Abigaelle Closet (an online store) created by Abigaelle Judicaelle IRAKOZE is now not only on line but has an office in Portland. The next move will be to open one in Kigali (Rwanda) and Bujumbura (Burundi). Her deep passion of creating jobs and styles led her to open an online store,The Abigaelle Closet. Now with her own store and all other duties, she took a minute from her busy schedule to tell us a little about the experience of setting up and managing her first store.
Akeza.net: How and why did you start your business?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: I started Abigaelle closet in December, that’s when I purchased my stocks. But I launched the store in the beginning of March. I started it because I love fashion, I am passionate with business but also because I believe I have a mission of creating jobs
Akeza.net: Why the 4 months wait?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: Abigaelle closet is my third business after Avon Business. Avon is a company that produces beauty products. I used to sell their products and get a benefit. I also sold bags and human hair weaves on eBay for almost a year. And after that, I decided to have my own store.
Akeza.net: Apart from business, what else do you do?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: I am a student in Biochemistry at the University of South Maine.
Akeza.net: How does a student in biochemistry end up in business?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: A question I was asked many times by many people. I study biochemistry because I love science. But still I want to use my love in science to get a doctorate in dermatology and have my own brand of beauty products and perfumes.
Akeza.net: What was the most difficult part of starting your own business?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: Finding wholesales who will provide me products. I learned that America gets everything outside so I had to contact some wholesales all over the world
Akeza.net: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in running a business?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: There is no failure in business, you try and try and try until you make it happen.
Akeza.net: How does your business work?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: Abigaelle Closet is a fashion business with an online store. We help with finding outfit for your events (wedding or any other party). We also ship worldwide. When you buy something online, I get a mail informing me that someone bought something from my store. Then the first thing I do is that I accept the payment and then I contact my employees so that they get ready your purchase. Friday is the day of the shipping and the shipping is free. The delivery date depends on where the purchaser lives; for example delivering purchases to Burundi or Rwanda takes 20 days. To Australia, it takes 15 days. To USA, it takes 10 days. To France, it can go from 10 to 15 days.
Akeza.net: How do your clients get to reach you?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: They send me a mail on firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook on my page Abigaelle Closet.
Akeza.net: How do you stay updated on the current trends?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: My Closest friends know that I love magazines (especially in style) that promote current brands every month. But I also try to keep up with decency as it is the theme of my business.
Akeza.net: What are the plans for the future?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: I have 3 plans for this year:
– We are producing our first new collection of clothes,
-I am preparing a fashion show for September here in Portland,
– And another one in Kigali in December.
Akeza.net: How was the Empowering Immigrant Women Conference?
Judicaelle Abigaelle: The Empowering Immigrant Women Conference was great. There was in the vicinity of 300 persons, who came to listen to me and 5 other women (from South Soudan, DRC, Cambodia, Cape Verde and Iraq) sharing our experiences, difficult moments we are going through or we’ve been through and how we faced it. I talked about my business, got some contacts and even was invited to a radio show here in Maine.
Judicaelle Abigaelle, the first one from the right
A new section of Kids apparel is going to be on the website. They will have boys and little girls’ clothes. They are also finishing a contract with the wholesales so they can provide kids shoes too. For further information, follow the link below: http://www.abigaellecloset.website/
Interview by Miranda Akim’