In Her Closet – Season 2, Episode 2 – Mrs Abimbola “Mona Matthews” Azeh

In Her Closet – Season 2, Episode 2 – Mrs Abimbola “Mona Matthews” Azeh

When i first started the blog in 2015, she was one of my first feature posts. Monalisa Abimbola Azeh is the Creative Director/Managing Director of Mona Matthew Shoes, one of the biggest footwear design companies in Nigeria.

Mrs Abimbola Azeh

A lawyer by profession, she practiced for many years before she established her company in 2002. For a long time, i wanted to meet her and of course that eventually happened in 2016 at her show room in Ikeja, Lagos. To say that i learned a lot from that one meeting is putting it mildly.

From her designs to her entrepreneurial strengths, years of experience in the business have definitely paid off and she is regarded as one of the top footwear designers in Nigeria. When i finally got her to do this E-interview, i was no doubt elated.

Outside business and work, she is a simple, elegant, highly intelligent and extremely witty woman.

Let’s get to the interview.

E-Interview With Mona Matthews

JAY: How and Why did you transition from being a lawyer to designing shoes?

Mona Matthews: I am still a lawyer. But I started designing shoes about 17 years ago for myself because it was difficult for me to find my size. It transitioned into a proper business 16 years ago, while I attended a business course at the fate foundation.
JAY: You’ve been able to turn your love for shoes into a viable home grown business, what have been your biggest challenges so far?
Mona Matthews: Supplies were a major challenge, Skilled workmen and Access to market

Mona Matthews Collection, I love this!!

Jay: What inspires your designs?
Mona Matthews: 1) Majorly my customers’ needs
                                    2)Trends, both local and international

Mona matthews Collection

JAY: What is the greatest client need you’ve met in your years of shoe making?
Mona Matthews: Proper fitting shoes. Many people don’t wear the right size of shoes because their actual size is not being catered for. By this, I refer to ladies whose toes hang over the front of their shoes because their feet are too slim or men whose heels stick out of their slippers because their feet are too wide. We size our clients and design the shoes to fit to perfection.
JAY: If you had to raid someone’s shoe closet, whose will it be and why?
Mona Matthews: Unfortunately it would be pointless as I wouldn’t be able to wear the shoes, but Betty Irabor wears lovely shoes.

Betty Irabor

JAY: Since producing home grown shoes and expanding your client base, have you had cause to still buy foreign brands or it’s safe to say your shoe closet is fully Mona Matthews.
Mona Matthews: I only buy athletic shoes and bathroom slippers. Because of the peculiarity of my feet, store bought shoes are uncomfortable so I don’t bother.

New Collection Mona Matthew Sneakers

JAY: What has been your most uncomfortable or embarrassing shoe moment.?
Mona Matthews: Going shoe shopping was always a nightmare. For my sister’s wedding 21 years ago I bought a pair of silver sandals which I had to adjust to even be able to wear them. Despite the adjustment they were still so tight.
I hardly smiled in the pictures, I couldn’t wait to get them off. And she is my younger sister. She got married before me. Village people may have thought that was why I wasn’t smiling. Meanwhile it was my silver shoes..
Image result for lol smiley
(I Literally Laughed Out loud when i read this part)
JAY: Who’s your favorite foreign footwear designer and why?
Mona Matthews: Manolo Blahnik his shoes are so imaginative. He archives comfort and style in every single pair.

Manolo Blahnik

JAY: Would you splurge on a pair of luxury shoes?
Mona Matthews:Certainly if they are made to measure for me.

Mona Matthews Collection

JAY: What’s your favorite shoe style, one that dominates your shoe closet?
Mona Matthews: I wear loads of sandals, be it flats ,wedges, flatforms or heels.
JAY: What is your favorite shoe material to wear and work with and why?
Mona Matthews: Suede It’s lush
I enjoyed every bit of this interview, it was certainly worth the wait.
Contact Details:
 +234 8023055212

322a, Ikorodu road, Elizade Toyota Plaza, Anthony. First floor


Peace, Love and More Shoes

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