EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: How Mezzi Leroy Is Taking Over The World With The Best Crafted Shoes

By Post-Nigeria: October 26, 2019 22:46

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: How Mezzi Leroy Is Taking Over The World With The Best Crafted Shoes

PN: Good day, please kindly introduce yourself to us, and tell us what you do.

ML: First off, thank you for having me on your platform. My name is Chimezie Leroy, I am the Creative Director and Founder of the leather goods brand, Mezzi Leroy.

PN: Give us a little insight into your family background and education.

ML: Well, I grew up moving from State to State across the Federation. All thanks to my parents’ jobs, as Custom Officers, they were always on the move, and the repercussion was we (my siblings and I) moving with them. So, I had brief stays in Kano, Enugu, Port Harcourt, Abuja, before we settled in Lagos. I have a BSc in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, from the University of Lagos.

PN: Despite your educational qualifications, why go into shoe production, especially in Nigeria?

ML: I have always had a knack for Entrepreneurship right from cradle days. Why shoes? I have always had a thing for shoes. I remember my mum always complaining that I had too many shoes when I was younger. Now, see who has his own shoe brand. Over the years, the term Made-in-Nigeria has been synonymous with being inferior. I felt there was a lot to be done, given the fact that we actually have very good leather in Nigeria. A combination of all these, but not limited to the above mentioned, led to me going into the production of shoes, locally.

PN: How difficult was it for you to start, and what are some tips you can share that helped you scale through the difficult hurdles at the early stage of your business?

ML: I think one of the key things that has seen me through, is passion for what I do. The desire to positively make a difference, has helped me weather the storm. As a growing brand, there are so many challenges, like funding, human errors on the side of the workers, little or inadequate power supply, etc; but as an entrepreneur, the onus is on us to mitigate these challenges.

PN: What is the main inspiration behind the Mezzi Leroy brand?

ML: The major inspiration is the urge to pursue a passion, to make a change positively, and leave my mark in the sands of time. 

PN: There are many very well established shoe brands around the world; what can you say stands Mezzi Leroy out?

ML: We are really focused on making our shoes comfortable. Comfort, durability, remain part of our value proposition. We also offer bespoke services where certain designs can be tweaked by our customers, we produce and deliver in 10 working days, maximum

PN: A lot of celebrities seem to choose Mezzi Leroy for their special days; for example Teddy A chose to wear you for his Traditional Wedding; why do you think these top celebrities make such choices for their special days?

ML: Hahaha. Well, I feel the quality of what we produce speaks for itself. We pride ourselves in using the best materials, with attention paid to details. I feel these celebrities who have seen so many luxury brands internationally, must have realised that we offer the same quality; so why shop abroad?

PN:  You have be selling like crazy in the past months, with customers ordering as much as 5 pairs, 10 pairs and above, in a single order; what can you say is behind this great success?

ML: Errr. There is this saying that: “We dey press Box, Baba God dey press R2”. I feel we are just doing our best, playing our part as humanly possible. But all glory belongs to the Most High. He has been the major driving force. Also, our customers have been referring us, which boils down to the same thing, they appreciate the quality of what we put out.

PN: You also seem to have a lot of international customers in such a short time, tell us more about how this came about?

ML: Haha. We actually had a funny experience in September; some guy in Sweden sent us a mail, acknowledging the brand and appreciating our products. He then went on to place an order for two pairs. While we were working on them, he ordered for 5 more making 7. We were not done yet, he sent a message the following week, saying he showed our products to his friends, and 6 of them want a pair each; that is 13 pairs to Sweden. I feel it all boils down to the fact that they understand that we produce top of the range goods here, and we are glad to be able to put Nigeria on the global map with our shoes.

PN: You just launched a new line of bags, can you talk to us briefly about this?

ML: When we registered the company in 2017, there were so many industries we listed to operate in. For Leather, we do not believe we should limit ourselves to just shoes. So, the bags are the first of many other products we plan to produce.

PN: Are there any other lines you are currently working on, that you would love to share with us?

ML: Yes. We working on our leather belt line, caps and hats, female bags and purses, male purses, travel luggage, etc. There is a lot set to be revealed.

PN: What challenges do you face generally in the course of your production, and how do you think these can be fixed, to make things better for other businesses like yours?

ML: Inadequate power supply is a major challenge. We spend a chunk of our profit on fueling the power generators, daily. Also, there is little or no support for Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, from Banks. They rather choose to loan to huge and established companies, and that limits the growth of small businesses like ours.

PN: How and where can we easily get a Mezzi Leroy pair of shoes?

ML: We are working on our website and offline store. For now, customers can easily order off our Instagram page (Mezzi Leroy). We are always open to entertain questions and orders on there, 24/7.

PN: Is there any other information you would love to share with us?

ML: Well, we are super grateful to everyone who have been supporting through their patronage, referrals, prayers, etc. We feel that there are so many things to be achieved, and are super excited about the future. To everyone who believes and is part of this dream, we say a huge thank you


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