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Of Challenges and Rewards — Running a Handmade Jewelry Business in Nigeria February 02, 2023 (0 comments)


Lagos, Nigeria--The Uzo jewelry brand appeals to modern jewelry aficionados with its delicate and minimalist designs. Each piece is handmade and can be customized to tell personal stories and preserve memories.

[Image via UZO jewelry/Facebook] 

The brand's founder and head designer, Uzoamaka Ezeugwa, shares in a report that the process is not just about putting a name or date on a piece of jewelry. "I aim to tell stories and preserve memories," she explains. The article notes that one client's request to create a piece in memory of her late father touched Uzo deeply, showing her that her work extends beyond just fashion.

The global jewelry market is estimated to be worth $269 billion, according to a report from Statista. In Nigeria, the jewelry trade is dominated by the Hausa in trading centers like Kano, but there are jewelers across the country producing pieces in various capacities. To stand out in this competitive industry, Uzo's philosophy is to cater to unmet needs in the market, something she has learned over nine years of experience in the jewelry business.

The article states that many Nigerians cannot purchase solid gold jewelry due to multidimensional poverty affecting 133 million individuals in the country. Ezeugwa wanted to provide high-quality products at an affordable price for her customers. She opted for gold-filled metal, a combination of a thick layer of solid gold and brass, offering solid gold's durability and skin-friendliness but at a more accessible price point.

Uzo's childhood love for arts and crafts, especially jewelry making, was encouraged by her parents, who enrolled her in bead-making classes. These classes sparked her interest in doing more with jewelry, but she wanted to find her unique approach in the industry. She found inspiration from the Bible, specifically Exodus chapter 31, which spoke about the types, shapes, and sizes of gemstones used in jewelry making. This led her to conduct research and attend a jewelry design school in India, known for being a global leader in the industry and offering affordable education.

Learn more about Ezeugwa's journey in the entire article.

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