Meet Fehintoluwa Dada the Shoe Designer who left a 9-5 Job to open her own Made in Nigeria Shoe Label

By Kemi Mobuse - Friday, June 01, 2018

Flats, heels, boots, ballets, sandals, clogs, platforms, wedges, scrappy, buckled, lace-ups, peep-toes, it’s a known fact that I love shoes. Infact, truth be told, if I didn’t have kids, I would have travelled just so I could get me some more amazing pairs of shoes. Hehe!😜

Believe me, when I say I am not alone in this, every woman I know definitely has a shoe fetish. Plain and simple…! A great pair of shoes can make a woman feel like she is on top of the world! Marilyn Monroe quoted “Give a Girl the right pair of shoes and she will conquer the world!” I couldn’t agree more!

This right here is why we have so many amazing brands popping up in the Nigeria Market and I realized that, when it comes to quality, made in Nigeria shoes are among the top of the  range ones.

One of such amazing brand is Purple stripes, a footwear/ shoe label. They brand is all about making quality shoes for the Nigerian market. KMB is proud to bring to you, the story of the amazing lady behind the brand….read below:

KMB: For those who don’t know you, Can you kindly introduce yourself?

Purple Stripes: My name is Dada Fehintoluwa, the Creative Director/ CEO of Purple Stripes.

KMB: How did you start designing shoes?

Purple Stripes: Hmmm! my footwear business started like 3 to 4yrs back in one of the schools I trained as an extracurricular teacher, I was teaching them how to turn waste to wealth, and we were actually learning how not to throw away our flip-flop slippers that we can weave another strap on the slippers instead and still wear them again. From that class, I started using different materials to make straps for flipflop slippers. Because I love unique things, I started looking for more materials to experiment with; from there a new business came to realization. One thing I've however found out is that; there is nothing new under the sun.

KMB: Did you for any special training or were you self-taught?
Purple Stripes: Yes, I went to learn how to make footwear from a cobbler, I was taught how to recognize materials basically everything there is to learn about the industry. Read up on some international brands and how they started, went for footwear workshop and I was also self-taught (inbuilt creativity). And I’m still learning.
KMB: How did you learn to put a business plan together?
Purple Stripes: I had to meet with professionals to help me, I put it in carcass and they helped in adding flesh to it….. (So to say)
KMB: How did you initially fund your brand?
Purple Stripes: With the help of Family and friends. I also recently got a loan from Lagos state with a very reasonable interest you can't get anywhere else (Eko o ni bajeoo)

KMB: How did you set about starting your own shoe label?

Purple Stripes: Well! I registered a business name, opened an account in the business name, I created a vision about the business and the mission I wanted to achieve with the brand until it becomes a household name. I also came up with a distinct brand logo that sets us apart.

KMB: What’s been your biggest challenge so far?

Purple Stripes: Getting out there for people to know you and also patronize you.
Because we produce from scratch, cost of production is very high in Nigeria.

KMB: How would you describe your style shoe wise?
Purple Stripes: Classic and unique
KMB: How has your work evolved over time?
Purple Stripes: I started by doing all by myself but now I have 3contract staff, that does the work, so I work with them on  designs and I do the finishing( this is very important to me)and marketing.

KMB: Of all the shoes that you’ve designed, which has given you the most satisfaction?
Purple Stripes: I have more than one oo,
Iteleayo aso oke men's loafers
Ireayomi Asooke kids sneakers
Tolewa Asooke ladies sandals
Ayobintan Men shoe
KMB: What criteria do you use when designing new shoes?
Purple Stripes: Functionality of the shoe
Comfortability (this determines the materials to be use)
Style of the shoe.
KMB: What fascinates you right now and how is it feeding into your work?
Purple Stripes: The power of creativity. I find it intriguing that, I have the ability to design and create any shoe I want, however I want it.
KMB: Where do you work on your projects?

Purple Stripes: I have a small office at home and I also have a workshop where I do the dirty part of my work.

KMB: Are there any materials that you would like to explore further?

Purple Stripes: Definitely! That is what gives me joy. Apart from African fabrics, I also use Rattail, Tinycord, Nyloncord.

KMB: Do you ever want to venture out into other accessories?

Purple Stripes: I'm not into footwear alone; I also make bags, beads, key holders, book cover with fabrics, belt for kid's etc. I will say we are into footwear and Accessories. And we also train kids in school on handcraft and recycling of disposables.

KMB: How will you like to be contacted?
Purple Stripes: Via Email:
WhatsApp/telephone: 08092154072
Instagram: purplestripes.stripes

More beautiful pictures below: 

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