What do you do if the shoe doesn’t fit?
Then you can just custom-order it from Tucci Polo Inc. Founded in 2015 by Tochukwu Mbiamnozie ’15, TucciPolo is well on the way to establishing itself in the luxury-footwear and accessories market. Designed by Mbiamnozie and crafted by Italian artisans, TucciPolo shoes are considered by their creator to be wearable works of art for men and women who can appreciate something unique.
“That’s what my company is,” said Mbiamnozie, who formulated the footprint for TucciPolo during his MBA program in international business at UB, “It’s unique.” With an eye toward affluent, fashion-conscious consumers, TucciPolo offers handcrafted leather bags, made-to-order belts, and ready-to-wear shoes in a variety of interesting styles and hues. But what sets the company apart from its competition is its ability to create custom-made shoes in sizes from six to 22 that can be hard to find in a typical brick-and-mortar shoe store.
Mbiamnozie didn’t plan to sell shoes for a living when he left his home country of Nigeria. After visiting a brother, one of seven other siblings, in New York City in 2010, Mbiamnozie decided to immigrate to the United States to start his own business. “I saw it was a good place,” he said of his decision. “It is a good place to see what you can achieve.” He ascribes his love of business to his parents, who were both entrepreneurs.
Though he earned his undergraduate degree in architecture, it was his experience of managing his uncle’s footwear boutique in Nigeria that sparked an interest in fashion. However, shoes would take a backseat to electronics upon his arrival in New York. Starting the e-commerce store Zenith-Mart in 2012, Mbiamnozie quickly discovered how tight the margins can be in the electronics market with so many companies offering the same products.
He realized he needed to try something different, and a little more profitable, “With fashion,” he said, “if you have a quality product, you can determine your own price.” Wanting further education to augment his new business endeavors, Mbiamnozie researched MBA programs around the area. He selected the University of Bridgeport, based in part on the diversity of cultures that were represented within the school’s community.
He currently keeps an office at the Student Entrepreneur Center, where he conducts business and mentors current students.
“I want to give back to UB by helping other entrepreneurial students,” he said. “I want them to know they need to be persistent, have perseverance, and stay in focus in order to achieve their goals. It takes patience and time to build something. Pursue your goals with passion and optimism. Don’t be afraid.”