When Mercy Udoh launched Zateemee in 2013, she wasn’t trying to build just another fashion brand. She was making an enterprise out of her love for nicely designed clothing.
From its simple beginnings, Zateemee has grown into an apparel outlet that has dressed some of Nigeria’s top and upcoming celebrities. It’s becoming a beacon for stylishly made women’s wear, especially for the southern city of Port Harcourt, where it’s based.
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Zateemee’s offerings encompass the entire length of the fashion product delivery process– from sketching samples to sewing them, and on to shipping finished apparel to its customers.
The company makes traditional themed gowns from African fabrics. It also blends local and Western styles in some of its pieces. The collections speak of a fashioner who is both grounded in the convention of cloth making and also willing to explore new patterns.
Mercy says she’s extra careful about the designs her company puts out. She likes to think of clothes as works of art. Accordingly, she ensures that the creation process– including beading, embroideries, and embellishments –yields something pleasing to the senses.
It’s the sort of attention to detail that’s needed to make bridal wear. And Zateemee does have a segment of its operations that makes wedding gowns. As tailor-made gowns are preferred by a fair portion of women, this bespoke solution is something they appreciate.
In 2017, the company launched its diffusion line Teaze by Zateemee. This line includes jeans and Afro-pop clothing inspired by traditional styles.
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As Zateemee has grown in prominence, more celebrities have worn its designs. They include Juliet Ibrahim, Dima Okojie, INI, and Onobello.
Awards have rolled in as well. In 2018, it won the Best Designer category of the Golden Pageant Award. Earlier this year, it was announced as one of Connect Nigeria’s Top 100 SMEs for the year 2019. This came after rounds of screening and voting, in which thousands of other businesses had participated.
Zateemee has showcased its wears at events like the International Style Festival, the Metropolitan Fashion Show, the Event Show, Hope Beautiful Fashion Show, and Tinny Fashion Show.
Mercy says she intends for Zateemee to expand its sphere of service beyond Port Harcourt and Nigeria at some point. Given the growth that’s already occurred over the past seven years, the company may achieve its aim in less than the time it’s taken to get to its present spot.
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