Nubian Queen on 101 is a disruptive new name on the leather accessory scene, creating exclusive, world-class, contemporary products that are both investments yet will not break the bank.
LoA met with founder Susan Granger at a recent Lioness Lean In Breakfast event in Johannesburg and was interested to find out more about this niche company with a big vision.
What does your company do?
Nubian Queen on 101 is a niche, quality, and exclusive boutique store, specialising in exquisite, top-end, genuine leather handbags and accessories, all made in the heart of Johannesburg, South Africa. Nubian Queen on 101 was established in 2014 through the inspiration of personal branding and image enhancement. Founder and Managing Director, Susan Granger, is a fashion mogul, image consultant, blogger, and disruptor, pushing past the boundaries of mediocrity, normal, traditional, natural, common, and standard, resulting in a matchless, unrivalled, inimitable, and incomparable business and product.
Nubian Queen on 101 brings its clients an exclusive range of contemporary products that bridge the gap between High Street and Luxury Brands. The brand designs are stylish, affordable, and timeless, therefore not dictated by trends, yet impactful and very easy to wear to complete the “uniqueU™”. We have declared our bags “Investment Bags”. Because of our unique innovation in creating products that are matchless, we are rapidly setting fashion accessory trends. If a client is looking to add to their “uniqueU™”, the versatility of our bags is the ideal purchase that will enhance their look, improve their confidence, and magnify their personal brand. The Nubian Queen on 101 mission is to offer quality Nubian Queen on 101 brands in an assortment of sizes, colours, and styles to accommodate the “unique” in every woman.
"My inspiration came after searching for so long for a genuine leather bag that did not break my bank and it was fruitless. Thinking of the women who were in the same state as me, I decided that I would have to find a way of making bags that were easy on the purse but world-class and exclusive."
What inspired you to start your company?
My inspiration came after searching for so long for a genuine leather bag that did not break my bank and it was fruitless. I was thinking of the women who were in the same state as me and I decided that I would have to find a way of making bags that were easy on the purse but world-class and exclusive. With this, the exclusive Nubian Queen "Investment bags " were born. Nubian Queen on 101 recognised the gap in the market for reasonably priced and affordable bags. Through a comprehensive survey, consideration was made to create a top-end product line that spoke to clients who had a unique flair for fashion. The market identified is made up of clients who realise that a bag is not just an accessory, but very much a part of their image. Because the product lines are manufactured and produced locally, we are able to be competitively priced against international top-end brands. Initially set up as an online store, Nubian Queen on 101 is primed to set up its own retail outlets, further stamping its brand in South Africa and beyond its borders.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Our investment bags are exclusive and unique, for the fact that all of our resources are local and our bags are locally made. We respect mother nature for the bounty it has given and also 80% of the workforce that makes our bags is female, women who are the bread winners in their families.
"If a client is looking to add to their 'uniqueU', the versatility of our bags is the ideal purchase that will enhance their look, improve their confidence, and magnify their personal brand."
Tell us a little about your team
At this point I don't have a team except for my outsourced factory staff - that is always amazing in every way. I hope to one day hire and grow.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My entrepreneurial journey was amazing as I had friends and family supporting me from day one. Its been a dream of mine to own my own brand with my name on it (I always said if Dolce and Gabbana can do it, so can I). When Nubian Queen on 101 was officially and professionally launched on the 1st of September 2014, I realised I was entering a new realm of sacrifices and hard work, but I stood my ground. I have a strong entrepreneurial background and I learned all the ropes from my dad and recently from my husband.
"Initially set up as an online store, Nubian Queen on 101 is primed to set up its own retail outlets, further stamping its brand in South Africa and beyond its borders."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
My future aspirations for Nubian Queen on 101 are to get funding so I can build my own studio. To create jobs. To carry an assortment of bags to fit the personalities of any woman, exclusively. To provide customers with excellent, personalised customer service in an atmosphere of South African hospitality. To advertise and promote on all platforms so that our customer base will learn more about Nubian Queen on 101. And, to continuously review our inventory and sales and adjust our inventory levels.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Waking up every morning knowing that I am living my dream, even though its hard some days, it makes my soul smile knowing tomorrow is a new day so I need to go out there and try the best I can.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Don't waste time thinking about your dream or talking about it. Get up and start up - if you fail once, try again, because tomorrow is a different day.
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Why LoA loves it….
Being a success in business is all about having a vision, and the accompanying grit and determination to make that vision a reality, no matter what challenges appear along the way. In the case of Susan Granger, she is living proof that you can start small but think big, and build a world-class brand and range of luxury but affordable products that can compete with the best globally. She is not only creating a unique luxury brand that is proudly South African, but also gearing up to launch her own retail chain in the process. This is a brand to watch over the coming months and years! --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa