My Quest for Financial Freedom at 18 Inspired Me To Start Ruff ‘n’ Tumble – Nike Ogunlesi

Founder, Chief Responsibilty Officer at Ruff 'n' Tumble, Adenike Ogunlesi ·

Ruff ‘n’ Tumble is one of the top leading fashion brands, serving and inspiring confidence in kids through fashion for over two decades and still counting.

Founder/CEO of the company, Adenike Ogunlesi has revealed that her quest for financial independence was the brain behind her popular kids’ wears brand which started 25 years ago.

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Sharing the long way story of her entrepreneurial success journey that is now worth millions in Naira, Adenike said she started Ruff N Tumble selling pajamas from the back of her car.

According to Adenike, Ruff ‘n’ Tumble wears came into existence as a result of her passion for financial independence and providing service to people in exchange for money for her valuable service offered.

In her word, “I started the firm because there were two or three things I wanted to do at the time. I was trying to be financially independent and wanted to prove that good things can come out of Nigeria, despite what you see”

“I only wanted pajamas for my kids and surprisingly, a couple of other women asked me to make seven pieces for them. At that time, those pajamas cost N750. Then something popped up in my head that she can’t possibly be the only one who has that need, so there must be a lot of women. I made a bunch of pajamas, took them with me, and started telling people I have beautiful pajamas.

She said she set up her first shop which was tiny and also learned marketing, customers service to improve the brand.

“From one little store we have expanded to stores and hopefully this year we will have 20 stores with a full e-commerce platform that is happily serving Nigerian children with happiness as our mission”, she stated.

Speaking about her background and mother’s influence in her life, Adenike hailed from a polygamous family with a Scottish mother who later became Nigerian through naturalization.

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“My mother was the greatest influence in my life, I value all that I find my hands do with all my heart. I was born out of Nigeria but I grew up in Ijebu-ode until I was 18. Life is what you deserve to make of it. Where you are coming from should not determine where you get to. It is just a stepping stone to where you want to get to

I began my business when I was 18. I raised funds from the profit made which I divided into three. A part was what I put back in the business I was doing, one part for savings and one part for my daily needs. I target my entire savings portfolio and in getting ambitious”

When asked how she raised capital for the business, she said she took a loan of 25 million nairas and I was able to refund it back in 16 months instead of 18 months agreed in the loan document.

She revealed that taking a loan comes with pressure but made her to be more disciplined and ensured that proper processes are in place, adding that she had to submit to the authority of the business and get paid as everybody gets paid.

“If you want to run a business properly, you have to do that [pay yourself a salary] and live within that and am super grateful for the team that works with me over the years to be able to achieve that because you can’t do it alone as a business owner. You need a team that is dependable and have trust.

Revealing how she came up with her fashion brand name, Adenike said one of her neighbours at the time wanted to do a teddy bear festival and asked her if she knows anybody that makes children’s clothes in Ankara.

“The woman told me she wanted to make cloth that children could wear that has a drawing of a drum with children tumbling out of the drum. I said let’s write Ruff ‘n’ Tumble and that was it.

We manufacturing a facility that manufactures clothes for Ruff ‘n’ Tumble, uniforms, and other wear for kids. During the pandemic, we were able to produce over a million facemask for Nigerians”

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Asked if she had knowledge about fashion business before setting up her brand, the fashion entrepreneur noted that she didn’t study anything fashion-related but grew up with creativity with her mother who had Adire clothing business.

Adenike added that her father’s dream for her was to become a lawyer. “My entrepreneurial mindset came in at tender age when I used to plug fruits in our compound and try selling them to make money”, she said.



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