Meet the Founder of Dhoney Adire and Crafts Nigeria [Exclusive Interview]

Meet the Founder of Dhoney, Doyinmola Olajoye, Exclusive Interview Bellafricana Member
Meet the young and dynamic creative entrepreneur who wears many hats. Her love for creating reusable Afrocentric pieces had brought her many awards and recognition. She is equally very passionate about Sustainable Development Goals and is invested in sensitizing people about it. There is no limit to the possibilities that awaits her in the business world.
With no further ado, let’s meet the Founder of  Dhoney Adire and Crafts Nigeria for an exclusive interview.
Please introduce yourself and your background:

I was born and raised in Ondo city, Ondo state and attended the foremost Girl’s only Secondary School, St Louis secondary school, Ondo. I had my  tertiary education at Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo state and graduated with a degree in Computer Science. Served Nigeria through the NYSC in Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun state in 2019/2020.

I am an experienced, and award-winning fashion model, African culture enthusiast, and advocate of Recycling through African arts and culture. I got nominated at the prestigious ACE Awards for African Creative Entrepreneurs in 2021 as Start up of the year, The Winner of SME100Africa 25under25 Award 2021, Fashion category.  

I got nominated for ELOY Award Young Entrepreneur of the year and I was the Winner of the God’s Chamber Business Bootcamp Pitch competition and beneficiary of the grant awarded.  My dream is to see a world that embraces African Adire, while curbing the harm throwing out old clothes can cause to humans. #climatechangereport.

As a female visibility advocate and lover of girl-child development, my interest lies in helping young adults (emphasis on girls) to find their feet early in life which was what informed my decision to start the Orange Humanity project, aimed at empowering young girls to improve the quality of their lives, and ultimately birth an economically viable society.

Early 2022, DHONEY Adire and Crafts Nigeria Founded by Doyinmola won the EEFP grant, a flagship project of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) awarded to exceptional, and impact-driven brands through Bellafricana a 360° community for creative entrepreneurs. Her contemporary products, alongside other emerging brands products were showcased on the runway at the Africa Fashion Exhibition Nigeria, that took place at the Ife Grand Resort, Osun state in 2021.

Tell us about your work. How did your company start? 

Dhoney Adire and Crafts Nigeria is a contemporary Adire textiles and Crafts brand in alignment with the SDG goals 8, 12 and 13. Since inception, we have evolved to be a brand that proffers solution to not only fast fashion and non-quality clothings, but also solution to climate change issues in our planet.

The Start of Dhoney was inspired by the inadequate support gotten when I embarked on a journey to empower young people to become wealth creators, to promote the African culture, become financially secured and ultimately improve the quality of their lives thereby driving economic viability. I proceeded to learn a craft that depicts and promotes the African culture as well as showcases the beauty her. I started the business for profit making and equally be a solution by producing sustainable, durable and quality clothings.

We revamp old, stained, faded clothes to new, lovable and reusable pieces with the indigenous craft; Adire. We also offer masterclasses on Adire making to kids and adults via our programs which includes; Train with Dhoney, Adire Revamp Bootcamp, Kiddies Summer Time with Dhoney, 1:1 Masterclass

How did you come about the brand name and what does it mean? 

Dhoney was coined from my name for short, which is Doyin from Doyinmola which means (The addition of Honey to Wealth) OYIN in the Yoruba language means Honey, by replacing Oyin with the English meaning Honey in my name DOYIN, so I have the name DHONEY. The addition of textile and Crafts was intentional. the brand is not envisaged to be the regular Adire Textile brand, but a contemporary and creative crafts brand in Nigeria  as her place of birth, however, Dhoney is a GLOBAL brand.

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into? 

New contemporary Adire for young, vibrant, culture enthusiasts. From my research, I found out how much harm the careless disposal of old clothes cause and is projected to cause more harm by 2030 if not curbed. Saving our planet, through the production of reusable and loveable clothings from old pieces is the way to go. And we are excited to be promoting the African through our pieces at an affordable cost.

Where do you get the inspiration for your products?

I get inspiration for the world around me, through inner witness, the nature, my environment, as well as the old/indigenous/traditional designs.

Can you remember one of the first products you made? What makes it memorable?

‘Eforiro’ Tee was one of the first, I loved the creation personally and the reception it got from people. It is memorable because of processes it took purchasing the raw materials and all. It was an old piece of clothing (what Nigerians know as OK clothes) for practical purpose, turned it into a new piece of clothing, vibrant, beautiful, culture-inclined. The Adire Tshirt design went on to be one of our bestsellers at the time,. Of course, new raw materials were used for producing clients order.

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

I cannot point at one challenge right now, I would say perhaps because I see them as a phase, a process, a stepping stairs to another height, I do not necessarily consider them worthy to note. Generally, I would say customers keeps a business running and we are doing our best to attract and sustain our clients while providing quality, affordable, and sustainable products and services.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

No regrets. Absolutely none. I and Dhoney Tribe members who are our clients are enjoying sustainability while engaging in culture promotion, fashion entreprise and proffering quality solution to a need. We enjoy local embrace and are on a journey to global recognition and acceptance

What is your most popular product?

Adire Tshirt in regular sizes as well as our Oversized Tshirt collection are our most popular, sometimes people have the perception that we do not produce or see fabrics and other crafts. We continually sensitize and show people our works.

To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

African is colorful, we produce mostly vibrant and colorful pieces to suit the African skin as well as the world’s complexion

What are some of your short term and long term goals, both in your business and life in general? 
A well functional website for local and global transactions with ease. A walk-in store/outlet in major states in Nigeria A DHONEY center known for art, craft, culture, climate change action, empowerment and training center etc. Partnerships with NGO, the government agencies and bodies, organizations to train individuals and group for their advancement and profiting, as well as to push the SDG 8, 12 and 13 goal
What would people be surprised to learn about you?

My journey in the last 7 years has been interconnected, Fashion modelling from age 15, fashion designing, nail artistry, humanitarian empowerment projects, art and craft enterprise without core study relating to arts. I was a science student who hoped to become and Nurse professionally but studied Computer science and here am I in the art  and craft industry.

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?

If I haven’t ended up in the creative Industry, perhaps it would still have been Social Entrepreneurship/Social work or something around proffering solution to human needs.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?

Ask for support when you need it.

Brainstorm with experienced people in same field.

It is equally important that you have a mentor

Plan for the long term, for the scalability and sustainability of your business

To connect with Dhoney Adire and Crafts Nigeria, you can follow and contact her via:

Instagram: Dhoney

WhatsApp: +234 816 337 7020

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