In the world of luxury handbag design, one Nigeria brand is emerging to make every woman get noticed, make them feel elegant and sophisticated with authentic exotic leather bags. Nanma Luxury Limited, founded by Emmanuella Edeh a Benue born, a graduate of management Information system from Covenant University, an entrepreneur in her mid-twenties.
The brand was birthed from the inspiration and desire for every woman to feel elegant and sophisticated- Like the amazing and unique texture of python skin, the brand emerged, with a drive to bring back the pride in craftwork.
“Nanma handbags give a sense of satisfaction to those who admire the naturalness of python skin, for its unique pattern that embodies a character that no other leather can replicate. Nanma designs and patterns are sleek and distinctive yet filled with style – revealing the true beauty of natural python skin,” says Edeh. In addition to working on her brand, Edeh works as the product manager at Fintech. Her love for entrepreneurship motivated her to start Nanma Luxury.
“I have always wanted to own a business,” she explains. “I am motivated by the idea of a life that is non-restricting, that gives the opportunity to live fully in one’s journey, grow exponentially and be a leader. My higher education was at Covenant University and being there was a major driving force getting to where I am.
“At Covenant University, we were taught and encouraged to pursue entrepreneurship to becoming generational leaders. My school enabled us by providing platforms to explore our creativity, one of such called “Redefinition”.
While in school, we had a compulsory course called EDS (Entrepreneurship Development Studies) where each year you are allowed to pick a minimum of two entrepreneurial studies out of a range of 30-plus options such as fish farming, snail farming, hairdressing, fashion designing and this was mandatory for graduation. As time went on, students naturally began to explore their creative genes and that was a huge channel for motivation. As Nigerians say ‘Naija no day carry last’, I was motivated to explore my creative genes.”
The vision for her brand came when she started making a few handbags for herself using Ankara fabric. She later graduated to using other fabrics like velvet. Over the years as her experience grew, so did her interest. She finally decided to try exotic leather.
Coined from her native Igbo name “Obialunanma” meaning “I came in beauty” her brand, Nanma is an extension of her personality and values. “I believe in timeless beauty that will outlive us.”
With materials uniquely sourced locally and internationally, the brand’s philosophy of Nanma Luxury has always been giving customer’s value for their money, affordability, and transparency.
“We don’t compromise on quality. Our goal is to create a varying design consistent with high quality to ensure that our customers derive absolute value for their money. Our leathers are 100% genuine and our accessories are custom-made to ensure durability and minimize wear-and-tear. On affordability when we create, we focus on the value, everyone loves high-end brands, but we realized that not everyone can afford them. We want to bridge the gap!”Transparency; “we connect with our customers by sharing our journey from raw material to finished product,” she explains.
Her designs are inspired by the needs of her target market. The current fashion trends also inspire her designs. She strives for simple yet stylish classic, versatile designs that can be worn at any season.
“As a small business, there’s no standard process for new releases. We typically start the production of new collections about 2 -3 months after the previous one. We like to study trends and patterns (buying, selling, style, preference) in the market, collect constructive feedback before releasing a new collection. New releases are dependent on such factors.”
The brand designs are limited with availability for pre-orders. Udeh typically works towards having a minimum of 15 pieces in each design, she says the number varies because python leather doesn’t come with perfect dimensions due to all pythons differing in size and as such, we sometimes tend to lose more materials than anticipated in every piece. Having a niche in the luxury market, Nanma has been able to reach the target markets through social media, word of mouth, and the door-to-door style of marketing. People who value beauty in authenticity and people who have an emotional relationship of self-expression, with superior taste, confidence, daring, and love their heritage.
She adds: “at the moment, our products are focused on women within the ages of 25-55. As we grow, our strategy will change to reach a wider market. we have encountered no challenges penetrating the market. Our patronage extends to other countries like the USA, UK, South Africa and Ghana to name a few. My bags can be purchased on my website, via Instagram or mobile phone.” She says her long-term plans are to expand beyond Nigeria, into Africa and the rest of the world. “I will also explore other industries to form some kind of alliance without losing focus of the brand’s purpose.”
Her expansion plan is to serve more women. “At the moment I make handbags for females only. I intend to make something for men. I will also love to delve into other exotic leathers like croc and ostrich and other leather goods asides handbags,” she says. Assessing the Nigerian Luxury business environment, she says: “I think the Nigerian Luxury business is undergoing a revamp and is unsaturated. Nigerians are beginning to enjoy and appreciate indigenous luxury goods and the competition is rising.”