exhibition and capacity-building event that aims to promote enterprise within the fast-growing Nigerian Fashion Industry.
“I saw a pair of shoes I really wanted, but I felt very guilty, spending 600 Pounds, so I didn’t buy them.”
With Rihanna as her style icon, not buying those shoes was a tough call. This was how Urenna birthed an idea for all women who love to shop.
After being ridden with guilt about buying a pair of shoes she but didn’t buy, she thought to herself “what if I had a special stash of cash; money I put away towards treating myself in the future, maybe I wouldn’t have felt that guilt”? This is a shopper’s ideal dream, to be able to walk out of a store without justifying to themselves how much they spent.
Urenna Okonkwo is the founder of a tech startup called Cashmere, a UK-based app with one goal in mind, help young aspirational female consumers save up for their favourite luxury products in a more financially responsible manner.
With a background in finance and a job as an advisor at a private wealth management firm, venturing into creating a financial app wasn’t too far-fetched. Urenna creatively merged her love for technology and fashion and designed a product; a flex fund to empower women to access to the lifestyle they desire. Cashmere allows women to take control of their finances and life that boujee on a budget lifestyle knowing that Cashmere is there to protect them.
Cashmere helps its customers save for ‘just because’ treats by setting aside money towards those products and making sure its customers are debt-free. It also provides cash back and discounts to its customers.
Existing for about two years now, Cashmere has over 20 major luxury retailers such as Selfridges, Harrods, and Harvey Nichols, which all carry a wide range of luxury brands. Urenna grew Cashmere by establishing relationships with luxury retailers and also learning how to code so she could collaborate with her in-house engineering team as they developed the app.
Urenna’s goal for Cashmere is to expand beyond fashion. The app which caters to the aspirational customer will eventually involve luxury travel, luxury experiences, wellbeing, tech gadgets and much more.
Though currently only available in the United Kingdom, Urenna has plans to expand to other countries, including her home country. She has her eyes set on the Nigerian market because a large demographic of Cashmere app users are Nigerian. It’ll also be a profitable market to tap into as the average middle-class Nigerian fits into her aspirational customer target market.
Urenna, however, attributes the slower rate of digital adoption in Nigeria as a current challenge but with more opportunities opening up, Cashmere will one day be fully operational in Nigeria.
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