At GHL bank we believe in progression. In line with our own story of progression – starting off as a mortgage company and growing to become a full fledged bank after ten years, we love to hear the progress stories of other businesses. Phil & Joe Shoe Co. is a Ghanaian owned small business that produces handcrafted shoes for men, and we love their story. Check out our interview with Mr. Phillip Adjepong, Co-founder and CEO of Phil & Joe.
Interview with Phil & Joe CEO, Phillip Adjepong.
1. Tell us your story.
Phil & Joe started off as a brand named ‘Sparky Soles’ that made affordable casual shoes for students. We noticed that students always wanted to make fashion statements and would welcome the opportunity to be able to customise their own pumps with different colours and textures. As I (Phil) came closer to graduating from uni, I decided that it was also time for the brand to graduate onto bigger things. In January 2015, a new idea was birthed out of the old. What was once a casual shoe line, morphed into a formal men’s shoe line.
Like many other stories, we saw an opportunity, put our best foot forward and stepped right into it (no pun intended). Phil & Joe has been operating officially for about 2 and a half years.
Our shoes are made here in Ghana with internationally sourced fine leathers, by gifted shoemakers we handpick and train.
We are not after the ‘Made in Ghana’ pity purchase market. Our aim is to make a great pair of shoes that are appreciated worldwide solely on the basis of their quality, comfort and appealing aesthetic. We want Phil & Joe shoes to sit comfortably on the shelf in the company of other reputable men’s shoe brands.
2. What have been some of your biggest challenges?
Our greatest challenge has always been quality control and consistency. Getting local artisans to share the common vision of producing top quality flawless products is a lot more tasking that we pre-anticipated. In fact, it is a daily struggle.
3. What is a typical day like?
A typical day could be anything from receiving a phone call from The President’s office to make a pair of shoes for The President within 48hrs because he has a conference to attend … to yelling at workers in the workshop who don’t think that a piece of thread sticking out of a finished product is that big of a deal… to coordinating international deliveries … to dealing with bad press online from a mischievous customer … to getting taken out for lunch by an extremely satisfied customer.
4. As a business of your stature, what do you need from your bank?
We are still a relatively small business running a very lean operation. We just need a bank that knows us by name and has a strong relationship with us regardless of the size of our business. A bank that understands our needs and offers sound financial advice to help us grow.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
We are currently on an active mission to create strategic partnerships both locally and internationally. These partnerships will allow us to increase our customer base especially in new markets and allow us to scale up production. In addition, we are rolling out a new local shoe repair concierge service called the ‘Phil & Joe Shoe Refurbishment Service’. We are the first on the market to introduce a service of this kind and we are plan to fully own that space within the next 5 years and also have the Phil & Joe brand name be synonymous with reliable shoe repair. In 5 years we want to increase our overall exposure in Ghana and on the international fashion stage.
Contact InfoTel: (+233) 0249 230 980Facebook and Instagram: philandjoe233