Leyelesi Glamour a sustainable and ethically produced luxury handbags, jewellery and occasionally footwear was launched in 2015. Aghogho Ogunlesi has always been creative and loved fashion so going into the fashion industry just seemed like the perfect fit. She said "If i don’t create I feel empty. I had to be a designer with a brand, it is I believe one of my purposes in life." When she was 18 years old she started a business called SouL BoutiQue but later stopped to pursue a her degree at Howard University.
After finishing her degree, she re-entered the fashion industry with a new fashion brand and a career in the pharmacy. Aghogho vision for her fashion brand was to support the African Artisans and the black economy at the time there didn’t seem to be many brands doing this.
Aghogho is a Nigerian American giving her designs a different POV than Western designers. Aghogho uses traditional craftsmanship techniques for manufacturing that are unique to that country or ethnic group. She said "My designs are a mixture of my experiences, surroundings and my culture. We have unique and distinctive designs that when you see them you know it’s Leyelesi." All of her pieces are one of a kind, and focused the customers needs to bring quality products to them.
Leyelesi Glam took Aghogho a year and half to start the business. As she currently reside in the United Kingdom and my artisans are all overseas. When I started the quality of the bags were just okay, only in 2016 did we have a unique selling point. Aghogho said " I had no idea how to run a successful business. The quality of our bags wasn’t what I would consider luxury until 2018. I had no idea how to run a successful business. The quality of our bags wasn’t what I would consider luxury until 2018."
In Leyelesi Glam there has been a lot of highs and lows. She said she haven’t completely gotten to where she want to be as a brand, but she is proud of our accomplishments. It’s very hard running a brand that is sustainable and ethical remotely. Running Leyelesi has been an emotional rollercoaster for her but it has also been a rewarding journey thus far. In the future she wants the brand to be known for represents something more than just a name in fashion, instead known for helping to preserve Ancient African craftsmanship techniques and fostering a creative space for future generations by creating products that will outlive herself and our artisans.
The biggest lesson she has learned from her business is to have a solid reason as to why you are doing what you are doing. She said "There are times when i've will cried because you have no idea how to continue, or why something is not working, then i'll remember my why!" Her personal why has kept her going for the last 5 years. Aghogho why is she believes' it's God’s plan and that keeps her going.
Word of advice for new fashion entrepreneurs start small, have emotional intelligence and don’t rush to make money, take your time to learn the business, get a mentor if possible. It will save you from loosing a lot of money and time. Push through in your tough times in your time of need, because tough times in business will come.
You can find Leyelesi Glamour on Facebook