The story of Ismael Ngoie and how he rose from poverty to business success is an inspirational one. He was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo. When he turned 18 years old, he left his home and moved to Utah to attend college majoring in computer science.
As an international student, he faced a lot of challenges; one of which was the difficulty in communicating with fellow students because of his heavy French accent. Nevertheless, his friends and mentors were patient with him. The cultural difference he experienced between his native country and the U.S was thrilling but challenging. It’s the past experiences, both good and bad, that have made Ismael what he is today.
Ismael would eventually obtain his bachelor’s degree in computer science. This was a field he was always intrigued by, but there was a feeling of unfulfillment he had even after graduation.
Unknown to him, that void along with the job crisis created by the pandemic would lead him to create Wotzel — a high-quality clothing brand.
After graduation, Ismael, like many of his colleagues, was left without a job. This was due to the global lockdown initiated in 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
After extensive searching, Ismael would eventually find a job — but it was far from the field he had graduated from. If that was not bad enough, the young man had to change states because of his job, which means he had to adapt to a different environment, all over again.
But if there is one thing Ismael is known for, it’s for his sheer will, and relentless determination. The young man, who had once crawled from the rural regions of DR Congo to become a graduate of the University of Utah, U.S.A, was not ready to back down now.
It was back to the drawing board again for Ismael, who uses the extra knowledge he had learned from his time in school, to begin building an apparel brand.
Sales were going very well, but Ismael quickly realized that he would have to do more to take his brand to the next level.
After a series of trials, errors, and challenges that almost made him quit, Ismael would eventually give birth to his next-level apparel brand — Wotzel.
Wotzel is a fast-rising, and high-quality custom-made clothing brand. The company recently partnered with Amazon and Walmart, which means its products can be purchased using their system of distribution. Wotzel is on Facebook and Instagram.
Aside from Wotzel, Ismael Ngoie is also a co-founder of the Young Congolese Professional Network (YCPN). It is an international nonprofit organization that helps young Congolese contribute to the economic and social development of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This project is very dear to Ismael, because he has a vision of assisting hardworking people who grew up with limited opportunities.
He is inspired to give as much as he can to communities that need his assistance. People who don’t receive help in pursuing their dream often feel overburdened and discouraged. Ismael wants to support those who strive on their journey to success. However, Ismael’s success did not come without challenges, and so he has a lot of inspiring counsel to give.
Ismael’s advice to upcoming entrepreneurs is to never cease trying for fear of failure. Experience is the best teacher and it comes from both successful and failed trials.
Ismael advises other foreigners in the U.S is to not give in to challenges, and ask for help when they need it.