ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT: FROM CAR BOOT TO TOP NIGERIAN BRAND

ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT: FROM CAR BOOT TO TOP NIGERIAN BRAND

Adenike Ogunlesi founder ruff ‘n’ tumble Ogunlesi

Adenike is the face behind Nigeria’s children clothing brand “Ruff and Tumble”. The clothing brand has 15 stores across different states of the country.

How did it start?

It all started in 1996 when she decided to make her children pyjamas because there was nothing like them in the market. This caught the attention of her sister in law who ordered 7 pairs.

She started selling children pyjamas and other children’s clothing out of the boot of her car. The day she realised she had a business was when she took clothing worth 120,000 Naira and sold out on almost all of it.

Her journey to success

She carried out a market survey to figure out what other companies were doing right and wrong and drew out her own competitive advantage.

She soon realised that most of the items in the market were not trendy and the combination of clothing in one pack for a purchase was never truly beneficial to the mother purchasing the item.

The big break

Armed with this knowledge, she was set to grow her own business while covering the flaws of the market through her brand.

She hired a couple of tailors to start local manufacturing of her clothing. Not long after, she opened her first store in Lagos using personal savings and money borrowed from her older brother.

A household name

She attended a short course on customer experience and supply chain management. While returning from lectures one day, she came across a retail space for lease.

She rented it and opened her second store. It wasn’t long after she opened her third outlet in Lagos, then expanded her business to different states of the country.

And when you think you have made a mistake… take the learnings from it, dust yourself off and move on. Don’t stay in that place, just move on. But if you hold onto your vision and what it is you want to create, the universe will align. It always does.

— Adenike Ogunlesi

In an interview with how we made it in Africa

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