Hall of Fame / GIA Bridals
Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Providing brides with a stunning dress to wear on their special day is the key to success for Ngozi Nwankwo and her business GIA Bridals.
Previously, Nigerian brides often found it difficult to find their perfect dress locally and had to rely on imported wedding gowns. Spotting this gap in the market, Ngozi decided to start her business in 2003 to provide designer quality dresses at affordable prices.
Inspired by her love of fairytales and talent for creative couture, Ngozi’s wedding dress designs range from the “classically elegant” to the “comfortably romantic”. Intricate embroidery and engravings on sculpted corseted bodices give the dresses a unique elegance, while the use of the finest silks, satin, French lace, and translucent organzas with glass beads, pearls and swarovski crystals combine to produce breath taking results.
GIA Bridals provides the bride and her wedding party with a bespoke service at prices to meet wide ranging budgets, in order to provide most brides with the wedding dress of their dreams.
When Ngozi started the business, she had no staff and her home was her workshop and showroom. Today, GIA has premises at a prime location in Port Harcourt, and the business employs four staff. Demand for GIA wedding dresses has grown exponentially, and the company’s order book is currently full all year round.
The success of GIA Bridals has been recognised with a number of prestigious awards. In 2003 the company was a winner of the Nigerian Shell LiveWIRE Young Business Leader Award, and in 2008 was voted best “micro entrepreneur” by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Ngozi has exciting growth plans for the future, including breaking into the international bridal market through franchising.