As part of final activities to mark the end of this year’s Enterprise and Leadership Program, the ELP 2019 cohort visited veteran business leader and entrepreneur, Adenike Ogunlesi, Founder- Ruff n Tumble Kids.
Adenike Ogunlesi is the Founder and Chief Responsibility Officer of Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, the foremost indigenous lifestyle brand operating to international standards in the design, production, and retail of children’s fashion for boys and girls from new born to sixteen years old.
Adenike comes from a proud tradition in fashion and retail. Her mother, Mrs. Betty Okuboyejo owned fashion label ‘Betti-O’, famous for designing distinctive and flattering clothes with local fabrics (the Adire) for both sexes when western clothing was still the trend. Adenike’s extraordinary skills in fashion were kindled and developed when she worked as an assistant fashion designer in Betti-O under the mentorship of her dear mother.
Her need to get quality and colourful pyjamas for her children was what sparked her interest in children’s clothing. In 2000, she passionately began to pursue her dreams by opening her first store in Lagos and since then her business has expanded rapidly into the indigenous retail giant it is today. Ruff ‘n’ Tumble operates a factory, warehousing, distribution, and presently 12 retail outlets in major cities in Nigeria.
Adenike is a seasoned entrepreneur and industrialist whose exceptional entrepreneurial and management skills have been recognized via a board appointment as a Director at Lafarge Africa Plc. She was an advisory board member of the Enterprise Development Services Centre (EDC) at the Pan African University’s Lagos Business School. She is a founding member and the first president of the Network of Entrepreneurial Women (NNEW) at the Nigeria Employer’s Consultative Association (NECA).
She is an advisory board member and mentor at WISCAR (Women in Successful Careers) which is a structured mentoring programme for young women. She is a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs at FATE Foundation which fosters poverty alleviation and wealth creation via entrepreneurship and job creation and also a mentor at the MARA Foundation.
From our interaction with Adenike Ogunlesi at the Leading Ladies Africa’s Meet and Greet 2019, here are five things we learned.
1. Build a system and structure around yourself that empowers you to make choices and decisions that impacts on you and others positively.
2. You are either living in the future or in the past. Live in the present. Embrace yourself and love yourself.
3. Pay attention to the things you gravitate to naturally. That is your power spot. Groom it, nurture it and invest in it.
4. Discipline is the biggest foundation of entrepreneurship. To run and build a business sustainably, you have to be disciplined.
5. Sincerity of intention is very key in building a brand/running with a vision that will outlive you.
Did any of these lessons hit home for you? Share with us in the comments.