Kobi Amponsah (Bachelor of Health Science, Kinesiology ’16) doesn’t just know how to knot a bow tie – he can also craft them from all sorts of unique materials. Like wood. Or leather. In 2014, he founded online retailer Neck Couture. His path from the kinesiology lab to the sewing table has taught him some valuable lessons about entrepreneurship, and brought him clients including Spike Lee.
Q: Why did you come to Sheridan?
A: I’ve always been a hands-on, practical person. And Sheridan is known for that, for providing people with practical experience. Secondly, I’ve always been amazed by the body and how the body works. So I chose kinesiology.
Q: So what led to the decision to start Neck Couture?
A: By third year I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I’ve always been a stylish individual, I’ve always worn bow ties, so I said why not bow ties? They’re not too hard to make. They won’t take me too much time to learn. I took workshops from a seamstress in Brampton, and I started making my own designs.
Q: How did you land Spike Lee as a client?
A: I follow Spike Lee, so when I saw he was doing a meet and greet in Toronto, I made my way down there. I brought some bow ties and met with him and he loved them. He connected me with his assistant and he’s been ordering on a consistent basis.
“I just account for every single minute of the day. Once you are efficient with your time, you can get a lot of things done.”
Q: Besides Neck Couture, you’ve also started a motivational speaking business, you work full time, and you volunteer as a mentor with Sheridan Entrepreneurs. This is all a long way from studying kinesiology. How did your time at Sheridan help your career?
A: When I started the bow tie business, that’s when my grades started going up a little bit because I just had no time to waste. I just account for every single minute of the day. Once you are efficient with your time, you can get a lot of things done.
Q: Any advice for current students and new graduates?
A: What I would suggest is take the opportunity (in school) to learn as much as you can and take advantage of as many opportunities to be creative as possible. If that means applying for grants, apply for them. If that means applying for entrepreneurship opportunities, apply for them. If that means volunteering, do it. Take the four years to really learn so when you leave you’re able to create your own thing.