Yetty Oyinlola Ogunnubi is one of Nigeria’s leading Public Relations professionals and the founder of The YD Company a part of YD Limited, a hybrid PR firm in Lagos. Her career path in the creative industry was cast in stone as she was born to a family of artists – both parents are exterior decorators. Some of their iconic works are unmistakable on several monumental buildings across Nigeria.
Yetty D, as her minders fondly call her, was blazing the trail in the African fashion space while she lived in London, but PR found her along the way, and she never looked back. However, she incorporated her first love, fashion, into her marketing communications career path.
In this interview, she talks about building a successful business in Nigeria and makes a valid case for the country’s systemic failure, which has forced Nigeria’s best minds to make it their life’s mission to relocate abroad.
BEA: Your entrepreneurship journey started in fashion; how did you end up in Public Relations?
Yetty Oyinlola Ogunnubi: Yes, I started as a fashion entrepreneur and am now a PR consultant. My journey to that is because when I owned my label (Yetty D) back in the UK, I became my own marketing person, my graphics person, and my website designer. I was doing it all by myself because I was messed up by some of the people I had contracted to do some of the work. I had to learn how to do those things. From doing that, I became a producer for Uber Africa Unmasked, a platform showcasing Africans in the diaspora in the fashion industry.
As the producer, I also had to do the press articles, get press members involved, and push the whole production. From there, I worked with Princess Ronke Ademiluyi, who recently became a queen to the Ooni of Ife, King Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi of the Ile Ife kingdom in Nigeria.
We worked together on the African Fashion Week in London. From there, she invited me to come on board for Africa Fashion Week London and Nigeria as the Communications Director. That is where my journey to full-scope PR started.
Yetty Oyinlola Ogunnubi: So, was that when you established the YD company?
No, doing Africa Fashion Week for four years, people started engaging me, and brands began calling me and asking, ‘can you work on our brand in terms of visibility?’ Then, in 2016, I left Africa Fashion Week to establish YD, which used to be YD Agency, and that is where the journey of running an agency started.
BEA: It would seem Fashion was your passion. Considering you accidentally stumbled on PR, and they say being passionate about what you do is important in business, did PR grow on you?
Yetty Oyinlola Ogunnubi: I guess I am passionate about creating. The journey did not start fully until I moved back to Nigeria in 2013. I love creating and am passionate about that, so that has transcended into PR where I love to nurture whatever brand we work with. I am passionate about seeing the brands’ growth, and being passionate about the growth of the brand you work with translates to being passionate about PR – nurturing the brand, curating it and making it a brand to be reckoned with in whatever specific industry. Fashion is even one of the many industries we work with at the agency. We also work with real estate, hospitality, to corporate bodies.
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