Hogoè Kpessou is a former Uber Eats driver and now founder of a womenswear brand that sells handbags and accessories. Kpessou ventured into selling handbags and accessories after quitting her job as a former Uber Eats driver.
Originally from Togo, Kpessou immigrated to the U.S. when she was only six years old. She was ridiculed in school for her name and her heritage. And so when she founded her firm, she decided to name it after herself to wash away the negative association she harbored toward her name
“I have people asking me how to say my name properly and asking how to spell it,” she told the Business Insider. “That was a good choice on my part.”
She started her brand with $10,000 she took from her mother. According to her, she expects the business to hit seven figures by early next year. Since launching her brand in October, customers have been in love with her brand, with the majority of the purchases being her bee-themed bookbags, messenger bags, purses, and saddlebags.
Citing documents sighted, the Business Insider notes that Kpessou’s brand has made nearly $500,000 in sales, seeing a 3,900% transaction increase. Also, the social media growth of the brand has been massive, growing 31,000% with direct site traffic climbing 50,000%.
The entrepreneur is preparing to show her newest collection of bags at New York Fashion week before heading to Paris and Milan for their respective fashion weeks.
Before starting her brand, Kpessou sold candles and poetry books online. At the time, she also worked as a sales representative at the insurance company Florida Blue while holding weekend shifts at a local restaurant and delivering food for Uber Eats.
And when she decided to sell her own line of handbags, brands like Calvin Klein and Guccio Gucci were her source of inspiration.
“When you hear ‘Gucci’, you don’t instantly think of the price. You think of the presence that name brings. You think something luxurious or something big,” Kpessou told Reckon South. “I wanted that same ability for my name because I felt like I was cheated out of enjoying being able to be me for so long.”
Currently, Kpessou runs the whole show, sometimes with the support of her boyfriend. She does not plan to hire additional hands until she can properly pay them. “I want to be able to grow, but I want anybody who joins me to be able to grow with me. I don’t want to grow on top of people,” Kpessou said. “If I’m eating good, I want other people to eat, too.”