The Chief Executive Officer of IO Furniture company, Lagos, Mrs. Munira Shonibare, says the need to present the beauty and best that come from Nigeria inspired her to establish the company.
Shonibare had the opportunity to showcase some of the works produced by IO last Thursday, when it hosted members of the Nigerian Institute of Architects at the company’s Ilupeju office.
She said, “I have been in industry as an interior designer furniture and manufacturer for over 20 years. We realised that most of the time, a lot of Nigerians prefer going abroad to buy goods and services, including interior designs. So, I thought of how we could begin to participate in ensuring that we effect change. For the past years, we have been talking of raising awareness, making sure that the various institutions as well as government and non-governmental bodies know about what we are doing.
“Let’s pretend that maybe the awareness isn’t there yet and most of these people only have access to local artists and it’s too complex to sincerely guaranty the quality standard being required, because that was what initiated my setting up my manufacturing outfit. It was because in Nigeria, I just couldn’t find a reputable manufacturing company that would give me a design quality.”
She explained that IO prided itself in its ability to interpret the essence of its clients through manufacturing design. Shonibare said, “By working closely with each client we are able to create spaces that embody their being, because regardless of whether they are individuals, brands or establishments to us, each project is personal. For us, manufacturing and design are languages that vary on the notes that make up each client and we believe it is our duty to highlight these notes and bring them to life.
“Look at the fashion industry. It has exploded. Now Nigerian fashion designers are participating in international fashion shows. We have to begin to do that.”
Among the professionals she hosted are Architects Abimbola Ajayi, Ladipo Lewis and Titi Adeleye.