August 30, 2015

Living Life Profashionally: Mizizi

It's that time of the month to interview someone who is Living Life Profashionally! I believe that to Live Life Profashionally means to strike the balance of being professional and fantabulous. It means to carry yourself with class and to never stop reaching for your goals whatever they may be. This month's interviewee will be entrepreneur, Paakow Essandoh! He is the Co-Founder and CEO of the urban Afrocentric clothing line, Mizizi. I am sure that you have seen these dope jerseys but now you can meet the man behind it all.




TPF: First and foremost, what is the meaning of "Mizizi" and why did you choose it as the name of your line?
Paakow: Mizizi means "roots" in Swahili. The name came about when George (Co-Founder) and I were coming up with a list of Diaspora related words, which he then translated into his native language, Swahili.

TPF: How did this line come about?
Paakow: When I first met George, I thought that the clothes he wore were so dope. He would come to class in regular, modern day clothing but with African Print stitched into it. Once I saw that I was instantly inspired. I thought about how I could market it to all the Africans I knew back home in Texas; not only for my friends, but other proud Africans as well. Afterwards, George and I (with help from close friends) worked on ideas and sketched of what our brand should consist of. Our ideas spanned from everything to jogger pants with African fabric to bucket hats. As the days went on, George had a few other business endeavors on his plate and wasn't able to give his undivided attention to the clothing line. We discussed it for a bit and we agreed that I would solely run the clothing line, and that we would support me if need be. 

TPF: Who is Paakow?
Paakow: Born in Brooklyn, NY; moved to Columbus, Ohio, raised in Dallas, Texas, currently living in Tampa, Florida. At the age of 20, I am a junior at the University of South Florida and the Co-Founder and CEO of Mizizi. Many people ask me if I am a fashion designer or a stylist, but I really know nothing about fashion. I just see myself as an entrepreneur. The people I have surrounded myself with in Florida has only fed my ambition and have really made me grow exponentially.   

TPF: Walk us through the process of launching this line. 
Paakow: Well, when George left the company I took matter into my own hands and ventured to New York to find a manufacturer for my product. I literally spent days in the Garment District going from shop to shop seeing is they were able to accomplish what I needed done. By the end of my trip, I had nothing to show for it. None of the manufacturers were able to cost effectively produce the line. That is when I decided to scale down and focus on one product that would be a best seller, I.E. the baseball jerseys.  

TPF: What type of person do you envision in your clothing?
Paakow: Honestly, anyone and everyone. The first time I even wore one of my jerseys I was in dapper wear and the outfit looked good. First time my mom ever wore a jersey, she wore the Ghana one like a vest while wearing a kufi hat. I never imagined how versatile baseball jerseys were but they truly are. 

TPF: Where can people find your jerseys?
Paakow: Our website is Mizizishop.com, Instagram is @Mizizi.Shop, Twitter is @Mizizishop, Tumblr is Mizizishop.tumblr.com

TPF: What is a quote that you live by?
Paakow: I know it sounds cliche but, "Your vibe attracts your tribe."

TPF: Do you have any advice for people trying to start their own lines?
Paakow: Never rush it, never give up. Take some time to fully develop your ideas. Till this day I have my original jersey designs, which are just terrible compared to what I have now, but back then I thought they were amazing. 

TPF: What does it mean to Live Life Profashionally to you?
Paakow: The clothes you wear evokes opinions and perceptions that ones have about you. Before you get dressed and step out, what impression are you trying to make? 

TPF: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Paakow: Man, I have no idea and I don't necessarily try to think that far ahead. As long as I remained blessed I have no worries. 

TPF: Anything else you would like to share with us?
Paakow: Be sure to check out our official release on August 30th at 6 PM EST. 

Want more from Paakow? Make sure you check out his jerseys on Mizizishop.com, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. Thank you for the interview and I can't wait to see how much you accomplish! To all my African sisters and brothers, make sure you grab your jersey before they sell out! Stay Profashional my loves! xoxo
Clarice 


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1 comment

  1. I love "Mizizi". It look super! I think it is your right chose. I think In future it leading fashion market.

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