Richard Musah - Richard's Clothing
Tell us about yourself
My name is Richard Musah, born and rash in Toronto, moved to London, Ontario, in 1996, worked at home comfort insulation for a couple of years, then went to Fanshawe College for fashion and designing. After graduating from school, I got a job at tip-top tailors and learned more about styling and details. I then decided to open Richard’s Clothing Ltd. and its history in the making.
Tell us about your business
The name RICHARD’S CLOTHING came in 2018. It used to be called Inner City Fashion. I then decided to amend the name to Richards Clothing. I changed the brand name because my customers liked doing business with me; I received a lot of business from references and word of mouth. Thus, it made sense that when trying to find me over the internet with my name, they also find out about the business.
We carry high-quality, reputed and fashionable brands from all over the world. Some of the brands we carry at Richards Clothing are Angelo Nardelli, Matinique, Alex Ingh, Gabba, Ettinger, Corniche, Sand, PT, Patrick Assaraf, Baumler, and a few more European brands. Our product lines include suits, shirts, trousers, and accessories for men. We also offer bespoke stitching and offer excellent buying experience to our customers. As I mentioned earlier, many of my customers give me repeat business, and I am proud of it.
Has your business been impacted by COVID-19?
Covid has definitely taken a toll on the business. We closed for the initial lockdown on March 14th, 2020, and when we opened back up, business was noticeably slow. Sales were down, orders were delayed, our clients' services had to be modified to assist the customer safely and meet the Government’s Covid Guidelines. Covid had a great negative impact on all the business, and unfortunately, we had to make the tough decision to let our staff go. As time has moved forward from the initial impact of the pandemic, Richard’s Clothing has been proceeding slowly with one foot at a time, embracing this new normal as we start to rise back to where we once were. Every month we have seen a rise in sales, and things are looking brighter, and I hope my fellow business owners are experiencing and seeing a similar positive trend.
What’s in the future for your business?
I see a great future in this business. Consumers have always preferred personalized experiences as they give anyone a sense of belonging. Our business model brings the best of both worlds to our customers – the best fashion brands and trends and the opportunity to assert their personality, choice, and flavour. Once the impact of Covid wanes away, I am sure that we will be on a path of great recovery. I aspire to be a multi-store business and become one of the most well-known brands from London. As the city of London grows, it provides a high-growth platform to my business.
What led you to start this business?
I was always a dreamer, and I had this drive to create something of my own from the very start. Though I saw a lot of ups and downs in my early life, it made me a determined person, and I was always focused on creating a name for myself. My parents, friends and family are proud of what I have achieved.
Can you tell us about an entrepreneur you admire and why?
Larry Rosen, CEO of Harry Rosen, is the entrepreneur I admire the most. He is my mentor and always inspires me with his amazing skill in the fashion industry.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received and why?
The best advice I got was from an older salesman named Nicolas when I first came into the fashion business on a high level. I remember him saying, ‘You have to save your money in this business because you never know — at one point or another, you’re going to have to bring it back and invest it back into the business.’ And he was right about that.
In COVID time, I needed to restock my inventory, I needed cash, and his advice is true all the time.
What advice would you give to an aspiring Entrepreneur today?
I am not an expert, but I have spent a lot of time reading about entrepreneurs, and start-ups, so here are some pieces of advice that are popular in the industry:
• Research, research, and research. Understand the industry and the product you are offering thoroughly to minimize risk.
• Have a vision. Think about what you want to achieve long-term and how it’s going to impact lives.
• Constantly innovate and reinvent your product. We live in a fast-paced world, and it’s important to constantly change and evolve — both as a brand and person.
• Be smart and careful about who you choose as a team. A team can make or break your business, so first, figure what kind of people you want before hiring.
• Start small, stick to the budget. Don’t go overboard in the excitement of a new business. Grow at a slow and steady pace to make it sustainable.
• Be consistent with your efforts. Rome was not built in a day.
• If you are confident in the idea, don’t let anyone else bring you down. Have a tunnel vision when it comes to achieving your goals.