Her latest entrepreneurial effort began with a pair of high-heeled Gucci shoes.
to Noel BonnerAn unwavering work ethic runs in her genes. Her great-grandfather was one of the first senior judges in Ghana. Her grandfather was the Attorney General of Ghana; Her mother was a town-planner in Oakland before moving to Detroit, where Bonner’s father works as an executive for a real estate development company. “My family has seen cross-functional, business-oriented individuals who are excited and driven by the way they engage in business and work with people,” Bonner says.
Born in Oakland and raised in the Bay Area until the age of 11, Bonner is a first-generation Ghanaian-American. “Since I was three, we have been traveling to Ghana almost every year. I am very attached to him and my family who still live there,” she adds. She spent her teenage years in the Midwest before heading east to Boston College, where she studied psychology and international studies. Then she moved to Manhattan, where she managed public relations for the emerging high-fashion magazine twelveth. “Living in New York grows you very quickly,” she notes. “I learned how to hustle over there.”
This hustle inspired her to start her own communications marketing company, Bonner Communications, which she relocated to the Bay Area in 2016 when she had the opportunity to partner with an advertising agency to handle community outreach and public relations in Covered California. “It was the starting point to go back to the city and start pursuing public work in the telecommunications sector,” she says. Since then, her company’s clients have included the Port of San Francisco, Susan G. Komen, and San Francisco Recreation and Parks, to name a few.
But she was the icon bam jarir who brought Bonner back into fashion with her latest project. “One Halloween, I dressed up as Foxy Brown and ended up spending $800 on Gucci heels for my costume. I knew I’d never wear those heels again. I hardly wore them that night!” she laughs. Bonner wished she knew another 40-foot woman who could swap in high-heeled shoes. “This way, I could maintain the value of the shoe without having to go to the consignment store with a huge finder fee.”
That’s when I started envisioning an online marketplace focused on buying, selling and trading second-hand luxury products, setting it apart from the rest. TheNOBO – whose name is a combination of the initials of her first and last name – officially launched this month as a “white glove” platform. Goods are bought and sold directly between users, relying on authentication via images and technology. For trades, products must be sent directly to TheNOBO for inspection, authentication and storage; Only then can the transaction be completed and both users receive their merchandise.
“We want our customers to realize how much they can save by looking inside their wardrobe,” Bonner explains. Those who made previous investments in luxury products will now have the ‘currency’ they need to get a ‘new’ luxury product for them.
Much like TheNOBO stock, Bonner’s tastes eclectic. “I enjoy playing my style,” she says. “You have to enjoy your fashion.” Her style may change day by day, but her love for European luxury brands like Balenciaga, The Attico and Mugler is never wavering. “I am also drawn to African American luxury fashion designers Christopher John Rogers and jewelry designer Jameel Mohammed Khairy.” When asked what she feels the strongest about, she answers without hesitation: a suit by Kristi Brown, Ghanaian designer. Aisha Insunaming. “Her fit is incredible. Everyone always asks me what to wear when I wear one of her pieces.”