[Short Video] How This African Entrepreneur Made Over A Million Dollars From Needle & Thread
Inspirational stories of success can sometimes be all you need to take that great step towards achieving your goal. The only true thing that’s stopping you from self-fulfillment is fear. And the mastery of fear, not it’s avoidance, will make your life a true success story for every one to learn from.
This inspiring story of success, is about the rise of Adenike Ogunlesi. The founder and CEO of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble.
A lot of activities happen everyday. People head to work, take walks, go the market, hit the gym, stop at restaurants to have a meal or two, and do several other things. In the middle of all these, was a woman trying to sell some clothes from the boot of her car.
While extremely few people who may have seen her plot her trade in the mid-90’s, might remember her humble beginnings, many who passed her by, would never have had a clue that the lady selling those clothes from that car boot, could someday grow the business to be worth over a million dollars.
Here’s the success story of Adenike Ogunlesi.
So, Who’s This Adenike Ogunlesi?
Adenike, is the founder, CEO, and manufacturer of the Nigerian babies and kiddies clothing line called Ruff ‘n’ Tumble. The brand currently has a minimum of 15 stores through 5 cities in Nigeria, with plans to expand by about 28 more stores to more parts of the country, between 2016 & 2017.
How Did She Get So Lucky?
Luck is a sub-form of hope, and the fastest route to failure is to hope, because, hope is not strategy. You strategise, so you may control what comes next, and Adenike’s success story has proven her business journey to be one embarked on, by a master strategist.
Born of an entrepreneur herself, time has shown that the apple never falls too far from the tree.
Here’s How It All Started
Adenike’s success story dates back to 1996, when she first sought to make some pyjamas for her three kids during the rainy season. These nighties, were made out of cotton, and they looked trendy, colourful, and beautifully graced with a Peter Pan collar. The frenzy around the creativity in these pyjamas, made it stand out from anything that was currently in the market.
Her sister in-law, upon seeing what she had created, couldn’t resist the beauty portrayed by the pyjamas, and asked that she makes seven (7) pyjamas for her, for a sum. This triggered a spark in Adenike, and she decided to try out this new venture; whatever it holds for her.
As she embarked on this new journey, she started taking her kids clothing’s apart, to see how they were sewn together. As she figured out the sewing dynamics, she started to create beautiful patterns, which led to sewing more clothes like, trousers, shirts, shorts, and more. After dropping her kids at school, she’d attempt to sell some of the clothing she had made, from the boot of her car.
As the kiddies clothing sold, her husband encouraged her to make some more for other kids, and keep pushing her new trade.
She started selling her hand-made clothing at some events like bazaars, and also at school markets. When she eventually sold clothing worth $600 in one day, in a market, she finally realised that she had a business venture that could scale the ceilings of success.
As she went head-on into her new small business, she started to observe the market trends that concerned kiddies items. She soon realised that most of the items in the markets were not trendy, and the combination of clothing in one pack for a purchase, was never truly beneficial to the mother purchasing the items. Armed with this knowledge, she set to grow her business, while covering the flaws of the market, through her brand.
She got around to hire a couple of tailors to start local manufacturing of her clothing. These clothing were initially made for sale, through a supermarket.
She later setup her own store with her personal savings, and a loan from her elder brother. After a good sale turnout one christmas, she expanded her store within the same premises. This was where her real growth began.
She started to read, so she could expand her knowledge. This eventually led her to attend a course on customer experience, and supply chain management. Not long after, she opened a second store, then a third store, and eventually a fourth in Abuja. Overtime, she eventually setup stores in Port Harcourt, Ibadan, and Kano.
Her long-term brand, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, which manufactures children clothing, today employs over 200 people, and has grown to add two more clothing brands, named, NaijaBoysZ and Trendsetters to their collection.
The success story of Adenike Ogunlesi, is one every entrepreneur should emulate. Limited by funds, with no access to real investors, tenancity of purpose, will always be supreme.
Define your market, identify their needs, solve them in the most alluring way possible, and your business will experience real growth.
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