George Wiredu, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Carly Beads, has managed to carve a niche for himself in the highly competitive beads market. He has made ambassadors out of many popular celebrities, and his work featured at all the high profile events in the country. The hard work and dedication that this young man puts into his trade has propelled him to the top levels of the fashion world in Ghana, as he brings something new and fresh to a market that has been for so many years, quite stale. Team Carly Beads is definitely on the rise, and I caught up with George to find out more.
George with Okyeame Kwame
How did you begin your career in the industry?
George: I was working with a friend, doing beads together. I have always been fascinated by them. It got to a point where I didn’t feel he was very serious. So, I broke away from the partnership when I realised I could actually do the beads myself. I really didn’t need any help. I’m addicted to fashion, so my creations tend to come quite naturally.
What are some of the challenges that you’ve faced so far in your career?
George: Well, my beads are a blend of local and foreign styles, so they’re quite new to the market. I’ve had some challenges in finding the right materials that are right for our warm, tropical climate. I’m getting there though. Another is having to put up with critics who claim to know fashion. Fashion is expressive. What might be fashionable to you might not be to someone else. Obviously, it’s a very competitive market, and people like to compare my stuff to others. That’s actually a good thing because I know my work is unique and far superior in quality.
George with Fuse ODG
How much work do you put into being unique?
George: Most of my efforts go into being unique. I have to be. I have a unique fashion sense, and that shows in my work. I’m a big fan of classic fashion, and I put that in my work. I have to stand out. I’m all about blending African culture with modern and classic fashion. I want people like my dad, and my mates wearing my work. That’s the idea. I’m also going to fashion school to learn the technical side of the industry. It’s good to have the talent, but it’s even better when you have the formal education to back it up. It’s important for you to be able to understand the business side of things. Once you’ve made the beads, you need to sell them. It’s also about branding. I pride myself in catering to an exclusive clientele. Many people think if you making beads, you’re just a hungry guy. It’s about exclusivity and style.
How big is fashion in Ghana right now?
George: It’s massive! Even the foreigners are using our prints to make shirts and suits. It’s all very impressive. We’re global, and that’s what I’m aiming for with my work. Fashion will soon be as lucrative as our music industry. It’s going to open a lot of doors for young people with the talent.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
George: I’m a very religious person, so God first. I also believe in hard work and dedication. In terms of fashion, I get inspiration from everything I see around me. I’m a very perceptive guy. I’m always noticing things that I can fuse into my work. You have to be like that in this industry, and be able to let your work reflect you life and all that is around you. It’s an art.
How lucrative is your line of work?
George: I literally just started, but I’m already seeing the prospects. It’s a process that includes lots of brand awareness and marketing. I’m not doing to bad considering how new my brand is. The economic situation doesn’t permit many people to treat themselves these days, but I’m not doing too bad. I see a very bright, lucrative future ahead.
What do you love most about what you do?
George: Everything! Fashion is what I’m all about! There’s nothing like being able to make some beads that can match with your clothes and looking good. I make beads for all occasions, so I’m able to explore my creativity. I love it all!
Do you do anything else apart from fashion?
George: I recently started my artist management company, dedicated to unearthing new talents, and pushing the ones who are struggling. It’s a new world for me, but I believe the fashion and music world are quite similar. It’s all about creativity and marketing. I hope to bring some of the things I’ve already learned from the fashion world into artist management.
What would you say to young people who want to venture into the fashion world?
George: It’s about vision, determination and education. You need to believe in yourself and your talent. God comes first. People will always try to derail you and push you down. You need to remain focused on your goals. It’s a big market and there’s room for everyone. Nothing is easy. The fact that you struggled to get to the top will make the feeling all the more pleasurable once you get there.
Follow Carly Beads on Instagram: @teamcarlybeads, @carlybeadsglobalempire
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