Satchel lovers, guys and of course gals! I want to introduce to you this brand called O’Bazzië Classics which will be launched on Spring 2014 (March) based in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Founded by 21-year-old Nigerian American University student and social entrepreneur Ebenezer Obasiolu, he is also the CEO and Chief Designer of the said brand. I feel honored to have been invited and be able to interview Mr. Obasiolu and to feature the brand as its vision and mission statement is to create simple, well-designed, classic leather accessories with a timeless fashion personality while providing educational supplies to school children in Africa at the purchase of every O’Bazzië products.
"I was born in West Africa and I have firsthand experience of how the lack of educational supplies have prevented the children in a community or village from attaining education. My parents have always instilled the importance of education in the hearts and minds of my siblings and I, therefore it'll be of great honor to share such gift with children in dire need. Currently, at the purchase of every O’Bazzië Satchel, we have decided to gift a satchel full of classroom supplies to school children in West Africa. We do not view this act as 'donation', rather we view it as an honor to gift and impact the lives and future of a community, a village, a nation, a continent and a generation." said Obasiolu.
So you too are curious what "O’Bazzië" really means? Actually, O’Bazzie was the owner's father's nickname back in his college days. People couldn't properly pronounce his last name, "Obasiolu", therefore he was given the nickname. "When I realized that my father had such a cool nickname back in college, I knew that I had to use it as the brand and company's name. "Classics" simply describes the simple and unique style of our design and products. I took permission from my father and made O’Bazzië ClassicsTM official."
When asked how the idea came up and what was his inspiration in creating the products, Obasiolu replied, "The idea of O’Bazzië Classics started in January 2012. However, the concept of the O’Bazzië Satchel started in January 2013. The motivation for starting the brand was the death of my beloved grandmother, who lived in West Africa. The last time I saw her was in 2004, I was twelve years old and that was when I was relocating to America. I never got to see her again after that. After several medical attentions, she took ill and passed away last year. Living in West Africa, modern-day medication has its limitation and transporting the medically ill halfway across the world for a better treatment cost a fortune. One year later, in January 2013, I decided that never again would I lose a loved one because of financial misfortune. At that very moment, O’Bazzië Classics was born.
So Obasiolu is an engineering student and out of boredom in his classes, he randomly sketch satchels and briefcases at the corner of his paper. I know I know and I also did that sketching dresses while reading in the library. Ooops! That means I wasn't actually reading (at times okay not all the time) haha! Obasiolu turned his love for satchels and briefcases into a functioning company. The conceptual design for the O’Bazzië Satchel was derived from dreams. How cool is that, isn't it? "I woke up and sketched exactly what I remembered and with the opinion of the members of the O’Bazzië team, the design was perfected. Being born in a region that is heavily based upon culture and tradition, I tend to draw some of my inspiration from music, fashion, language, architecture, etc., from all over the world."
Proud to be designed and handmade in the United States, as Obasiolu said, the O’Bazzië Satchels are made from the best leather in the world which ensures strength, durability, and a beautiful finish even with age. As the official launch of the O’Bazzië Satchel occurs in March 2014, its price ranges by size. The 13" satchel will be between $150 - $200 USD, 15" between $200 - $250 USD, and 17" between $250 - $300 USD. Every other custom-made O’Bazzië Satchel comes with its own price range. Seeing these prices is kinda high but as stated above it is handcrafted by love with genuine leather and the fact that a purchase of O’Bazzië Satchel is equal to a satchel full of classroom supplies for one child in Africa to be able to go to school.
Now are you excited too like I am? There will be more colors launching soon. But now, what's your favorite? Mine are turquoise and purple! Gear up and become one of the very first people to ever own an O’Bazzië Satchel and make a real difference in the process. These will be sold online so watch out for their upcoming website. However, in the future, O’Bazzië Classics also plan on having a physical store which will be located in Georgetown, D.C., USA. In the meantime, visit and follow their facebook and instagram account.