Haowa Bello turned her love for handbags into business. With a formal training in hand bag making in Florence (Italy), she learnt the art of handmade handbag construction few years ago. Today, she is the CEO of “Madame Coquette” a line of luxury handbags made in Nigeria.
The quality of her products can be compared to high-end brands in the fashion hence her label is found in North America, Europe and the rest of Africa. However, even with her vast recognition, Haowa is highly committed to promoting artisanship and skill development in Nigeria.
She started a training programme targeted at teaching interested candidates the basics of handbag making with the hope to work with youths to provide them with skills that will enable them to be self-employed.
In 2014, she established Fula farm, a goat farm located in Lagos to provide healthy source of goat meat to the markets. Beyond meat, the farm supplies tanneries with a superior source of goat skin which will be processed into high quality leather.
On how she merges two distinct businesses, fashion and farming; Haowa says
“Most of the time, it’s easy to interchange the two hats at the appropriate times. On occasions, I do get caught in public with my farm boots covered in dirt!”
Haowa hails from Adamawa State and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. She also attended Parson’s School of Design, New York and trained in handbag making at Academia Riaci, Florence, Italy.