This guy’s story is inspiring, not because of what he has achieved, but because of the royalty with painstaking effort he has put into his work.
Our #TheInspiredDream for this season is no other person than Oyewole Olufunto. He is a budding entrepreneur and Creative Director of Charles Monroe, a bag making brand domiciled in the city of Lagos with international standards.
Funto, as I would prefer to call him, started his business shortly after serving his country in the National Youth Service Scheme. He is a Lawyer by Profession, a musician by passion and a bag-making entrepreneur by decision.
His business brand Charles Munroe is a brand for royalties. In his words, “Charles Monroe is inspired by Royalty and Hollywood glam. Charles is a name in British royal lines and Monroe is from Marilyn Monroe a Hollywood actress considered to be an Icon”
The brand started by making both male and female bags but has since rebranded to be a strictly male brand. It’s a Nigerian brand with an international identity. The raw materials used are sourced locally from Mushin here in Lagos “where there are tons of leather materials and bag accessories to shop” in his words.
The premium bags which go for prices ranging between ten and twenty thousand Naira are a good have for any person that wants to exemplify royalty.
On the question as why Funto chose royalty as his watch word. This is what he had to say: “Interesting question. I would say a little bit of upbringing and environment. Growing up I learnt to play chess, which influenced my thought process and there is something intriguing about the British monarchy”.
Funto explained how it all began: “While growing up I had a passion for music and fashion. I used to sew clothes for my sister’s dolls. From the onset I had always wanted to follow the entrepreneurship line. Never imagined working for someone. Although I didn’t take it too seriously till I was through with NYSC where I decided to learn bag making since it was in the line of fashion”
How does he relax? He says, “I write poems, or short stories, or I make a beat (as a producer) or make a campaign video”. That’s quite interesting.
He has come this far because of hard work and some bits of favour. He says Zainab Ashadu is his role model when it comes to bag making, being a bag maker herself. For music, Janelle Monae inspires him.
As a young entrepreneur, he has probably learnt a lot about keeping the tempo when it comes to business irrespective of the challenges. He advises every young person that wants to go into business to “start small, dream big, and be ready for challenges and disappointments”.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been my pleasure interviewing this young boss for your reading pleasure.
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I remain Leke Ademo, your personal brand strategist, biography ghost writer and author of Fulfilling your Dreams from Conceptualisation to Actualisation.
Keep dreaming and achieving!
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