Paul Adebola Ade-Martins, The Nigerian Entrepreneur Who Built Businesses Out of Nothing in Africa
Today we’d like to introduce you to PAUL ADEBOLA ADE-MARTINS.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Paul Adebola Ade-Martins and I am the Creative Designer and Founder of Marco Martinez Clothing Company, Marc.B Consulting Ltd., ApexHill Manufacturing & Supplies, and Adebola Moda Inc. I was born and bred in Lagos Nigeria, where I had my Bachelor’s degree as an Electrical and Electronics Engineer at the University of Lagos. I started out pretty young when I was about 7/8years old sketching and drawing comic books until this faithful day when I stumbled on someone wearing a T-shirt carrying a comic book character that looks like the ones in my comic books. This got me so fascinated with having my own anime characters on knitwear. Ever since then, I started out trying to achieve this dream. This is the summary of how I stumbled into the world of fashion and digital art. From there, I started floating other businesses including the newest one in Real Estate.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
It was a bumpy ride back then in 2002 when I started out. The major challenge had to do with my geographical location being in Africa. It was pretty difficult for anyone to actualize any dream when you are surrounded by poor infrastructure, no internet, and a lack of support from banks and the government. I was raised by my mother, a single parent, in a low-cost housing estate. I practically had no money. One day, I was fed up with procrastinating and waiting to get help so I teamed up with two of my friends. I had about $2, one of my friends had a blank t-shirt while the other had some acrylic inks. I bought a few brushes with the money with me, painted on the blank t-shirt with the brush and ink, and voila, the birth of my business! I and my friends later went our separate ways which led to the creation of my label, Marco Martinez. I remember facing a lot of challenges when trying to scale up the business. I had learnt how to manufacture T-shirts, and other garments and how to screen print myself. I was the designer, the accountant, the sourcer, and the printer at the same time. But with consistency, I was able to build my brand and employ many youths and together we built a business delivering thousands of products yearly across Africa.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
My background has always been Art and Engineering. Art was God-given while I studied Engineering at the University. Although I never got to work for anyone in an Establishment as an Engineer, I always love to tell people that I engineer clothes and shoes because I applied the basics of engineering in our production process. I love imagining things and bringing them to fruition, therefore all the businesses that I run are built on the strength of my creative ability and my quest for perfection and quality. I run businesses ranging from fashion items to branded gifts/supplies, to manufacturing and real estate. The common factor with all of these businesses are: Uniqueness, style, attention to detail, and quality. I don’t concentrate on chasing after money, rather we are focused on customer satisfaction at all times. This is why anyone should looking to build themselves should choose us over any other competition.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Focus on these major things. 1. Solving problems. 2. Becoming a master in whatever thing you decide to do. 3. Love what you do and be consistent with it. 4. Be financially disciplined. If you can be diligent with all of these, money will chase you.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success to me is living a life of purpose and fulfilment. It’s that simple.
What’s next for you?
Making sure Marco Martinez and Adebola Moda emerge as the biggest global brands in the fashion industry to have ever emerged out of Africa. Secondly, becoming a big player in the real estate sector.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
You can reach out to me on my Instagram pages: @life.of_a_designer or @marcomartinez47 or @adebolamoda. For serious enquiries, kindly mail me on firstname.lastname@example.org