In this edition of #Ourownstories we spoke to Efie Decor, a interior design business inspired by African prints, fabrics and patterns. Check out our interview with founder Laura to learn more.
How did Efie Decor come to be?
I started this whilst on maternity leave for my son in 2019 and really wanted to explore my interest for interior decor and African patterns.
Inspiration behind the name?
Efie means home in Twi in Ghana as that's where my partner is from and me as well. I am also from the Ivory Coast. Decor because we do everything decor for your home so "Home Decor" is "Efie decor" but also efie because Ghana is home.
How do you source products from your home decor collection?
Initially products were hand made by me with fabric I would get from the local African market and also my mum. However the collection and order grew so products are now source and made in Ghana and Ivory Coast.
I have family members in Ivory Coast and Ghana so I work with them quite closely. They visit remote towns, markets and areas to find small venders and artisans. I love these kind of products because they are unique and when you buy you know you are making a difference. However with these products we can only do small quantities / one off sales so I do also work with bigger venders for products that I quite easily stock.
For me, the aim has always been to get African decor in the world more by getting the product straight from the source as a way to improve the lives of everyone involved. I have seen a lot of African items mass produced with the artisans still living in proverty which is quite sad.
Greatest accomplishments and challenges as a business so far?
Greatest accomplishment is every single order I receive because I am so amaze that people actually love and buy our products. It is very motivating. Biggest challenges has definitely been Brexit and COVID. I've not been able to do much as there's been severe delays with getting fabric and products here from Ghana but when they do reach, the new customs rules take even longer.
Also being a mum of two is a challenge but a good challenge haha!
What does it mean to you to be Black owned business?
Being Black owned for me the aim was to show everyone that African decor doesn't have to be seen as too much/ too hard to style/ not luxury etc. African prints, patterns and products are amazing and ethical, you just have to learn how to style.
It means creating opportunities and jobs for everyone involved. It would be great to be big enough to employ people and open factories back home, allow people to be paid fairly, feed their families.
What are your goals for this year?
Goals for this year - continue to grow, collaborate with more black business, improve my brand etc. Any advice for Black creatives or entrepreneurs?
This is advice for me too - I understand it is hard to raise funds to start a business but let's not cut corners. Let's invest and create great quality products with great packaging, photography and brand. Invest time, energy and resources in your brand.