Kunmi Otitoju makes Yoruba-themed leather bags, purses, jewelry and of recent, hoodies. Every piece is handmade, at her atelier in Barcelona, where she lives. She puts them for sale online under her Minku Design brand where you can pay in dollars, or in Naira by special arrangement. Now, you can also pay in Bitcoin.
As far as I know, Minku Design is the first Nigerian startup to accept the world’s most popular digital currency.
I’m a Minku customer, the proud buyer of not only the first hoodie to debut on the store, but also the first ever to purchase an item off the store’s menswear line. Not that I had any bitcoins to spend then or now, but I didn’t know that Bitcoin was accepted until I stumbled upon a feature of Kunmi on FoundersGrid. Here’s the relevant excerpt from her interview.
You recently started to accept Bitcoin as a payment form, what was your reasoning behind this?
I lived in the States for several years and I like this idea there that we are creating the future through our actions today. Many of the major companies today didn’t exist 12 years ago, yet they have totally changed the way we communicate, make purchases, relate with our banks.
I think Bitcoin is somewhere up there with those revolutionary ideas. And it is a payment system that is carrying emerging economies like Nigeria (where I am from) along.
More practically speaking, my boyfriend kept talking about Bitcoin, and I liked what I heard. It could well be the future. It’s had a bit of a shaky start, with Silk Road, the volatile trading of the past few months, and the Chinese government banning the official trading of Bitcoin there.
Minku is somewhere at the intersection of fashion design and technology, and accepting Bitcoin is something that fits with our goals of running a fully international online shop.
Fascinating. And it might also interest you to know that before Kunmi got creative with metal, wood and finally leather, she went up to a Masters degree in computer science from two U.S universties and worked in technology in Virginia. There’s also a Goldman Sachs internship under her belt. Now you aren’t so surprised that she’d have some affinity for crypto-currency, are you?
Read the rest of the interview on FoundersGrid where Kunmi talks about herself, her fashion startup and Nigerian ecommerce.