Adenike Ogunlesi is the founder of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, a Nigerian clothing brand that makes children’s clothes between age 0-16. The company started from her need for new and quality pajamas for her children. She could not get any, so she decided to make them herself. When her friends saw the pajamas, they wanted them for their children and asked her to make more. This encouraged her to start making pajamas for sale.
She began to survey the local markets and saw that the ready-made clothes available for children were either poorly made or imported (and expensive!!). Seeing the opportunity in this, she began to make other types of clothes like jeans, skirts, t-shirts, trousers, jackets, and others. Thus started Ruff ‘n’ Tumble in 1996. She started talking to the parents at her children’s playschool and sold the clothes from the boot of her car. She didn’t stop there, she spoke to people in bazaars, markets and also showed them the clothes.
Ruff ‘n’ Tumble has now expanded from the boot of a car to 150 staff and 17 stores across Nigeria. Surprisingly, she has no interest in exporting to countries overseas. She now spends her time training and mentoring young people in society.
Adenike’s story is a proof that you have to find yourself first before even thinking of embarking on anything. In her own words, “Find your authentic self; everybody else is taken.”