New Yonderland issue now out

The new issue of Yonderland is now out, and I wanted to invite you to take a look (or better still, give it a read :-)).


It’s fashion week in Barcelona and yesterday, a friend and I went to see some shows. I want to do a review shortly. For now, recovering from the work that is the production of each issue of Yonderland. Oh, and I saw Joy today, the movie with Jennifer Lawrence. Reminder that entrepreneurship is not an easy journey, but can be so worth it.




Where to buy Minku

I am working on the Fall/Winter 2016 collection, and I thought I should share the list of places to shop our collections.

For Fall/Winter 2016, you can expect bags in that nude pink shade that I like so much. And also bags in brown and black. I’m reworking some old favourites, and also exploring new shapes. Of course there will be backpacks for men and women. Some of it is still that weathered-look Eleko-Wave processed leather. And the rest is classic shapes and lines. They will be lined in some of the finest aso-oke cotton fabrics.

As is becoming almost customary, there will be items of clothing. I make these, really just for the models to have something to wear for the lookbook. They really tie in the Minku aesthetic and style, which I am refining every season (this will be our eleventh collection!).

If you are in Lagos, you may already know that you can get Minku in Stranger. And we continue to work on capsule collections for a store in San Sebastian (Spain), which is undergoing a rebranding and whose new brand will be unveiled soon. We’re also in talks with a Barcelona store, with more details coming soon.

Then of course there is our web site.

Besides leather, I’ve been experimenting with paper — making notebooks, to be precise. Selecting and hand-binding papers has got to be one of the most Zen activities around. I get to use exotic snake skins, gold-toned leather, vegetable-tanned leather, and more in quite unconventional ways. And where I deem fit, to combine them with aso-oke fabrics. See  a selection of our hand-bound notebooks here.


Panic Room 282

What do you do when you’re not sure what to do? I was talking with a friend yesterday, and she said she makes lists. I was telling her how I make new things when I am not sure what to do, because that is what I do best these days, my safe haven activity.

A sick way to make a company work, then, is to put everyone in a space, create high levels of uncertainty over time, and watch what everyone does. Then get an organizational strategist or whatever to pick up the output of each person: lists, product, accounting, and whatever output-of-talent each employee has created in his/her uncertain-ness, and creatively compile them to move the company forward.

Is it true that we do our best work under stress? I don’t know. I do my best work when I am able to focus on the task at hand. I have found that ability to focus can be isolated from the levels of stress one is under, if this stress does not include physical pain. In high school, I would be the calm student waiting for the exam hall to open, while many of my classmates around me were cramming and reciting formulas. “Have you read everything?” they would ask. Most times, I would answer that it was impossible to read everything, and that I felt prepared enough for the exam.

Well, I think I surprised my friend because she was exclaiming that between this time and the last time we talked, I had introduced, launched as she put it, two or three new products, color variations and all. I wasn’t really launching, in my head, I was just producing, as artists are wont to do or whatever. I did read that people do more of what they like to do in times of unsureness, which is what happened with me. I am out of the uncertain bits now, I think.

Even when a situation seems high-octane, it is good to note the takeaways and advantages. For me, here are some:

  • I made several site improvements that I had been putting off. These include changing the image on mouse over on the products page, and a generous sprinkling of <div>s and <tr>s to improve site usability.
  • I learned how to use a different type of leather, and am adding items made with vegetable-tanned leathers to the collection
  • I am learning about myself, and most importantly,
  • I am learning how to ask for assistance when I’m stuck
  • I started, literally, a microblog native to the site. I will still keep blogging here.

What do you do in situations of uncertainty? How do you react? How do you wish you did?


Spring is coming early to Zurich

This week, I mailed the brown Fadaka bag to a client in Zurich.

BrownFadaka_Packaged1a   FadakaBag_Brown FadakaBag_brown_interior2


This bag is like Linje Akvavit, the Norwegian style of whisky (or aquavit as it is called in Scandinavia), where it is shipped in oak barrels from Norway to Australia and back to Norway, thus having it pass the equator twice, which is fabled to improve its taste. Anyone wanna take a shot at how many times the Fadaka bags, including this one in brown, have crossed the equator? Considering I made and mailed them from Barcelona, but the photoshoot below was done in Lagos?




Some part of the email the lady said to me went along the lines of “happy Sunday from cloudy/rainy Zurich” and I hope this bag reminds her, whenever she carries it, that springtime is just around the corner!


Recent customization work

Lately, I have been making some Minku bags that are 100% customized to what the client wants. I wanted to write an update on some of these projects here.

The first was a Bariga bag. The client made the most exciting choice of aso-oke lining: this vibrant yellow lining with some red and teal stripes. Well, since her either-or lining options had both been vibrant colours, I figured I could have some more fun. So I made the inner pocket, and some piping around the cell-phone compartment, using some teal aso-oke my mum gave me, that was left over from the engagement ceremony.

I mean, it would already have been nice that each time she opened the zipped inner pocket of her bag, she saw the yellow aso-oke lining, same as the rest of the bag. But even cooler is that each time she opens the zipped pocket, she sees this:


Another bag I made a customized version of recently is the Electric Boogie bag. This was Project Cool because I got to make it in Hokie colours! I felt so warm ‘n’ fuzzy inside as I worked with the colours of the school I called home for two years. I am sure you can guess that this bag is headed to a client in Blacksburg, Virginia!


Now I am taking a break before starting work on the next bag. Thank you for reading, and I hope you are having a happy and restful summer,


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Yeah Mr. White, Science!

Years ago when I first got my camera and was contemplating what lenses to buy for this new toy, I stumbled on a post about home-made macro lens.

I finally tried it out today, after a discouraging trip to three camera stores to look at some macros.

Lens are so cool. I did dozens of experiments with them in Physics lab in high school, but today’s home experiment with my dslr and a steady hand totally had me channeling Jesse from Breaking Bad:


The easiest explanation is that in reversing the lens’ direction, you reverse its effect. If it was giving you Sagrada Familia in a 2″ screen before, now it gives you ~1:1 close-up of the beads in your new men’s bracelet collection:


It reminded me of when I was about 7 years old and, guided by the Basic Science book series my mum bought us (or maybe my sister Tosin’s science text book at the time), said sister and I made some homemade pinhole cameras. That was just one of our several home science experiments, where I was willing Jesse to her cerebral Mr. White. Even at that age, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by people who believed in experimentation as the best way to learn, and a smart way to get results.

I’ve been experimenting with Nigerian-made powdered-glass beads. This was a result of months of pondering what to do with the beads, made by local craftspeople in Nigeria. The picture above is a preview but I look forward to sharing the full collection with you and hearing your favourites.