Founder's Feature: Looklive's Chidibere Kalu
Why paying it forward matters
The genius of Chidiebere Kalu’s Looklive lies in its ability of make celebrity fashion truly accessible to fans, or, as the platform’s tag goes, making “Pop culture shoppable”. Like the red Dad hat your favorite rapper is always wearing? Looklive will show you where to buy it and/or suggest similar options at low- and high-end prices. You can also browse more than 1,000 curated, celebrity “closets” and buy direct from more than 5,000 stores.
Kalu launched Looklive in November 2016. Since then, he says, he regularly gets e-mails from customers thanking him. “[The feedback] been motivation to keep iterating and developing Looklive to deliver a great product,” Kalu says. In practical terms that means consistently updating the experience to better address how users shop and explore brands and trends.
Key to the Looklive launch story are the mentors Kalu credits for guiding him around obstacles many start ups face. Men like TechSquare Labs partner Rodney Sampson. Their counsel, Kalu says, helped him prioritize what to tackle and when. “When you're a creative it's easy to want to implement so much,” he says, “but my mentors help me point out what's most important.”
The willingness of people to invest in him and his ideas has inspired Kalu to do the same for others with drive. “I fuel my grind with the thoughts of being able to help others along the way,” he says.
Financial literacy is an issue he is particularly passionate about. “Wealth building within the Black community is scarce due to a lack of it,” he says.
On more global scale, Kalu is also paying to forward by sharing tech resources with friends and family back in his native Nigeria. “I know so many family and friends that are interested in tech, but don't have the means to stay ahead of the curve,” Kalu says. “I try to be that resource so I can help level the playing field for them within the tech world.
For those he’s not able to reach one-on-one, Kalu offers this bit of advice on start-up success: “The only thing an entrepreneur needs is grind and hustle.”
Know a founder we should cover? Let us know via social with #TheBridgeATT.