Who says black people don’t read? Definitely not us, especially when we have leading lady Layal Tinubu, who is creating a new generation of book readers through Tot Toys. Layal Tinubu founded Tot Toys; a children’s educational toyshop and learning space to provide a range of educational items all intended to aid children’s development and learning through play. Tots Toys offers its space for book readings, interactive sessions and activity groups to keep children engaged.
Having a Nigerian and Lebanese descent, Layal spent much of her childhood between Lagos, London, and New Jersey. In 2018, she co-founded the Noella Foundation, a non-profit private sector-led organization with the goal to drive change and improve Nigeria’s economy via entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainable ideas. Prior to founding Tots Toys, she began her career as a management consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in 2014. She also received an MSc in Business Management and a bachelor’s degree in Politics and African Studies.
Curious to know where Tot Toys’ inspiration came from? ” The main inspiration behind starting Tots Toys was the realization that there was a huge gap in the educational resources market here in Nigeria – that needed a solution. As a parent, I struggled to access high-quality educational resources for my child. I found myself having to constantly pull resources from the UK or US. Moreover, the fact that there was nowhere that offered a wide range of children’s books, classic stories we all grew up on, resonated with me. Thus, Tots Toys was birthed.”
“I find inspiration in a variety of people and things. I would have to say that my greatest inspiration for getting out of bed every morning is making an impact. It took me years to discover my real purpose and passion – now that I feel like I’ve found that, it’s empowering.”
Asides entrepreneurship, this leading lady has a unique side to her “Being a mother is the greatest achievement of my life so far. It is not easy to constantly put your own needs behind those of your children, but it has been such a beautiful, rewarding journey. The joy my daughter brings me is boundless and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to experience it daily.”
Layal also shares her greatest life lesson(s) with us “The greatest lesson life has taught me is that you have to trust the journey. Before I do anything, I’ve already run through every possible outcome in my head – often getting caught up in worrying about things I could have done differently or things that haven’t happened rather than focusing and appreciating the now. It’s so important to be present in the now and to live intentionally. The truth is that there will always be things that we can’t control. We can only control how we choose to react. That’s the key to appreciating the journey. “
Want to start your business? Layla has the perfect advice for you “I would say the key elements for starting and running a business – aside from capital and resources – are to start with a plan that details all your processes, set realistic and achievable goals, ensure you have a good team/competent staff who are willing to learn and adapt quickly, and lastly, passion, it will become difficult to stay motivated and succeed if you are not passionate about what you are doing.”
Source: Her Network