This post was originally published on sothebysrealty.com.
Simple. Elegant. Organized. Productive. The founder of inspirational lifestyle brand Notiq, Vivian Jokotade Adeniyi, hopes to instill these qualities within each of her customers. “Women are seeking to become,” Adeniyi says, “and our products and our brand evokes that aspiration.”
Staying true to her mission, Adeniyi—an artist and mother of two—launched Notiq in 2019 with a line of elegant, personal day planners made entirely from sustainable, human-made leather. This past August, the brand launched an anniversary collection and expanded into sustainably made tote bags that feature the clean lines and elegant design for which Notiq is known. But Adeniyi doesn’t only hope to create fashion-forward products, her goal is to inspire women to reach their own dreams through entrepreneurship.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Adeniyi, 41, has been a full-time entrepreneur for 17 years after following in the footsteps of her two entrepreneurial parents. She started exploring entrepreneurship as a child by selling fashionable leather goods to her teachers and accessories to college students. With early dreams of becoming a fashion designer, Adeniyi began her career in corporate America. From there she became a full-time wedding and event designer and producer for high-end clients. Once she saw the trends in the industry shifting, however, she decided it was time to change tack.
“I’ve always been a planner and wrote in my journal and wrote out my lists, and when I finally bought my first Chanel bag I couldn’t get a matching planner for my dream bag and I was frustrated,” she says. “I thought it shouldn’t be this hard for a fashionable, tasteful, elegant person to find something that represents the kind of woman I want to become, so I decided to design my own.”
A portion of all of Notiq’s profits go toward the company’s global mission of promoting female empowerment in overlooked populations through creative entrepreneurship. In 2019, Adeniyi began a program to supply small business grants to female entrepreneurs in Nigeria who are just starting out. Her company expanded its philanthropic reach in Kenya and Uganda in the form of business loans as well as vocational and empowerment training for women.
“I was often overlooked. Even in business, people underestimate you, so I want to be the sister who helps give another woman a voice,” Adeniyi says. As a resident of Houston, she has started to support young entrepreneurs and women in the area with small grants to give them the extra push they need to succeed.
“If you give a woman a seed, you might come back to find a vineyard,” she says. Adeniyi began posting affirmations on her social media accounts speaking to her own dreams, hopes, and aspirations in August 2020, during the height of the pandemic. These posts received so much traction that she transformed them into a box of daily affirmation cards and now affirmation water bottles that are sold through Notiq.
“Women are very busy and we don’t take proper care of ourselves. I’m hoping these products help women achieve mental and physical wellness,” she says.
As a child, Adeniyi attended a boarding school in Nigeria where students were responsible for learning how to purify their own water. Notiq’s line of nontoxic, BPA-free Affirmation Water Tracking Bottles are designed with affirmations to help inspire customers to achieve their goals by filling up with clean water and striving to reach each affirmation marked on the bottle. A portion of the Affirmation Water Bottle proceeds benefit @thewaterprojectinc, which provides clean water to countries in Africa.
“I never forgot how I got here,” she says. “I know back home, the African woman has so much to deal with, but she still always has this inner desire to look her best and present herself well. I hope that with my work I can help women gain their self-esteem again.”