When Temidayo Adedokun became pregnant with her first child, she was dismayed when she could not find African-themed clothing for her newborn. So she took matters into her own hands with her firm Ade + Ayo.
Temidayo Adedokun, aged 31, was born in Nigeria and moved to Canada when she was only four years old. She recently became pregnant and began looking for baby clothes with traditional African prints like the ones she used to wear when she was a child. To her dismay, she found nothing. Instead of settling for baby clothes that did not reflect her family's heritage, she decided to do something about it. Therefore, Adedokun launched Ade + Ayo, a company that sells authentic African print baby clothes. What began as a side hustle has since grown into the new mom's full-time job, Good Morning America reports.
"I was super surprised that I couldn't find affordably priced African aesthetic products that were designed from an authentic place," Adedokun said in an interview with the media outlet. "And I really thought that was an important thing that a lot of people would want for their children as well." She then decided to make her own version of the clothes she was looking for for her future son. She shared, "At first, it was, 'Okay, let's see what I can do to kind of create it for myself.' For my son, I created these onesies that had animal prints on them and put them on a website to see what happened. And there was enough feedback there that I thought, 'Okay, I think people do care about this.'"
The new mom thus began making baby clothes as a passion project in addition to her full-time position as an attorney at an Oakland law firm. Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit, she was placed on furlough at the law firm. That is when she decided to make her side hustle a full-time job. "I had to evaluate: What, am I going to try and go search for another job that I don't have a lot of passion for? Or am I going to take this as a chance to risk everything and kind of bet on myself," Adedokun stated. "I choose the latter."
As a result, she launched Ade + Ayo. The first part of the company's name, Ade, comes from her last name and means "crown" in the Yoruba language. The second part, Ayo, comes from her first name and means "joy" in Yoruba. She said, "I really wanted to touch on the theme of pride. "One of my goals with the brand is to help children grow up with pride with their heritage and that children are the pride and joy of their parents' lives." Since Adedokun first opened her business in 2020, she has received much praise from other parents informing her that her clothes allowed them to show their children their heritage. And, for those who are not of African descent, her clothes have been a way for parents to introduce their kids to a new culture.
"It's really allowing the parents to start having conversations about being open to different things, and about learning," the business owner shared. "On my product listings on the website, I go into quite a bit of detail about prints' names, and the inspiration for the design, what region it comes from, and so people can kind of take that and start having conversations with their kids about what they're wearing." Concluding, she noted that she sees the original inspiration for the company when her son wears the Nigerian-themed clothing. Adedokun affirmed, "We also are very proud people like it's important to us to be proud of what we do, and the work that we do, and the ways that we affect lives around us. Knowing that I was going to be raising a Black boy in America, I thought it was important for him to have something you could come back to and know that he was worthy, that he could be proud of."