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‘Customers associate God with my shop’

Last update - Thursday, June 25, 2009, 16:16 By Metro Éireann

KATRIN SCHMIDT meets Kelvin Osa, a Dublin boutique owner specialising in American designers and sportswear, who credits divine intervention for his success

When Kelvin Osa moved from Nig-eria to Ireland in 2000, he had a clear vision for his future: “I came to Ireland with my wife to have a better life,” he states.
Setting up his own business was part of the plan, and in 2006, Osa established the Godfirst boutique at Moore Street Mall in Dublin.
For Osa, running a boutique was a completely new experience, but the Nigerian feels he was supported in his struggles by a higher power.
“It was not easy to make the decision to go here and open a shop. But God gave me the wisdom. There are a lot of people out there who are looking for a job, but they don’t know where to start. So I’m thankful that God gave me the idea to do that.”
Based on this belief, he named his boutique Godfirst. “The special thing about my shop is that it is related to God: I’m a Christian, I believe in God. God made the way for me. When my customers hear the word ‘Godfirst’, they are willing to buy more because they associate my shop with God. So they are happy to buy the clothes from me. With God everything is possible,” he explains.
The shop mostly offers clothes from American designers, including mens’ suits, casual wear, children’s clothes and footwear.
“I like fashion and designers. I want to offer something that is unique and that other people don’t have. I really enjoy talking to my customers, advising them and exchanging information,” he explains.
Osa’s clientele seem satisfied. “The Godfirst boutique is one of the most reliable boutiques in Ireland. The prices are moderate and this is convenient for everybody, especially during times of recession,” says customer Etin Courage Obaseki.
Although Osa’s shop is doing well, he’s also noticed the effects of the recession.
“A lot of my friends with cultural backgrounds lost their jobs. So they went back to their home countries because of the economic situation.  So we don’t make more sales than before. That is why we reduced our prices up to 50 per cent because a lot of people don’t have money to buy expensive clothes anymore.”
Away from work, Osa does not feel homesick in Ireland: “The Irish encourage people, they support you and give children a good education and Ireland offers child benefits. In Nigeria, they don’t care for children. So I don’t want to support Nigeria.
“I’m happy to be in Ireland with people around me who I like. So I want to be a part of society.
“With my boutique I can help the economy to grow and I can go to charities and spend some money. For example I donate some money to my church.”
His children also seem to like the Irish way of life. “My children like Irish football. I encourage my children to participate in Irish rugby or football. They feel at home here.”
Meanwhile, Osa is continuing to build plans for the future: “I want to expand my shop because in this shop there is no more room. I hope it will work out.” 

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