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“They said I couldn’t but I crushed their tables and built one for myself” – Chizoba Okpala Atsu, Founder, Elles Icebox

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Episode 10 of ‘They Said I Couldn’t’ features the story of the Chizoba Okpala Otsu, Founder of Nigeria’s foremost event support service companies with cocktails and drinks as its specialty.

“They said I couldn’t but I crushed their tables and built one for myself” – Chizoba Okpala Atsu, Founder, Elles Icebox

‘They said I Couldn’t’ is a docu-series brought to you by Sunlight Nigeria in collaboration with Under 40 CEOs.

Those who really mattered had reasons as to why Chizoba’s dreams weren’t valid, but she proved them wrong by building her dream business and succeeding while at it.

Oftentimes, we’re inspired by the stories of successful women. But hardly do we know what goes on behind the scenes. Their struggles, the several times they’ve gotten NOs for answers.

Meet Chizoba in this episode as she takes us through her journey to becoming.

Chizoba Michelle Okpala is the Managing Director and Head Mixologist of Elles Icebox, Nigeria’s foremost event support service companies with cocktails and drinks as its specialty.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language from the University of Lagos and ample experience as a Human Resource Executive at multinational supply chain organization, DHL.

Chizoba got her eureka moment to start her own business after attending an event with poor waiter service. Driven by the need to correct the unprofessionalism that prevailed in the cocktail and drinks business, she setup Elles Ice box in 2008 after undergoing several trainings to perfect the art of mixology.

In January 2009, Chizoba set the ship sailing as she catered at her first event which was a huge success.

Building Elles Icebox into a viable business, Chizoba has successfully hosted over 1000 events and has expanded Elles Icebox exponentially to over 10 mobile bars and about 30 employees.

Having worked with reputable organizations and clients like Oando Plc, Sahara Energy, First Bank Mortgages, Cross Rivers State Government, Maersk Line, Stat Oil, Standard Chartered Bank, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, Femi Otedola, MD, Standard Chartered Bank Mrs Bola Adesola and many more, Chizoba has in such a short time distinguished herself in the cocktail and drink business.

This has placed Elles Ice Box as the top-of-mind source for cocktails and drinks around Nigeria.

To further strengthen the Elles Icebox brand, Chizoba has formed formidable partnerships with innovative and advancing brands like ShoMya, Sweetkiwi and L’espace where pop up bars have been located. She also writes a weekly column on leading online magazine Bella Naija.

The mixologist has also published the 1st cocktail recipe book out of Nigeria ‘The Elles Icebox Cocktail Guide’. In this book she shares some signature cocktail mixes and classics that are loved all over the world.

She also wishes to share with budding entrepreneurs achieving dreams in possible and she wishes to empower others through her training school located in Ikeja.

For Chizoba, Elles Icebox is more than just cocktails and drinks but also a way of giving back to the society by empowering others with interest in the cocktail and drinks business.

When Chizoba is not busy running the affairs of Elles Icebox, she loves reading.

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