• Thursday, February 22, 2024
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BusinessDay

JOY OFILI, Leading an African inspired, contemporary furniture company

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joy-ofili

There are hundreds if not thousands of parameters, shapes and designs, parameters that from the first glance can describe the personality of the owner inhabiting the design line. Little wonder, meeting my Leading Woman for this week was quite intriguing. Why? You ask well, everything about her speaks creativity. Talk about someone who is gifted to combine knowledge with aesthetic vision, to develop design solutions for eagle-eyed clients then she naturally comes to mind. You can tell what she stands for, her existence gravitates around a unique inner factor that reflects in what she is passionate about-design! Her unique qualities, perspective, interpretations are seen in the array of handcrafted furniture that adorn her head office at Surulere. Joy Ofili is The MD/CEO of Simplinteriors, one of the market leaders in the office and home furnishing industry and she is happily married with two lovely kids.

Born in Lagos, Joy had her primary and secondary school in Lagos and gained admission into Yaba College of technology to study Industrial Design where her childhood love for design was rekindled. Joy started her working career, after her NYSC with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Thereafter, she worked at Sunflag Textile Limited and then U-rely Nigeria Limited. She would later resign in 2007 to start her own interior decoration company, Simplinteriors and Decor.

Simplinteriors is known for its individually handcrafted furniture including wooden beds four poster beds, chests of drawers, dining tables, dining chairs, bookcases, coffee tables and home accessories including cushions, lamps throw pillows and many more.

Their exclusive sofa designs are handmade in Nigeria using the finest solid beech wood frames and African linen upholstery. With luxurious duck feather filled cushions, their sofas are both stylish and indeed very comfortable.

“I grew up in Surulere Lagos, did my primary, secondary and higher institution in Lagos. My mum was a hard working woman who thought us (we are 5 girls and a boy) the importance of hard work. She felt as girls we should be independent and be major contributors to how our future should be shaped and this has influenced and helped me to stand out in whatever or wherever I find myself.” Joy tells me as the interview begins.

Operating for over nine years, Joy says that “we are bringing back the beauty of African inspired furniture to homes within Nigeria. The Simplinteriors product range is ever expanding to encompass different styles, and even different finishes of wood. The original aims and values still hold true: to offer high quality, beautiful and uniquely designed furniture, lighting and accessories – handmade from natural materials and sourced with the environment in mind.”.

One area customers are ever willing to clarify before purchasing any item is the area of standard. Hear Joy’s take on this “At Simplinteriors, we don’t compromise on our standards and our customer’s care is a major priority. We are an 80percent all Nigerian furniture maker which means we customize our furniture to suit our client’s colour scheme, home theme, spacing and much more. We source for our materials locally. As for the fabric, we have suppliers that we buy from and sometimes I bring them in when I travel however, I must add that we work with the finest materials and we pride ourselves in our finishing.” Joy tells me.

Joy is inspired by her environment and as an artist and sculptor, she loves to work with colours, “what works in Europe might not work here so I have to study what a client wants and add that touch” she reveals.

Beautiful, individual furniture doesn’t happen by chance. It’s the human element; the careful hand finishing by skilled craftsmen that gives Simplinteriors furniture such a personal feel, ensuring that what you buy is customised for you, that is why Joy insists that “you will not find our products anywhere else in the world. It’s hard to believe just how much care and attention goes into producing a single piece of Simplinteriors furniture. Numerous stages are required to construct and finish each item by hand to the highest standards. When it comes to our upholstered furniture such as our sumptuous sofas and chairs or the mattresses we sell which carry a Royal seal of approval, we work with Nigerian suppliers that are as dedicated to quality as we are. After all, you don’t have to travel far to get the best in the world.” She confidently admits.

 

KEMI AJUMOBI