Bola Adefila

10 Women Showing Up // Builders Edition


Adebola Adefila

Founder & CEO, Ire Dire

Bola Adefila is the founder and CEO of Ire Dire, a ready to wear clothing line in Nigeria. Through Ire Dire she promotes our culture and showcase our local fabric by using locally sourced materials (Adire and Aso-oke) predominantly. 

She has been an entrepreneur for more than 2 decades, running several successful businesses with an extensive background in manufacturing, distribution, trading, importation and real estate.


Impact Report

Bola has been building:

  • Worked as the COO of a manufacturing company (Banrut Rolls) from 2008 - 2022 with about 375 employees across the country.
  • Shaped and enhanced the company‚Äôs brand presence across all 36 states in Nigeria.
  • Built a distribution network across all the 36 states in Nigeria and successfully extended the distribution network neighboring countries.
  • Ran an importation business for 10 years, importing household items into the country which were sold in a store she co-owned with her mom.
  • Currently running Ire Dire, a Nigeria ready to wear clothing brand with 20+ staff strength showcasing and promoting our culture for over 5 years now.
  • Successfully transitioned the Ire Dire production model from outsourcing, to full-scale production, within a few months. They now run the clothing line production process from start to finish including fabric production (print, design & dye) before they are used to produce the everyday ready to wear line.


We asked Her for Clues

Something that catalyzed your growth - besides working hard?

The first catalyst for me is that I was born into a family of entrepreneurs, so entrepreneurship is what I have always known. I grew up not thinking of anything other than being an entrepreneur. 

Secondly, having extensive exposure to manufacturing, especially at an early age has helped my growth and shaped my abilities.

Being a stickler for originality has also paid off. Although Adire and Aso-oke are common in Nigeria, our prints are original and unique. That, coupled with the fact that our styles are functional and tailored to customers' lifestyles is an advantage.

Social media has also been a leverage for reach. When asked about how they heard about our brand, a lot of our customers confirmed that they found us on social media, particularly Instagram.

Finally, we prioritize top-notch customer service, doing our best to make customers happy and delighted to come back.

Something you're most proud of?

Within 5 years, Ire Dire has flourished. We started with outsourced production, and in 18 months, we transformed the business into a full-scale production clothing line.

When I am talking to some industry giants and comparing notes, it's amazing to see their reactions to the numbers I share with them in terms of production and sales. Sometimes we are even unable to meet up with customer demands. 

We've sold 1000s of products, including some I call hero products because we've sold over 1000 pieces of those styles and counting.

We've reached more people and hit higher numbers I didn't imagine could be possible, all in the space of 5 years. And it all started with a simple idea and the boldness to take the first step.

On Showing Up

Entrepreneurship goes beyond building a business or creating a solution to receive value.

It is a lifestyle of courage where tough decisions must be made for an idea to stand the test of time. Profit comes from the most interesting places and you must be tenacious enough to see it through.

Worth Remembering

It is easier to dance to the beat of your own drum... find your rhythm.

- ADEbola adefila


Follow Bola's Work

If any part of her story resonated with you, there's more where it came from.

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