Our Journey: I started my business with the sale of Throw Pillows.
It was a time when I was struggling with what I wanted to do with my life. It was a decision between skincare and interior decor. I had just finished my Masters in Human Resources Mgt and Development from the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham United Kingdom and knew that I didn’t want to go back to my banking job or any other 9-5 job for that matter. I had a skincare blog and also was really great at decorating as everyone who came into my space always complimented my aesthetic. But the real journey started in a funny way because I made some Throw Pillows specially for myself, which I placed in the car and went to church. On my way out, I saw a group of women surround my car. I thought it was on fire. But they were just admiring the cushions and wanted to buy them. Of course, I sold those cushions to them and that’s how the orders kept coming in through referrals. I began getting requests about furniture re-upholstery jobs and then full furniture productions followed. Throughout the shaping of my journey as a decorator, I started researching on being an excellent Interior Designer and I haven’t stopped researching and learning since then.
What were the biggest initial hurdles and how did you overcome them?
My biggest initial hurdle was finding the right team that would align with my vision for well built, Made in Nigeria furniture pieces. Finding the right artisans, and skilled people is still a headache in Nigeria. So being able to train and develop people that will understand that sub-standard is not good enough. This was one of my biggest hurdles.
Over the years, we have now been able to build a trustworthy small team of people whom we collaborate with on all our projects. It was full of trial and errors really. A continuous struggle till we were able to select and choose the right people that could align. In those early years it was a lot of headache and tears. However, we now have an amazing team of skilled artisans and workers that are willing to continue to improve on our productions and designs. Everyone is now on the same page, with a focus and goal to produce pieces that will meet and even surpass international standards.
What books are you currently reading?
I am currently reading lots of articles online on the business of Interior Design. I am obsessed with Interiors and continue to search and improve on myself not just as a designer but also a business owner. I binge on www.capellakincheloe.com as she has lots of resources that can equip any entrepreneur but particularly every design entrepreneur.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started?
I wish someone told me about how to handle various types of clients or the major importance of Design Contracts. However, experience has taught me in some good and not so good ways that these areas in the business of design are very important.
What advice would you give to an upcoming youth or talents locally and internationally?
My advice to an upcoming youth or talent would be to continue to learn in every aspect of your life’s journey. You must seek knowledge continuously and never feel like you know it all or that you have arrived. It’s key to stay true to yourself and the right people who value you will find you and engage you.