After an eight-year absence, local fashion designer and business owner Collin Low is back in Ada, and he’s ready to put two of his greatest passions to work — fashion and faith.
Both are equally important components of Low’s up and coming business, WOGO Apparel.
Low launched WOGO in December of 2017 with three pieces he designed in October of the same year. Less than a year later, WOGO now has around 30 pieces available for purchase. But making people look good isn’t Low’s only goal. For Low, WOGO is more than a clothing brand. It’s an expression of his faith.
Low said he donates 15 percent of all WOGO sales to outfit widows and orphans in need.
In fact, the outreach program is the inspiration behind the name. WOGO stands for Widows Orphans Go. Go has its origins in the Bible — Matthew 28:19, which Low said talks about helping widows and orphans.
“For us, our definition of orphan doesn’t just mean their parents passed away,” Low said. “It means kids who (have been) displaced from their home.”
Through his church and his personal connections, Low finds widows and orphans in need. He also looks for families fostering a child.
To protect her confidentiality, Low refers to his first client as a 9-year-old girl he calls Sarah.
“The very first outfitting, Sarah had no idea what was going on,” he said. “We call it an outfit experience and set up a photo shoot for them. We just try to make it special.”
WOGO’s second outfit experience was with a 2-year-old little boy. He didn’t understand the concept, but he has lasting pictures to remind him of the seeds WOGO planted in his life.
Low said his own family history planted similar seeds in his life, and WOGO is the fruit born of those seeds.
“It’s a combination (of) my passion for fashion and my faith,” he said.
Low said his family has many adopted children, so helping children without parents has always been important to him. He uses his talents as a designer to make a difference in the lives of those around him.
Low uses the social media platforms of Facebook and Instagram to make connections all over the world. He eschews Twitter because he “just isn’t a fan” of the platform.
Low takes the pictures he posts on Instagram professionally, not with a phone camera. Hence the process of setting up a photo shoot, capturing and editing the pictures and then posting them to his account. He uses mostly Ada residents as models.
“I find people who believe in the brand, love the brand and the mission, and I try to work with them,” Low said. “Plus, it’s great for marketing. It’s good to put a familiar face on something new.”
Opening up a business in a small town can be challenging, Low said. It has its pros and cons.
“The pros are that being in a small town, word can travel faster than in a big city,” he said. “The con would be there isn’t a lot of opportunity for exponential growth. The biggest struggle we have faced with WOGO would be capital, but seeing the response from people makes it all worth it.”
For now, WOGO apparel can only be purchased online, unless the buyer is an Ada resident. Low said if an Ada resident, purchases WOGO products he will meet them locally to deliver their purchase. Although WOGO is an online store, Low has other plans.
“I would like to eventually have a WOGO store. It’s something I’m exploring for the future,” he said.
Everything WOGO does is inspired by Matthew 28:19 and James 1:27, Low said.
Low works with Christian hip-hop artists because, he said, fashion and hip-hop go hand in hand.
Low said while he would love to make WOGO a multimillion-dollar company, money isn’t what drives him to succeed.
“I want to be able to employ widows and give them incredible hours and benefits, such as health care and (a good) salary,” Low said. “I want to give them an awesome place to work with great hours where they can still take care of their family. I want to provide internships to orphaned kids. Whether that’s teaching them about website building and design, sewing, social media management — that kind of thing.”
To learn more about WOGO and their mission, connect with Low on Instagram @WOGOapparel.