“Whatever you want to do, do it today. If you wait until you get comfortable, you’ll never do it.” This advice from one half of the Alter Ego duo, Dennis Ofosu, embodies the work ethic of this extraordinary team. Ofosu, along with friend, Jeff Obeng, joined forces to create the “it” brand, Alter Ego. Established in 2012, Alter Ego is the epitome of inner confidence. Its mission to serve its clientele takes priority over money-hungry motives. Backed by this hard-working dynamic duo, the future of Alter Ego looks very promising.
Ofosu, a Virginia Commonwealth University graduate, and Obeng, a junior pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Information Systems, always understood the importance of hard work. As a native of Ghana, Ofosu arrived in the United States with his mother. “Seeing her work hard makes me want to work harder,” he explains. Obeng also agrees that the women in their families are the driving forces behind their mission to succeed. With both families having experience in entrepreneurship, business acumen just happens to be in their genes. Therefore, it is no surprise that the perfect friendship also proved to be the perfect partnership for business. “The idea to start a clothing line was just given to us by God. We felt like it was the perfect business opportunity,” they both explained. The two stress the fact that having faith is the key to their success as entrepreneurs. They also emphasize the mission of the brand, instilling confidence in their customers and allowing their personalities to shine through. The name ‘Alter Ego’ explains just that; allowing their customer’s true selves to shine when they wear the clothing. The amazing selflessness displayed between Ofosu and Obeng is the perfect supplement to their efforts as businessmen.
The first few days of Alter Ego’s launch was every entrepreneur’s dream. Within the first four days, Obeng and Ofosu sold 50 shirts on VCU’s campus. Establishing a name for themselves among their peers was confirmation that their business venture was the right choice. However, the journey to success would not be a journey if there weren’t challenges along the way. “Our biggest challenge is sometimes people just don’t want to buy our product. We might sell out of our stock quickly but when we restock, it just sits there. The market goes up and down,” Obeng explains the hardship of the fluctuating market. They also face the challenge of not appealing to everyone. “With success comes haters,” they explain. Regardless of the challenges, the two remain positive. Ofosu adds, “You just have to put yourself out there. That’s how you grow as a brand.” Their business has seen much success so far, and their age helps them with that success. Because Ofosu and Obeng are the same age as their target market, they are able to stay relevant and have the upper hand on their competition as businessmen.
Obeng and Ofosu are very optimistic about the future of Alter Ego. With plans to expand their market nationwide, the entrepreneurs are working hard to keep growing as a brand. “You just need to have the right people on the team. It is often said that friends shouldn’t go into business together, but we’re breaking that mold,” Ofosu explains. Having people who believe in your vision will ultimately turn your vision into reality. Success also comes to those who have faith and never give up. Obeng describes success as “always hitting your goal.” Ofosu adds, “Success is walking into a room and not having to introduce yourself.” With their amazing work ethic and consistent optimism, Alter Ego seems to be well on its way.
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