Edmund Besong grew up in Ekona & Buea in the South West Region of Cameroon, in a middle class family, full of academics and career professionals, so it felt very foreign and in some ways lonely for him to pursue entrepreneurship.
He considers himself educated, having completed master’s and doctoral degrees in tax accounting and law, respectively, yet entrepreneurship always felt like the medium through which his natural gifts could reach the masses.
Today Edmund runs a law firm, a clothing line, teaches at the University level, and oversees some real estate investments and a nonprofit organization, at the ripe old age of 32 🤣
His clothing line, the Company, EdBesong, is a bespoke clothier for ladies and gentlemen. They have locations in Kigali Rwanda and New York City. Their fabric is supplied by VBC based out of the Southern region of Italy and all of their garments are tailored in Cameroon. They have predominantly done formal wear, including suits, jumpsuits, shirts, classic jeans, winter clothing, and all types of wedding garments.
Edmund was inspired to found this company based on his love for fashion, his insight on the changing dynamics of retail markets and the opportunities that exist therein, and his manifested belief in the talent of Cameroonian tailors. Above all, it has been so heartwarming to contribute to the employment of Cameroonians.
His challenges have been been three folds:
a. Supply chain: their fabric is from Italy, their tailors are in Cameroon, and their stores are in Kigali and New York.
b. Quality Control: they have worked extremely hard since 2018 to meet the expectations of customers in the US. While their clothing is tailored in Cameroon, they are extremely competitive with other western brands when it comes to pricing and quality. Quality control is an ongoing commitment and they are here for the long haul.
c. Brand Awareness: they have a great product and great people working for them. It is their goal to let the world know how amazing their products are. That remains their foundational challenge. How to best tell their story!
“I think a lot of clothiers, tailors, designers, etc. believe that creating a great product is the goal. I would submit to you that creating a good product that sells is better than creating a supposedly great product that is unaffordable or unable to be sold in profitable quantities because the market remains uninformed about the product. In fairness, we are guilty of the same mistakes”-Edmund shares some entrepreneurship nuggets.
The peculiarities of Edbesong Clothing brand:
a. Quality: Every product is made of 100% wool or cotton from a fabric mill in Italy and their tailors do an amazing job constructing each garment.
b. Social Responsibility: they pay their team every 2 weeks and they are paid competitive wages that mirror or exceed what some high level civil servants make. Further, they consistently donate clothing to nonprofits and other young people who need formal clothing for interviews, court appearances, dates, weddings, school, etc.
c. Turnaround: While they only sell custom clothing in the US, it takes them no more than 3 weeks from the time a customer contacts them to when they deliver the product, including all necessary alterations.
d. Pricing: they remain one of the most affordable custom made clothiers in the market, especially when quality and turnaround time are considered. Their competitors have brand recognition but cannot compete with them when it comes to their product pricing model.
145 Front St
Brooklyn NY 11201