Total loan: $9,175
Bronx, NY, United States / Clothing
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Collins's loan finished fundraising,
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A loan helped grow my business by funding production of a few in demand apparel pieces from my new collection.
I grew up in Nigeria, on the west coast of the Atlantic. I was a quiet child who sometimes found the world overwhelming. It was there, that fashion first stole my heart. Lagos is a city where creative inspiration abounds: local artists painting and sculpting on street corners, colorful aso-oke (fabric) and tie and dye wrappers, a constant surge of people selling food, trinkets and odds and ends in traffic. Fashion is where I found my peace and joy. I experimented with fabric. I nicked buttons off clothing of family members. And I sewed badly cut blouses. At 10 years, my grandmother taught me to sew properly and I started making, colorful, inter-changeable collars to sell to my sister's friends who had seen them on TV. Years later, after proper training, I started the Chuks Collins brand. Success on the local scene came quickly: high profile endorsements, celebrity red carpets, and a flourishing business. But it all came crashing down in 2012. I had a near-fatal car crash that caused my kidneys to fail. What followed were some really tough times I went through bouts of dialysis, had to relocate to the US due to an emergency, and had a kidney transplant. What kept my hopes up through all of that was my love for fashion and my dreams of rebuilding my brand. It has been 3 years since my transplant and I am back to building a business out of the passion of my life: helping people feel good, by helping them look good!