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Young Entrepreneur: Ngozi Elendu


I have been speaking with young Nigerian entrepreneurs every week for close to two years now, but never before have I been so thrilled after speaking with any of them as I was after I spoke with Ms. Ngozi Elendu. I was so impressed by her business and the ideas behind it that I had to insist that we move her interview forward to this week skipping a couple of other interviews.

Like I told her, I have no doubt her business story will act as motivation to other young Nigerians to aspire to do something equally remarkable. I am personally optimistic about Ms. Asoebi, and I have a strong belief that in the next few years her business will be featured on global platforms as Forbes and Entrepreneurs.com.

Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi, My Name is Ngozi Elendu; I am the owner and Creative Director of Ms.Asoebi

Okay. Tell us a little about Ms.Asoebi, what do you do?

First and foremost, I started off as an Asoebi consultant, basically helping brides source for fabrics within their budget and color preference for their Asoebi and also packaging and delivering. In a nutshell, we take off the asoebi stress completely off the Bride-to-be. Finding customers for a new business was the hard part, so I started an Instagram page and basically started uploading photos of different people wearing asoebi from different weddings and before we knew it, the page started getting followers and people would email in their photos to be posted for adverts and some just for likes.

So you act as a consultant for people who need Asoebi?

Yes, we do, but as our page grew popular we have also become a source for people to find good Makeup Artists as well as other wedding vendors ranging from event planners to photographers to hairstylists etc.

This is quite interesting. How did you come across such a business model? What inspired you?

Honestly, it just happened. I only started the page as an inspiration to myself,  basically putting up photos of beautiful people wearing lovely fabrics so when people contact me for fabrics I can show them current trends and then get them similar fabrics;  but then for some weird unknown reason I started getting lots of followers and I started putting up more photos more frequently and then people started to email in their photos and people started to tag  #ms_asoebi on their photos and I was surprised, but I went with the flow and the page continued to grow and I can honestly say my followers on Instagram helped mold the Brand into what it has become.

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You have a huge following on Instagram, how long have you been in this business?

It’s been about 2 years now

I am really impressed by your business, it is beautiful.

Thanks so much!! It’s been God all along.

Can you share with us some of the challenges you have faced?

Sure, with concerns to the Asoebi Part, we learn every day.  One time we had designed a fabric for a Bride, from colours to Pattern and all, everything was fine, she approved the design and all, then we placed the order with our manufacturers, and told the bride to come pick up her fabric on a particular Date.

The Fabric got into Nigeria 2 days before that date but NAHCO (Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc) decided to go on strike, Oh my Goodness, you cannot imagine all the strings we tried to pull before the pick-up date we had given the Bride-to-be;  unfortunately we were not able to get the fabrics out until 2 weeks later. The Bride that had never met me before and had sent such a substantial amount of money tried to be calm the first 3 days but after that, she lost it completely, she was having major trust issues and was calling me almost every hour for those 10 days, trust me it got to a point when I see her number on my screen I just get weak and tearful {laughs}. It is not an experience I would love to happen again. Luckily, when the fabrics came out she was so in love with it that she wasn’t too upset when I personally went to deliver it and apologized for the delay. Oh, and yes, she still ordered more but this time we didn’t use Cargo {smile}.

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That is one hell of an experience. How lucrative is this business?

Pretty lucrative, I think mainly because I love what I do. And by the way, lucrative is relative {smile}.

Okay. I understand. How many staff are on your team?

Hmmmm, that is a tough one, I have one. I have one main staff which is my Assistant and I work with a number of courier companies for my deliveries. Oh, and by the way, 90% of my customers have never met me. All transactions are online.

That’s interesting. Finally, ma what are your future plans for Ms. Asoebi?

Future Plans; Ms.Asoebi is still evolving as a Brand in the Nigerian wedding industry; from Asoebi to event planning, to custom made dresses for Bridal train, to creating an easy wedding directory of Nigerian wedding vendors etc, everything wedding related basically.

I see Miss Asoebi growing beyond borders, starting with a couple of stores in Nigeria, then a few other countries in Africa and then each continent!

Thank you very much ma for your time. We really appreciate it

Thanks a lot for the opportunity. I really appreciate it as well



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