Meet the Ghanaian Female Shoemaker

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The Saint Ozwald shoe brand

From humble beginnings in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region, a Ghanaian female Senior High School graduate of Twene Amanfo Senior High now boasts of being the owner of one of the most popular Made-in-Ghana shoe brands and has the most number of celebrity endorsements.

After Sandrah Ozwald completed school in 2013, her parents could not gather enough money to help her move to the next level so she decided to do something for herself by selling ice cream, groundnut cakes or food. During her schools days, Sandra used to sell groundnut cakes, condensed toffees and ice cream to support herself.

She is the only female born among 12 siblings (2nd born) of her parents.

While thinking of what to do take care of herself, Sandra one day attended a friend’s wedding and the grooms shoes looked attracted her.

According to her, the groom’s shoes were Made-in-Ghana with an African print. “So I got attracted to the shoes. I called the bride who is a friend to know about her husband’s shoe. My friend showed me the shoes and who did it for them,” she explained.

Sandra was shocked because she never knew such shoes could be made in Ghana. “I took the shoemakers number, called him and gave him some small amount of money I have saved to make some few ones for me to sell.

“The shoemaker agreed and we got into business but after he made them for me to sell, I nearly stopped selling the shoes because my first day at work was terrible. I was sacked from the first office I entered. They told me they don’t sell there. But God being so good I encouraged myself since I knew I could not wear those men’s shoes,” she stated.

She went on to sell and got many customers and became more interested in the business. “My mother fought me several times because she wasn’t interested in that when I told her I want to learn how to make shoes.”

But later her mother could not do anything than to allow her to achieve her dream. “I then spoke to the shoemaker about my interest and what I want to do. He agreed to assist me learn and later I got to how to make the shoes myself. We initially worked together for a while until he left.

“As a young lady and considering how my mother used to beg for money and food before we could eat, I got inspired to do more to make my mother happy. All these moved me to work hard so I make my mother proud even though I could not continue school to make her proud,“ she stated

The Brand-SAINT OZWALD

I then registered my brand- Saint Ozwald, to start producing my shoes. I started this five years ago and I’m working very hard to build a brand that will compete with the international Brand…especially the Zara Brand.

The founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO of Saint Ozwald wants to build a brand from Ghana that would be respected worldwide.

With an amount GHc300, Sandra has been able to employ 15 permanent young shoemakers and currently training people and there are others who have improved their skills in making shoes as well.

Saint Ozwald has endorsement from most of Ghanaian celebrities including Kwasi Kyei Dakwah (KKD), Nathaniel Attoh, Adjetey Annang, Abeiku Santana, Prince David Osei, Stephen Appiah, Fiifi Coleman and many others.

Sandra has made shoes for former President John Agyekum Kufour and Dr. Thomas Mensah, the Ghanaian American inventor.

Working from a family garage in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region, Sandra says she needs help to expand the factory. “Now my only problem is I need Ghanaians to support me with machines and finance to train more young ladies and young men in shoemaking so we build the shoe manufacturing sector in Ghana,” she appealed.

The prices of her shoes range from GHc250 to GHc500. “I produce for everyone who can afford because the shoes come with quality branding and finishing it is so great, especially for Ghanaians who like Made-in-Ghana goods.”

Saint Ozwald produces 150 pair of shoes every month with raw materials imported from Italy.

Source: Fred Yaw SARPONG || The Daily Express

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