Oyindamola Honey Ogundeyi is the queen of Fashpa and the face of the ever rising African fashion industry.
Young, pretty and elegant, Oyindamola is one of the visionary Africans who have gallantly secured a brilliant position for African women to be seen, heard and celebrated in business, especially in the fashion industry.
With her “student’s mite” Oyindamola founded fashpa, a retail ecommerce startup whose main focus is to provide on trend clothing at affordable prices, with the use technology. Its key focus areas include: sourcing, logistics, customer service and user experience.
“Ten years ago, I came back to Nigeria after university to complete my NYSC before starting out at Mckinsey & Co. I wanted to purchase a pair of shoes and the options were basically super expensive at a brick and mortar store or cheap knockoff version at an open air market and I ended up ordering a pair abroad. I remember thinking there must a viable option in Nigeria if you don’t want to sacrifice on price or brand and still want a cool pair of work shoes at good price. Since that time, I gained a lot of experience in technology, retail and business and moved back to Nigeria. The problem of accessing trendy clothing at great prices still existed .However this time the Internet provided a unique opportunity to solve it at scale and build a fashion brand that would serve a fashion conscious customer. As they say, planning met opportunity – it was the perfect time to start Fashpa.com.” She tells Leading Lady Africa in an interview.
Since its inception in 2013, fashpa has established a position as Nigeria’s leading online fashion retail store.
The bit you never knew- the determined entrepreneur started her business first in her bedroom, expanded to the living room, before she was able to raise enough money to rent an office.
For Oyindamola, bootstrapping in the early days of business is key; as it has the ability to discipline young entrepreneurs and give them a firm grip and understanding of business.
She encourages young Africans to be willing to start something, however small.
“If you have an idea, especially in Africa, the easiest way is to smart small with funding from yourself and family/ friends.”
The company name, fashpa was coined from the phrase “Fashion Parade”. An expression which was used during Oyindamola’s days in high school to describe Fashion Pageants or competitions or as an expression when someone was looking particularly dressed up.
Having traversed different areas of business and the corporate world, from Banking and Brand Management to Internet and Telecoms, the power woman remains a force to be reckoned with in Africa and beyond. In 2014, she was selected as one of the ambassadors for the Junior Achievement of Nigeria (I am JAN) campaign.
The journey, according to Oyindamola has been enormously challenging, but totally worth it.
She acknowledges that starting a business, especially in Nigeria is no small task. But the good news is that, this Honey never gives up. She starts and finishes!