D-Dee Bags is the newest addition to the Bellafricana Verified Family, and I am very excited to be introducing this amazing brand to you. Keep reading to meet the Co-Founder and Creative Director, Denike Ogunsola, as she speaks with Beatrice Miangogo of Bellafricana.
- Please introduce yourself and your background.
Hi, my name is Denike Ogunsola, I co-own and manage D-Dee Bags, I have a B.A in Accounting from Temple University and a Masters Degree in International Business, I worked in business consulting before joining the manufacturing business. I enjoy operations management and creating processes but running D-Dee has helped hone my creative side.
- Tell us about your work. How did D-Dee Bags start?
D-Dee is a family owned manufacturing business, started in 2001. We run a Bag, Footwear and Accessories manufacturing facility that produces for several brands, one of which is D-Dee Bags. It was founded by my mother Ayo Damola, who is still very much involved with the business. She was a pioneer in using tote bags as souvenirs when she first started the business. Since then we have evolved into producing a wide range of products in large quantity as a B2B company, For Corporate Gifts, Souvenirs, Brand Merchandise and Private Labelling.
- How did you come about the name and what does it mean?
D-Dee is a nick name that just stuck.
- What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?
Our niche is in medium to large scale production of custom designed products, there was a market for a company that could bring custom designs to life and produce in large quantity, we are able to do this because of the expertise and set up we have.
- Where do you get the inspiration for your products?
Sometimes inspiration comes from basic everyday living, but very often one person in our team gets an idea, and then we all come together to build on it until we come up with a great product. In the end, each product we come up with must be functional using quality materials.
- Can you remember one of the first products you made? What makes it memorable?
Since I joined the business, I would say its been products other than bags, like our Boxes, because people expect us to always make bags, there’s always a pleasant reaction when we produce other unique items.
- What are some of the challenges you face in your business?
We face the same issues majority of businesses in Nigeria face; high overhead costs, staffing issues and sourcing of adequate materials.
- Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?
No, even with the challenging moments. It is a very rewarding experience when you are creating something, the process from design to final product makes it worthwhile.
- What is your most popular product?
Our Tote Bags, in various iterations are our most popular item, but fast becoming popular are other novelty items made with Adire or Ankara.
- To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?
We try to infuse our Nigerian heritage in the materials we use, and in certain design styles.
- What are some of your short term and long term goals, both in your business and life in general?
We have long term plans to extend our manufacturing services to other kinds of products, in addition we have two new in-house brands we are about to launch, the first one is LORE (@lore.designs)- a leather accessory line.
- What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Because I’m naturally an introvert, most people are always surprised to see me in work mode, let’s just say I run a tight ship, lol. I prefer certain standards and can be quite determined to get it .
- What profession would you be in if you weren’t in this Industry?
Business Management Consulting
- If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?
Build your business with people who have technical skills and share your vision
To find out more about D-Dee Bags, check out their listing page here. (Click Here)