Kunmi Otitoju, a 30 year-old Nigerian fashion designer and entrepreneur, holds two Computer Science degrees- A Bachelor of Science degree with first-class honors from Howard University and a Master of Science degree from Virginia Tech. But her first love was Fine Art. As a high school student in Lagos, she won the Fine Arts prize at school every year for three years.
Having moved to the US when she was 17 and then to Europe at the age of 25, Otitoju found herself deeply enmeshed in western culture. Keen on preserving her Nigerian identity and eager to propagate facets of Nigerian culture, she conceived the idea lining high-quality leather bags with Aso-oke fabric, a hand-loomed cloth woven by Nigeria’s Yoruba people.
In 2011, after stints at Goldman sachs and a few other international corporations, Otitoju established Minku, a fast growing high-end Afro-centric brand that produces luxury bags, wallets and other fashion accessories for men and women by subtly blending Aso-oke into contemporary Spanish leathers to present a transcontinental finish.
All Minku’s products are hand-made at a workshop in Barcelona, Spain but they are sold at high-end stores in Nigeria and on the company’s website.
Except from page 35 of 101 ways to make money in Africa by John-Paul Iwoha & Harnet Bokrezion