Have you heard of the shopping app COSIGN? If not, get ready to! We recently chatted with the app’s Co-Creator Esosa Ighodaro, who is an inspiration to all Quarterlettes looking to follow their dreams and make a big career change. Read on to hear her advice on taking risks and starting your own business.
What are five things you want Quarterlette readers to know about you?
I love shopping, I am a foodie and traveling is a strong passion of mine. I am the 4th child of 7 children in my family. I enjoy spending time exploring and learning new things with an element of surprise. Of course, good surprises.
What are two things we wouldn’t know by Googling your name?
My short Off-Broadway career back from when I was 16 and I performed in a play. Also, my guilty pleasure chocolate covered strawberries.
Now, tell us about your new app, COSIGN? How did the idea for COSIGN come about?
COSIGN is the first mobile app that allows users like yourself to “smart tag” items within the images you upload to your social networking sites. If your followers purchase the items you tagged, then you receive a monetary reward. It’s an exciting new social media shopping app that’s available now.
The idea for COSIGN came from practically everywhere. It was the countless times of seeing something and wanting to know more information about it. I was asked about things I bought all the time as well as I would constantly ask others the same question- where did you get that? Finally, my co-founder saw a commercial for a pair shoes and couldn’t find them anywhere but found a bunch of people looking for the same shoes. We said, “Enough is enough. Let’s solve this problem.” And the rest was history.
A lot of us say, “What if there was an app that did this?” and then have the beginning of an idea but we never pursue it. What was the moment when you knew you wanted to pursue the idea of COSIGN?
We were tired of not being able to find the items we wanted quickly and felt the need to solve the problem. I was also personally ready to start a new chapter in my life. It was a risk that I was willing to take. Plus, I truly believe in COSIGN.
How did you make the decision to quit your job and work on COSIGN full-time? When did you know when the right time was?
Quitting my full-time and secure job was completely intentional. I worked on COSIGN part-time for a full year before I left, so that I could save and mentally prepare for the leap.
We read about and talk to a lot of young women who make big changes in their professional lives because they had a desire to try something new and completely different. Did that fuel your decision to create COSIGN at all and how? When did you first have an interest in leaving the world of finance for something new?
Absolutely. I learned a lot during my 6 years at Citi Group, but I often felt like most of what I was learning was more of the same. I felt like the impact I was making was confined to the four wall of my workplace and worst of all; it stopped being exciting. My love for technology and marketing started to grow everyday. It was a common part of my life and I wanted to see how I could impact it.
How did you transition from a career in the finance/business world to one in the tech/social media world?
I love to discover and learn new things. So my curiosity led me to find related conferences to learn more about the new world I was entering. I took a coding class to understand basic code language. Excitement about the world and how I can impact it made the transition easy and more adventurous.
Creating a new business, especially one outside of the world you work in, can definitely have its excitements as well as fair share (or maybe not so fair share!) of challenges. What have been some of your biggest triumphs and biggest difficulties in creating your business and app?
I think the biggest challenge is access to capital to build COSIGN. We were able to raise enough capital through friends and family to start the company. Our biggest triumph was running a successful Kickstarter campaign in which we raised over $41,000 in 30 days.
What has helped you persevere during those difficult times? What has motivated you to not give up on it?
Prayer and a positive attitude. You can’t always control what happens around you but you can control how you react to it.
I am motivated by the vision of COSIGN and all the people who support it.
COSIGN connects people to the products they love in a multitude of areas, fashion, beauty, home décor, food, sports, and fitness, just to name a few. Do you foresee any of these areas being more heavily used than others and why?
We think fashion & beauty will be the biggest uptick but we will have to wait and see what the world tells us.
What are your biggest hopes for this app in regards to its ability to make people’s lives easier?
We hope the app will help people gain access to their favorite items faster. Users can make their biggest assets their photos; it’s more valuable.
Although COSIGN is still a young business and app, how you would like to see COSIGN adapt or build in the coming years?
We are already working on new ways of making life that much better. Stay tuned for more cool features and products.
Do you have any advice for other Quarterlettes interested in developing their own businesses and apps?
JUST DO IT! Don’t ask for permission – Go gangbusters on opportunities you muster up! You will be happy you did!
Photo provided by COSIGN