- The people. One of the most surprising traits of an introvert is the need to feel connected. Connected to place, connected to work. In these five years, I have found my place, my community. It is in every person who showed they believed in Minku either through their words or through a purchase or through their feedback on a Yonderland article or just in letting me participate in their fashion week or stock in their store. It is in those who have worked with me to build Minku — and that includes friends and family.
- The place. People always ask, “why Minku Lagos?” It is because Lagos is the place whose blood flows in my veins. It is the place where I was born; where I learned to “shine my eye” (be street-smart and innovative); where I discovered the beautiful aso oke fabric in my mum’s closet that gave me a story to focus on telling. Lagos, seat of that cool and innovative hustler mindset that keeps its 17 million inhabitants going rain or shine, NEPA or no, is the city that resonates with the Minku life.
- The work. In five years, Minku has been sold to people in over 18 countries across four continents. Yes, I am always running to the post office (need to handle that more efficiently), but it’s such an honour to appeal to so many different styles. There are some staples, but I am constantly designing and creating for where I am in life, and how I see the world at any given time. The beauty has been in having people go on that journey with me. I am thankful.
- The future. I’m working with a communications person for the first time now, and we’re having the hardest time. If we timed certain articles in Yonderland, she tells me, maybe she could find smart ways to monetize them. It’s not that I don’t plan, it’s that I go with the flow more than most do. Whatever the future holds, I hope it’s beautiful and I hope it lets me keep bringing my ideas to life.
- Love. Minku has been one long love story. Love for aso-oke fabric, that started when I was about five or six or maybe seven, when I made my first aso-oke bag and was berated by my aunt for using a fabric with inherent holes to make a bag. Love for languages, for lesser-known aspects of cultures, for beauty, for colour. Love for writing and other forms of expression. Love for life, for travel, and for people. I hope this is only the beginning.