In this edition of AgogNG-Spotlight, we tilt our focus on Wisdom Joshua, founder of Hectaris Branding services, who is living his dream, one T-shirt a time.
It was the moment to throw the spotlight on Wisdom Joshua, and have him share his journey so far in T-Shirt branding. While struggling to shake off his stutter mood, he giggles and then started off with the epic opener: “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.’’ He said.
After a while, he went on, ‘’The story of the gazelle is my story.’’ Joshua, revealed.
Africa is rising, her citizens are rising too. More young people are embracing the idea of entrepreneurship and Wisdom is just one, out of millions of Africans doing the most to put the continent on the map.
How did you get into T-shirt branding in the first place?
I’ve always had the desire to create something new, so sometime in 2016, someone on AKBC TV, Uyo was talking about how he creates his own T-shirt designs but have them printed in China and imports them here. I thought I could do the same, but I didn’t have the
capital to be importing from China, so I decided to find someone that can print it here for me in Nigeria, so I met someone online, the person stays in Lagos. I sent him my first design (which was the #ProudlyUniuyo T-shirts), it sold massively that year.
At some point, I had issues with the guy on the qualities of T-shirts he was giving me, I had to resort to doing the shirts myself. I contacted someone that stays in Lagos and was thinking of the possibility of going over there to go and learn, the amount he mentioned about setting up my T-shirt branding business was alarming.
So I started watching Youtube tutorial videos on how to print. From the knowledge I garnered from watching Youtube videos, I was ready to hit the ground running. But then, I needed someone who have practiced it here, so I contacted a guy here in Uyo to show me how to print.
He was kind enough to brush me up. At this time, since I was still a student, I was broke again, I had only N10,000. I bought all I needed to start with that amount and still had some change. Two years on, it has been steady progress from the most minimal start and having no support to having an office where we brand and sell T-shirts. We have done T-Shirt branding for individuals and corporate organizations in Nigeria.
Why T-shirt branding?
I love creativity and T-shirt branding allows me to express my creative instincts the best way I can. For a fact, there is so much to T-shirt branding that I have in my head and yet to deliver.
What inspires you?
The love for creating something new, the desire to be the best at what I do, the desire to break out of my very humble background have always inspired me to think big.
I get inspiration from designs I see other people do, online or on music videos.
What materials do you work with?
In terms of our shirts production, I work with High-quality ready-made T-shirts which I buy from Lagos, I also have someone in Uyo that is very good with sewing T-shirts, polo shirts, pull-overs, cardigans etc. Since I supply T-shirts and polo shirts, I also get them from Aba, Abia State.
For my printing, I mostly use a method called ‘’Screen printing’’ using the ink called plastisol to deliver high quality and smooth printing.
What’s the strength of your employees?
At the moment, we have a staff strength of 10 people working with us at Hectaris. We hope to accommodate more people when we scale up in the near future.
What is a typical day at Hectaris?
A typical day consists of two stages, preparing a design to print, finishing up and carrying out the actual printing work. On some days we don’t print, I will usually work on graphics design or designing shirts for clients or Hectaris personal designs.
Many youth in Africa tend to run to office jobs and neglect artistry work that has evolved. What is your opinion about this?
I love what I do. And most importantly, I love to make my own decisions and be my own boss. I like the freedom it gives me. I can’t get such freedom working under someone. However, we all need money. So, If I happen to get a high paying job, I could grab that, make some money, and finally go back to running my personal business. So, I am not totally against office work, or 9-5 as it is being called these days.
Quick Fire Questions:
Wande Coal. I like contemporary Nigerian and oldies of same.
If not T-Shirt Branding what would you do?
Maybe, would go fully into Tech. I love technology. I was once a Google Student Ambassador.