By Chynna Slaughter
It can be really easy to get lost behind the brand. We see it happen all the time. Businesses start to take on a life of their own and the relentless, sometimes shifty, marketing becomes the only form of reachability and relatability (I use that term loosely) they have. Burger King and McDonalds have fake beef on Twitter every other day. Fashion Nova hires anyone with 100k followers or more to pretend like their quality is worth a fraction of their price. Brands will pretend to care about diversity, pretend to care about the economy, pretend to care about your wellbeing, will pretend to care about you. So long as you continue to spend a dollar.
When Chioma and Uchenna started the company, they knew they couldn’t do that. Cee Cee’s Closet would not be just a “brand” reaching for any and everything to make it to the top. While success is always a goal for the sisters, it has never been something they would trade their integrity, moral values, and sincerity for. So, when it comes to who they are as a company, the first word that comes to mind is personal.
So who is Cee Cee’s Closet? In short, it is two young black sisters, it is love, it is intimacy, it is dedication. Before the company was ever even thought of, Uchenna was working in asset management in Delaware, while Chioma was a strategy consultant in Manhattan. Unhappy and lost, the duo knew they needed a change. During a trip to Nigeria, Chioma stops at a market to purchase a handbag for her sister. Absolutely in love with the bag, Uchenna wears it to Chioma’s graduation party. The oohs and aahs started rolling in and it was at that moment that the sister’s knew this could potentially be something big.
Upon the creation of their company, the most exciting part for Uchenna was the messages she knew she could spread with a platform. For her, highlighting the beauty of black women, being able to provide and be an opportunity to show that dark skinned women in the media are beautiful, showing products and fashion from Africa are more than a costume or caricature, showing how African fashion is contemporary and can fit seamlessly into your everyday wardrobe, were the most important and vital parts.
For her sister, Chioma, the most exhilarating factor about starting the company was being able to share the beauty and quality of what you can find in Africa and building community throughout with incredible black women.
Even now, 4 years later, the verdict remains the same. The same passion, vigor, and spirit resides within the two sisters and the company itself. And amongst all their success, they never forget who they are or where they come from. What many don’t see and don’t quite realize is that the journey wasn’t always easy. The duo was met with their fair share of challenges and obstacles, but they pivoted through them all. They once said “The only way to fail is to give up.”
If you ever wanted to know who Cee Cee’s Closet was, I could tell you this: Cee Cee’s Closet is the archetype of what love, passion, and dedication can do. Cee Cee’s Closet is two sisters who wanted to and DO make a positive change within themselves and their community. By having artisans and tailors in Nigeria, they are able to provide better economical wellbeing to many others. Cee Cee’s Closet is what happens when you take a chance on yourself and your ideas. Cee Cee’s is bravery, compassion, and so much more. It cannot be emphasized enough the amount of Love that is present within this company.
Cee Cee’s Closet isn’t in a race with anyone. It’s always growing, always developing, and never losing sight of where it came from and why it’s here.
So there you have it, the backtory, the faces behind the scenes, and all the goodness and love that it does. And we are here to stay.