Waxiu Shehu takes his clothes trademark out into the world: ”Wants to show other young people that they can do it”
He has turned his private business into a limited company.
– I want to take the next step, says Waxiu Shehu, who is both a tailor and a fashion designer.
Strng Wmn has become Strng Wmn International Ltd. For practical and symbolic reasons.
– Now it's more serious. It isn't just a young man starting up his own trademark from his flat any more, he says.
For almost two years Waxiu Shehu has run his studio and boutique Studio 234+ in Hässleholm. He opened in the middle of the pandemic. Here you can find clothes with his own label Strng Wmn, second-hand and vintage clothes, a tailoring service and dry-cleaning.
Now a selection of his clothes and accessories are also available through one of the biggest webshops in Europe, Zalando.
– I began with what sold best on my own homepage. And what customers here had bought. I don't know yet how some of the items will sell. But so far I haven't been disappointed, he laughs.
”I know that Strng Wmn is a trademark that sells well abroad, not only in Sweden.”Waxiu Shehu, designer
He packs the orders himself in his studio in Hässleholm. If sales are successful internationally the clothes will be packed from the fashion company's stock, in Germany. Then stocks must be considerably larger.
Representatives from Zalando have already asked if he would like to start selling in more countries. But he wants to focus on his limited company first.
– Now I have sales in Sweden, and I hope to be able to sell internationally soon, the 29-year-old says.
– I know that Strng Wmn is a trademark that sells well abroad, not only in Sweden.
”There have been times along the way when I've been really scared. More than once. But I've just kept going in any case”Waxiu Shehu
Why do you want to expand?
– That's a good question...he says, and thinks for a moment or two before going on:
– I think people always like a challenge. I want to challenge myself and see what I can do. I think I can show other young people what they can achieve.
– My idea wasn't to start a business in the first place, I wanted to make clothes, And there have been times along the way when I've been really scared. More than once. But I've just kept going in any case. So I think I want to do it simply to show that it can be done.
Do you have any special dream or objective?
– I don't dream. Where I come from you can't dream – there dreams are a way of being disappointed, he says.
– This would not have been possible in Nigeria. But now I can perhaps dare to dream a little...
He goes on:
– Instead I think that if my destiny leads me somewhere, that's the right place. I'm always open to opportunities. If you plan too much...
– If I'd thought too much before I opened this boutique, perhaps I would only have seen obstacles.
Family: daughter Fatima, aged eight.
Lives: in Malmö, has lived in Sibbhult and Hässleholm.
Background: came from Nigeria as an unaccompanied minor, was given a residence permit in 2013.
Education: has studied textile- and fashion design in Malmö.
Occupation: inspired by his mother , his daughter Fatima and other women, and the discrimination faced by women in his home country, he started designing under the label Strng Wmn.
Two years ago he opened his boutique Studio 234+ in Hässleholm, with his own designs, second-hand, dry-cleaning and a tailoring service.
Waxiu Shehu was asked by the fashion firm Zalando if he would like to have his products on their site.
– I'm happy when I'm in control, and with them that's what I have. For example they can't sell off my things without my permission.
”Planning isn't my strong point, but if it feels right, I go ahead”Waxiu Shehu
They do the publicity, and get a small percentage of what I sell for.
He is considering starting more boutiques. He thinks the concept of a tailoring service, second-hand and his own label would do well in Malmö, where he lives. Perhaps in Copenhagen too.
– I don't usually talk about plans. But one day I may make up my mind. Planning isn't my strong point, but if it feels right, I go ahead.