Designer to fashion conscious West-African youngsters

Founder & CEO of Ruff 'n' Tumble

Country: Nigeria

Sector: Childrens' Clothing Brand

Adenike 'Nike' Ogunlesi is the founder of Ruff 'n' Tumble a leading designer, manufacturer and retailer of designer children's clothing in Nigeria. Nike started out modestly in 1996 selling the clothes she made from the boot of her car and in bazaars. Today, Ruff 'n' Tumble is an instantly recognisable brand in Nigeria and has a reputation for being one of the top manufacturers of children's clothing throughout West Africa. Ruff 'n' Tumble successfully caters to the unique fashion sense of today’s youngsters, from new born to age 16, happily mixing indigenous lifestyle trends with an international appeal.

Adenike Ogunlesi.jpg

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Adenike's Startup Story 

This highly successful African designer went from selling her children’s clothing designs from the boot of her car at local markets and bazaars, to becoming one of the continent’s most recognisable children’s clothing brand builders.

Adenike’s gift for making clothes started out when she was young, as an apprentice to her mother who taught her the art of tailoring and how to make her own clothes.  Those early years gave her a love of fabrics and the knowledge of how to work with them to produce garments that were both stylish, comfortable to wear, and practical to keep in good condition.  Her flair for design also stemmed from those early experiences of working with her mother and getting to practically experience the design process. 

Read more about Nike's startup story →

We love the story of Adenike and her company Ruff n Tumble because it proves that if you have a passion, a specific skill or passion, and the will to succeed, then it is possible to build not only a successful business, but also a truly world class brand. --- Melanie Hawken, LoA founder and editor-in-chief

What's behind the Ruff 'n' Tumble brand?

"So for me, this brand is for people who are particular about quality, quality of product, quality of service, who won’t compromise in terms of what their children would wear because they believe their children deserve good quality." 

"I started in 1996, I was selling from the back of my car, I was selling at bazaars. Everywhere, there was a bazaar, I was there, my table and my suit case, my children and sometimes even my husband. So it all started then."

"My success has been sheer hard work. Sometimes you laugh and sometimes you cry. And the prize at the end of it is quite fulfilling."


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Awards & Accolades

Nike's awards and honours include:

  • 2005 - Adenike is awarded the Fate Model Entrepreneur Award by The Fate Foundation