Adenike Ogunlesi is a Nigerian entrepreneur who has gone on to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to children’s clothing. She is the brains and money behind Ruff N Tumble, a children’s clothing and clothing accessory store. She birthed the idea for the business while she was acting like a housewife and had to make pajamas for her own kids because they had some problems with the ones that they were making use of.
Adenike Ogunlesi started out as a young lady, had her primary and secondary education in modest schools as she was not from a very rich background. When the time came for her higher institution learning, madam Ogunlesi went into the university to become a student of law but just two years into her law program, she had to drop out of school and at this point in time, she lost focus. Not knowing what direction to tread and what best to do with her life, she finally got convinced by her mother to come and start picking up some skills in her tailoring shop.
By doing this, she follows the trend of university attendees who ended up not using their degrees or finishing them in the first place. Within just a year of staying at the shop, she finally started to see what her life was actually panned out to be – fashion stylist and not some lawyer as her father would have wanted at that time.
After she left her mother’s shop, madam Ogunlesi started to make clothes for different women since she now had the expertise but because her kids used to run out of pajamas and she would make another for them, she discovered that there was really a lot to gain in the market of children’s clothing and therefore dumped everything else for this venture. In the year 1996, she succeeded in launching her own clothing line and company for children and named it Ruff N Tumble. Today, the business has spread so much that it now exports children’s wears to many different parts of western Africa.
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Contrary to the opinion that she might have started off as a big shot, she had to make use of a small shop on start-up and only had one employee with her then – her mother.
Now, many years later and many employees after also, she has become one of the leading names in the children clothing business in this country and beyond too. She has also gained a series of recognition also, featuring in the documentary “African Open for Business” and in the year 2005, nine years after she established her own brand, she was recognized as the Fate Foundation model entrepreneur of that year. Currently, she also serves as a mentor to the aforementioned Fate Foundation and Junior Achievement of Nigeria.
Adenike Ogunlesi is the true embodiment of what an entrepreneur should be. When everyone else was gunning for an education, she identified what she really needed was not a school and made a tough choice. With perseverance, she spent a year and over at tailoring to learning the basic skills she needed. Also, she felt a need out of creating pajamas for her own children and filled that need by creating such clothing on a large scale to make profits too.