It is with great pleasure I want you to meet Jumoke Dada, a lovely and focused lady who is the Founder and CEO of Tǽillo. Jumoke has a great vision for the future of Nigeria and Africa which she has translated into her furniture.
She makes exquisitely crafted furniture using Aso Oke and Ankara fabrics. These furniture forms one of the best use of creativity in aesthetic ambience, that I have come across where furniture is concerned.
Because these fabrics not only carry the essence of our African heritage but also comes in various beautiful colours, I will say, Jumoke has gifted us with a modern antique of our time. I know you want to meet this specially talented lady. Let’s meet her…
Modern antique to some, might sound like the impossible. But there’s a quote that says; “Things of quality have no fear of time”. I am sure you would agree with me then, that there’s a rare but possible chance of there being a modern antique.
Such is the case with the exquisite crafts and designs by of the amazing Made In Nigeria quality products the creative minds at Tǽillo come up with. When we met Jumoke, the founder, we could almost literally see the intensity and dept of her creativity.
While we were chatting, she let us in on how she came about the name “Tǽillo”. The name, she said was coined from the Yoruba (a tribe in Nigeria) dialect’s accent of pronouncing the word tailor. If you are a Yoruba or from Nigeria I’m sure you can relate with this.
Although in this case, Jumoke used the name Tǽillo because she believes tailoring is a form of creation that doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to garment making. She used the name to depict her company is a design and creation initiative. The brand name, written as Tǽillo, makes it easy to pronounce the name in the Yoruba dialect.
Let’s learn more about Jumoke…
Please introduce yourself and your background.
My name is Jumoke Dada. I am a Lagos based designer and I graduated with a first class in Architecture from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. I have worked in top Architectural and interior design and Furniture manufacturing companies in Nigeria.
I hold a Master’s Degree in Environmental Design and I have also participated in design competitions and design workshops. In September 2015, I exhibited as a finalist at the innovation award.
I have also attended design workshop organised by the African Contemporary institute of Design. I am a member of Young African leadership institute (YALI), and I have a YALI Certificate on Entrepreneurship skills.
The central theme of my ideas is based on culture, identity, morals in the society, issues relating to feminism, the society is a reflection of the home and how the home influences the society.
I enjoy travelling around Nigeria and Africa to view culture, values and identity from different perspectives and to discover new ways which the younger generation of the continent can appreciate what had and is still in existence and harness them to create a new modern African living.
I like to pass down my ideas through stories, proverbs, etc. as a medium of communication. These I have showcased in my works
Please tell us about your work. How did Tǽillo start?
Lifestyle Design became to me the quintessence of my philosophy combining Traditional culture with contemporary African design in Furniture and Home accessories.
I believe there is a need to improve on traditional forms and materials and apply them in the modern context creating a new cultural concept term Modern Africa in which Africans can still maintain their identity living in the modern era despite the conflict in identity and culture and can still be proud of who they are.
Tǽillo started trying to fill the lapses mentioned above.
Where did the idea for Tǽillo come from? Where do you find the inspiration for your designs?
When in school I had always wanted to incorporate Africanism into my own style of Architecture and this continued to grow in me till Tǽillo idea started.
I realized 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. In the light of all these I have resolved in my heart to brand our culture and identity and make it appealing to modern Nigerians through design. In these expressions I draw inspirations
Can you remember one of the first things you crafted? What makes it memorable?
Crafts has always been a part of me, my dad told me when I was a kid I would tear every book in the house and use the paper for making different crafts. This was part of me he saw and encouraged me to study Architecture.
For furniture, I will say it is beta because it was the first furniture I designed it is actually a sofa that transforms into a bed and vice versa and it is memorable because it gave me the confidence to birth Tǽillo.
What are the challenges you face in business?
There are a lot of challenges, but that which is of major concern is getting Nigerians who are so detailed to craft the designs we work on and give it the finesse we expect I think is something lacking in this country.
What is your most popular product?
Our most popular product is the Africana chair. A lot of our clients like it in and outside Nigeria and order it.
To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian heritage for your work?
Nigeria is the only country with over 480 ethnic cultural nationalities art and culture of Nigeria represents the uniqueness of Nigerian lifestyle coupled together with the fact that Nigerian arts draws inspiration from rural traditional folklore heritage.
Culture is the bedrock of human civilization, it not only gives a sense of belonging and identity but also has the power to transform entire society, strengthen local communities and forge a sense of identity and belonging for people of all ages.
What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
I am very much interested in taking the brand internationally and having African lifestyle flagship stores in other continents of the world asides from Africa
Also, I plan to have a foundation that gives back to the African society in the future.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I enjoy having quiet times a lot upon which the mind is developed and creativity evolves.
For someone who wishes to take up this kind of career, what kind of advice would you give them? Also, if you could give one piece of advice to youths who want to start their own company, what would it be?
It will be Love God, Be persistent, Burn that Ship
And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share two to four images of your work with us and tell us a little about each.
The Africana Chair is the most popular of our range and our client love it.
Mono Collection Chair is a remarkable chair because it reminds me of what my hobby was before Tǽillo started.
Here is a settee furniture exquisitely crafted by Tǽillo
Thank you Jumoke, for participating in Bellafricana’s Exclusive Interview. We are always proud to see Africans growing a strong business.