FIT, FUNCTION AND FASHION WHEN YOU ARE NOT OFF-THE-RACK
AK Ikwuakor, or “Coach AK” as he prefers, is a man of many talents. He’s been both a collegiate and Olympic athlete. Motivational speaker. Educator and Social impact entrepreneur. And even dabbled in some standup. In this podcast episode, however, Dan spoke with him as Co-Founder and CEO of ELETE Styles – a startup on a mission to create professional attire with fit, function, and fashion for the athlete build.
ELETE takes the broadest view of the value it adds. From athletes to first responders to returning war vets who need adaptive apparel. Men, women, casual, formal…and everything in between.
AK’s life journey has included Olympic trials, world travel, and even a stint of being homeless. How does all this connect with an eCommerce startup?
Listen in and find out!
OUR SPONSOR FOR THIS EPISODE: Black Men Talk Tech
“The future of the fashion industry…what represents 100% you”
Coach AK and Dan talked about AK’s journey and ELETE, as well as:
- life as a triplet
- giving two weeks’ notice to start a non-profit
- the risks of a cold drink abroad
- working with manufacturers in China and Thailand
- analogy of life as a 400M race
“We had to come up with a large amount of money, in a short amount of time ” ~ Coach AK
NOTABLE ELETE INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS.
- (04:14) How ELETE works to bring consumers custom attire
- (09:00) How AK’s love of his mom’s homecooking led to ELETE’s origin story
- (15:05) The challenges of making ONLY one piece (vs. 1000) for a custom design
- (16:55) Complexities of tariffs and currencies for a global business
- (23:35) Powerful origin story of AK’s NGO startup Empower 2 Play
- (33:10) The 400M race as a metaphor for life
- (41:21) AK’s adventures as an Olympic athlete
- (46:44) Personal choices, perspectives, and growth
- (50:00) Sources of influence: mentors, friends, enemies, and books
MORE ON ELETE
Coach AK’s Youtube Channel:
E-LETE company site:
or check them out on Linkedin:
“…just do something fun… and I just brought a bag of footballs ”