End of Stranger

End of Stranger

It has been five interesting years since my wife and I opened the doors to the concept store known as Stranger and now we finally decided to take a decision and shut the project down.

The various emails, phone calls and WhatsApp messages I have been getting since the formal announcement have been phenomenal and make me feel like we did something good. I met so many artists, designers, photographers, architects and more through the space and I like to think that in its own small way, Stranger was part of the journeys of all the various creatives and entrepreneurs that passed through our doors, drank our coffee and bought the clothing we stocked. It was a labour of love and love is nothing if not a form of communication.

It may not have always gone the way we wanted it to, but the fact that we were able to create a concept store driven by a passion for design, community and expression in Lagos, Nigeria is something that I will always be eternally proud of and grateful for. We were in uncharted territory for much of those five years and the fact that we were able to accomplish a lot of what we did is a privilege that I never plan to take for granted and I want to ensure I learn from. From fashion retail to artisanal coffee, brew days to maker libraries and co-working space; it was never a dull moment.

I am also very proud to have worked directly with brands like Abasi Rosborough, Adeju Thompson, Collateral Concepts, Iamisigo, Kelechi Odu, Kenneth Ize, Marvielab, Minku, Orange Culture, Peir Wu, Post Imperial, Shem Paronelli Artisanal, U.Mi-1 and Wafflesncream. We grew with a lot of these brands and were the launch platform for quite a few of them in Nigeria, which is amazing.

So many places have opened up since 2013 when we started, and it is heartening to see that more and more people are attempting to mould this city into something with space for things that are a little out of the ordinary.

I am working on compiling an album of images showing how the space changed and was inhabited over the years and will probably do a separate post once I am done.

We are having a final clearance sale on Sunday the 30th, and the majority of our furniture, fittings, glassware, coffee equipment, books, clothing, accessories and more will be available. If there is one thing I am proud of, it is that we have some of the coolest kit this side of Lagos so come around before they are all gone!

Thanks to everyone who ever came to Stranger. Stay tuned for more information on my next project.

Yegwa Ukpo

Yegwa Ukpo

Lagos, Nigeria