I never knew our luxury bags could be restored, I thought once they get old we trash it! Until I came across Tender Leather Care, a restoration company that specializes in the repair, refurbishment and maintenance of high-end leather goods. Let’s read more about TLC.
Tell us about Yourself
My name is Shekinah Sofola, I am the owner of a luxury leather restoration business in Lagos, Nigeria called Tender Leather Care.
What does your business do and how it started
Tender Leather Care is a luxury leather restoration company that specializes in the repair, refurbishment, and maintenance of high-end leather goods, typically including items such as designer handbags, luxury shoes, wallets, and furniture. The motivation behind TLC was born from recognizing a clear market gap: Nigeria had a thriving luxury goods consumer base but lacked reliable, local expertise to care for these goods. The potential to create a company that not only filled this void but also uplifted the local economy and offered opportunities for technical skill development was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.
How do you solve your customer’s challenge?
Our aim is for our customers to fall in love with their favourite items again. We solve our customers’ challenges by providing specialized services and expertise in rejuvenating and preserving their high-end leather goods. This includes:
Repair and Restoration: Customers often come with damaged or worn leather items. My business assesses the extent of the damage and provides professional repairs to bring the item back to its original condition. This helps clients avoid the expense of replacing their expensive leather goods.
Reviving Aesthetics: Many customers have leather items that have lost their original shine, colour, or appeal. TLC restore and enhance the aesthetics of these items, making them look almost new again.
Maintaining Value: High-end leather goods are often valuable investments. Luxury leather restoration helps customers maintain or increase the value of their items. Well-maintained luxury leather items can be worth a significant amount in the resale market.
Preserving Sentimental Value: Customers may have leather items with sentimental value, like heirlooms or gifts. Restoration services allow them to keep and use these items, preserving their sentimental significance.
Expert Advice: These businesses often provide expert advice on leather care, helping customers learn how to maintain and protect their valuable leather items. This guidance ensures customers can enjoy their leather goods for years to come.
By addressing these challenges, TLC offers customers a way to continue enjoying their high-end leather items, preserve their investments, and contribute to more sustainable consumption.
Who are your ideal customers?
Our ideal customers are High-end fashion enthusiasts, Collectors, sustainability advocates, luxury fashion brands, shoe retailers, hotels and restaurants in the hospitality industry.
Can you describe/outline your typical day?
A typical day will be me waking up around 5.30-6.30 am in the morning. I first do my bible study/ morning devotion. I go to the gym for my PT session which roughly lasts an hour. I then get ready for school/work with my family.
I spend most of my day at the TLC Atelier, either in the workshop room restoring clients’ items or meeting customers at the front desk and talking to them personally about their items or taking meetings in my office. Once we close at roughly 6 p.m., I go home to spend time with my son and husband.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
Ultimately, I’ve realized the impact of entrepreneurship on family life varies from person to person and depends on factors such as the nature of the business, its stage of development, and the support system in place. I’ve realized that finding a balance that works for me and my family is essential for a harmonious and successful entrepreneurial journey.
What motivates you?
Empowering others: I am deeply committed to empowering individuals to reach their full potential, in particular young people and girls.
Family: My family motivates me and I want to make them proud.
I am a firm believer that we are all here for a purpose on earth so every day i wake up i know that its another chance to do what i am called to do on earth. This also motivates me.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear will be to not finish everything I came on this earth to do.
How do you define success?
I believe that success is an ongoing process of self-discovery, connection, and making a positive impact on the world.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur is having the freedom to bring my creative ideas to life, to be innovative, and to create unique solutions to problems. Creating TLC has given me the chance to build and grow a business that has a meaningful impact on my local community and industry, which I find highly rewarding. The road bumps and challenges on this journey have also provided me with the opportunity for continuous learning and personal growth. I also love the fact that I can create a legacy.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
If I could start again I would definitely have taken more risks in my first role out of university.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I believe the top three skills are:
Resilience and Adaptability
Communication and interpersonal skills
Problem-solving and Decision Making
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My Parents. Learning from their example of hard work, perseverance, and commitment continues to be a significant source of motivation and has been a solid foundation for my own journey, including my entrepreneurial endeavours
What advice would you give to people who want to become entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is a journey filled with learning experiences. Don’t be discouraged by failures or setbacks; view them as opportunities for growth. Stay passionate, persistent, and open to adapting your strategies as you work toward your goals.
What business-related book has inspired you the most
It is hard to pick but I would say The Lean Startup and Deep Work are great books!
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
A Journey of Grace, Business, and Leather: TLC’s Tale
Please share the contact details you wish to be made public.
Phone Number: 08155447777