Early in his teenage years, he started showing signs of being creative, innovative. entrepreneurial. As he grew older, it was evident that Nate Robert-Eze would make a positive impact in the creative industry. At 14, he repaired his old shoes and sold them to classmates.
By 16, he was cutting hair out of his bathroom. At 19, he and a fellow student at Ball State University – Joshua Sims – launched 2eze Clothing Company, a business concern but with a mission to become a movement. 2eze is based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA but its products are available all over the United States.
2eze focuses on clothing designs that focus on faith, simplicity and humility. The designs aim to unify people and stimulate dialogue among people through bold and catchy statement pieces.
The duo of Nate and Joshua have been delighting both the young and the old in Indianapolis with their bold and aspirational cloth designs. They have also successfully hosted several events including the Third Annual “Unity in the Jungle” Fashion Show that attracted over 300 guests.
Born to Sunday Robert-Eze and Kike Robert-Eze (Nee Adegbemigun of the famous Adegbemigun family of Ile-Oluji, Ondo State), Nate is a serial entrepreneur as he is also into architectural, urban design, and international food distribution.
“I’ve always been the type to get money somehow. It sounds weird, but there is always something that people need. My parents always said they knew something like this was bound to open”, he said.
The business started when Robert-Eze created some designs for his family to wear. He shared the designs with friends who offered to buy them.
Joshua Sims, another major in Urban Planning, also liked the concept and within a month, they had teamed up to commence the business of selling t-shirts. “Me and him are both the type to get stuff done,” Robert-Eze said of his partnership with Joshua.
They both commit quality time daily to nurturing their business. It has been tasking and challenging, but Robert is not discouraged. He derives much joy from seeing his goals being accomplished. “It could be something as little as someone reposting a design, I made for 2eze. That would make me very happy”, he added.
Nate told The Podium’s Demola Akinbola that everything he does is a product of his heart. “I feel like I am doing the right thing and have the right people behind me,” he added.
“If we get different types of people in our clothing, they see others wearing it and connect for at least a second,” said Robert-Eze, whose Nigerian surname inspired the 2eze moniker. “In my opinion, that’s real unity, when people connect without saying a word. And when people are unified in some way, they tend to forget about race, gender or orientation.”
Behind their ideals and the camaraderie, they’ve built with each other and with others is a lot of hard work and passion.
The pair launched 2eze Apparel in March 2015. Since that time, they’ve learned a lot behind the scenes about entrepreneurship, from finding an apparel printer to filing taxes.
They’ve also had fun designing apparel collections, most of which include one of 2eze’s distinct logos. They have experimented with styles ranging from acid wash and camouflage to a best-selling floral line.
Robert-Eze and Sims, from Indianapolis and Gary, Indiana, respectively worked for Architecture firms in Indianapolis.
“We think exactly alike,” said Sims, “and have since we met.” In the future, the students want to parlay their experience as business partners into co-owning an architectural firm that’s as socially conscious as their clothing line.
“We’ll have a mission and encourage employees to do community service,” Robert-Eze said. “Both of us come from low-income communities, so we’d love for our firm to design for people living in those areas. We know them well and feel we can fill that gap.”
Sims added, “As a Gary native, I feel it is imperative for me to dedicate projects to revitalizing the city. The city is beautiful, with so much potential and improvements, and I would like to have a role in bringing the city back.”
In the short term, their ambitions are centred on devoting their spare time to 2eze Apparel.
“At first, we did it for family and friends,” Robert-Eze said. “But after we saw how fast the logo and idea caught on, it was like, how can we blow this up?”
Through a promotional campaign bolstered through word of mouth and social media posts, Sims and Robert-Eze have seen their brand take off. Nowadays, a walk-through campus brings them the joy of multiple sightings of peers sporting 2eze clothing. “The first time it happened, I had the biggest smile on my face,” Robert-Eze said.
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