From a university dropout to producing the first locally designed sneakers in Cameroon – The inspiring story of Ayissi William, CEO and designer of ICE footwear

Ayissi William is a Cameroonian sneakers designer and founder and designer of ICE footwear, the first locally designed sneakers in Cameroon. ICE Footwear was established in 2021 with an alternate intention to propel young Africans to pursue their dreams and put more effort into their work.

Image: Ayissi William CEO of ICE footwear

Ayissi William dropped out of university in 2017. The 24-year-old was a student of accounting. Before Ayissi started the ICE Footwear merchandise, he had taken time to learn the specifics of sneaker designing.

WHAT INSPIRED ICE FOOTWEAR

Ayissi William was a fan of sneakers while growing up but he never had an opportunity of having several pairs. Thus, he had to be meticulous with the ones in possession because he didn’t want to get them damaged. Noticing the exquisite brands of sneakers from Nike, Adidas and Puma, inspired Mr. William to embark on the milestone of creating ICE Footwear. “I felt like I could definitely do something like that, and the fact that many people weren’t doing something like that where I came from also made me want to do it, even more, knowing I can be the first”, Ayissi William told The African Dream. Therefore, ICE Footwear was created in 2021.

Image: Ayissi William with ICE footwear

It can be a journey tagged with maelstrom and setbacks when starting a business in Africa. Unsurprisingly, Ayissi William encountered the same. As a sneaker brand, Ayissi William faces the present threat to overshadow the already established and popular brands (Nike, Adidas, and Puma) in Africa. Nevertheless, Ayissi William holds the firm belief that the uniqueness and beautified complexion of the sneakers makes their products easily standout from other brands.

Image: Ayissi William with a customer

A pair of ICE sneakers cost $50 and the products are only available in Cameroon and South Africa. However, the management plans to have them accessible in different countries and assist interested customers in having a feel of the sneakers. But, hey! Worldwide deliveries are possible though. You can make orders from any part of the world.

Ayissi William suggests that it will be a “good idea to diversify”. Many sectors are left barren and unexplored. He also admonished upcoming designers to find their own identities which can easily be recognized by everyone. “They need to do something different to standout”, Ayissi William said in an interview with The African Dream.

Image: A pair of ICE footwear

The slogan of ICE is “Keep Moving Forward” – a motivational caption geared toward inspiring young people.

In the next five years, ICE Sneakers will be an established sneaker brand which is known in different countries

Ayissi William to The African Dream

The Nike sneakers brand can be so tantalizing and outrightly brilliant, but have you tried out the ICE brand? What if we inculcate the habit of promoting Made-In-Africa footwear too? Maybe, with the right type of market and support, one will see such materialize with time. Albeit, we must achieve an acceptable mentality towards our stock.

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