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Meet Jumoke Dada, craftsman who makes afro-urban furniture

Jumoke Dada is the founder and CEO of Taeillo, a start-up brand that produces urban furniture using African inspired pieces.

Jumoke was motivated to establish Taeillo in 2016 out of her passion to brand Africa’s culture and identity in appealing modern designs through furniture.

“I wanted was to create a great piece because I realised that many of our traditional arts and crafts evolved overtime to include practical and decorative items and that human expressions find their way through various forms of art,” she says.

In the light of all these, she has resolved in her heart to brand the African culture and identity and make it appealing to modern Nigerians through design and furniture.

The Architecture graduate tells Start-Up-Digest that she started her business with zero capital, a computer and her idea. According to Jumoke, payment from her first contract was used for the purchase of materials needed for the first furniture piece she made. Subsequently, she sold the furniture for N52,000 and made a profit of N12,000 then.

After Jumoke’s first furniture piece, she began to get referrals from her initial client, family and friends, which helped her in generating revenue she reinvested into the business.

So far, the University of Lagos (Unilag) graduate has raised some money through grants from local and international organisations to further increase her production capacity.

The young entrepreneur says she sources all her raw materials used in production locally.

Since Jumoke started her business in 2016, it has grown tremendously despite the market being saturated. She explains to us that Taeillo has continued to grow owing to its leverage on technology and consistent investments into research and development.

“When we were going into the market, we understood that the furniture market was saturated, but we were still able to grow the business because we leveraged on technology. Technology helped us scale our business model, coupled with the strong investment we put into research and development to continue to produce exciting designs,” she states.

Answering questions on the challenges confronting her business, the Architect-turned-furniture maker says that her current industry lacks the required skilled professionals that are detailed in craft and designs. This, according to her, remains the major challenge confronting her business.

Jumoke Dada

She also notes that the huge infrastructural gap is another challenge facing the business.

She wants governments at federal, state and local levels to invest more into human capital development in order to provide industries with the needed skills. Jumoke also urges them to provide an enabling environment for businesses by investing in key infrastructure.

Speaking on her business expansion plans, the entrepreneur says she plans to further expand the business and its production capacity while increasing global reach through technology.

Similarly, she plans to have a furniture showroom across major African cities and Nigeria. She also wants to have a foundation in a way of giving back to the society by helping the less privileged.

Speaking on her advice to other entrepreneurs, Jumoke says, “Love God, be persistent and burn that ship.”

 

Josephine Okojie

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