Eki Ogunbor on Representation & Building A Premium African Leather Goods Brand

Eki Ogunbor on Representation & Building A Premium African Leather Goods Brand

As part of our campaign #ShesTheAuthority in honour of our IWD & our Moda Operandi launch, we're introducing  a five-part interview series highlighting women who are luminaries in their various fields and are emerging or established leaders.
What inspired you to become a content creator?
When I started in 2012, I really wanted to see more girls that looked like me sharing their fashion experiences online. It was also a creative outlet for me while at university.

What keeps your work exciting?
With blogging it’s the fact the I genuinely love clothes. I love putting looks together, window shopping, falling in love with new collections and new designers, seeing how other people interpret the same pieces of clothing or accessories and make it their own. With Kisara, I love seeing ideas and designs I’ve had in my head come to life. And when people buy it and style it in different ways too? It’s priceless, best of both worlds. It makes me super excited!

What drives you to pursue new goals? 
It’s a list of things but first on this list is Fear. I’m now learning how to embrace fear as fuel (in a reasonable way of course) because I’m tired of being consumed by it. Seeing other women win and do so well in any field also inspires me and makes me know I can do more, so much more. I love to see people win, especially women. Having the right people around me as well.
People that motivate and encourage me, correct and advice me.
Last, it’s the thought that I can be an inspiration to someone else and share my journey, wins and lessons with other people to help them navigate their way or make them smile and give them hope, I love that. It all gingers me to keep going at different phases.

Your fashion crushes
Tracee Ellis Ross, Solange Knowles, Tenicka Boyd, Lisa Folawiyo, Temi Otedola, For styling-  Wayman & Micah, Law Roach, to name a few.

Your role models
Anyone who has built a great personal brand in fashion and style and also has a thriving fashion business of their own. I LOVE Fisayo Longe and Lisa Folawiyo especially.

The best career advice you’ve ever received
All fingers are not equal, run your race at your pace and trust in your ability to succeed.

Career Highlights
Launching the BNStyle website 2017, starting my business KISARA in 2018, winning a fashion Editor award in 2018, having my first pop up event for KISARA in 2021, working with MAC Cosmetics this year in 2022.

How do you support—or find support—in the women around you? 
2 things, I give my support wherever needed and I ask when I know I can willingly apply myself mentally or physically. I’ve also learnt to ask for help when I need it myself. I’m learning to accept that there’s no shame in needing help and asking for it. That said, it’s also important to be open to receiving the help when you get it as well, especially when it is feedback your asked for. Just because it is not what you hoped to hear doesn’t mean it isn’t true or it is less valuable.

Tell us about some of the most important connections you've made in your life 
Forming a special bond with Nicole Chikwe last year was great. We’ve always been friends but being able to create content/work with a friend while we build each other up as women is a true gift. I love to see my friends win! Meeting the three Eze sisters [Uche Pedro, Ink Balogun & Stephanie Ogundoyin] has helped me in various stages of my life! From secondary school, working at BellaNaija until now. Becoming friends with my sister Iyobo as an adult has been so beautiful and so rewarding. Same applies to my mum as well, I’ve enjoyed seeing our relationship evolve over the years.

A Typical Day In Your Life
I wake up, check my schedule for the day on my phone, then pray & journal. After that, I put on my worship playlist while I get ready and make my bed. I check in with the KISARA Team to sort orders and any production/delivery issues. Then I respond to pending emails for the day, make a to do list, create content with friends or attend work meetings but on chill days, I’d stay home and edit content I’ve shot earlier. In the evenings I post and interact more on social before settling down to read a book, watch something on YouTube or Netflix, or catch up with friends and family on WhatsApp or FaceTime. I also try to take evening walks to clear my head and keep fit as I’m not a regular at the gym 😄

Favourite SOA Pieces
Ruyi x Idia Earrings. It’s screams “for the culture” for a Bini girl like me, Edo odion!
Main Image: Eki is pictured in the Ajibola x SOA Earrings
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