Girls Talk

Entrepreneurship is a Marathon and Not a Sprint- Taffi Woolward

Entrepreneurship is a marathon and not a sprint. Having strong emotional and financial support will help you through the tough times and believe me, be prepared for those because they will later come. Unfortunately, if you are doing what you love, it will be worth it.” Taffi made these remarks in an interview conducted by The Leading Ladies Africa.

Taffi Woolward Ayodele is the co-founder of Thando’s Shoes, Africa’s first portable shoe design and distribution company. It was founded in October 2012, while in the 2nd year of her MBA program at NYU Stern. Thando’s Shoes are fashionable and comfortable that they can fold up and fit inside a small handbag office drawer or the glove compartment of a car.

She was born in Guyana, South America but raised in New York City. Also, she moved to Lagos in 2013 with her Nigerian-American co-founder who is now her husband, Jibolu “JG” Ayodele.

She refers to herself as an “Accidental Entrepreneur.” According to her, the original plan was to go back to school to build a career in fundraising/marketing for private equity firms, but the love for shoes found her and plans suddenly changed.

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Taffi said, the logo for Thando’s is inspired by a love for Africa and the pleasurable feeling of a bare foot in the sand. She also stated that, her mother has taught her how to find peace in the toughest moment. “As an entrepreneur, things don’t often turn out the way I plan, but being able to tap into something greater than myself helps me not to give up. My mother always lives her life that way and that is part of her legacy to me.”

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Taffi Woolward has a clear purpose to influence her generation and leave a lasting legacy. She said, “Being in a position to influence change and being able to help others succeed are what motivate me. I want my children and the generation after them to remember me as a woman who gave back; woman who remained humble and serve others.”

In 2014, Taffi Woolward was chosen by Forbes Magazine for a list of Emerging Women Entrepreneurs to watch in Africa. She also finished 3rd in the She Leads Africa Competition in 2014, and was awarded a cash prize of $1,000.

Taffi is more than a shoe maker, she is actually a beauty, brains and a nerve of steel.

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