IN ALAGA COLLECTIONS, EVERY FURNITURE TELLS A STORY – OLUWATOBI OREOLUWA
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa is the CEO of Alagacollections. With him, cultural stories have been narrated using furniture. His creative designs will leave your jaw dropping. He walks us through his journey to greatness.
DA: Can you please tell us a concise reflecting story on the journey you have travelled to get here?
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa: I have always been a lover of art, lover of history, lover of culture. I read a lot of books growing up, watched a whole lot about culture. This things formed my life choices. So I’m always very interested when it comes to things that has to do with culture. Studying architecture also has been very vital in my journey. So its a mix of my love for culture growing up and my profession as an architect. Basically, i am a lover of art.
DA: What inspired you to start alaga collections?
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa: Like I said earlier am an architect by profession. Back in 2012, I was opportune to work as product designer for the architecture company. It was there I started designing furniture and I got intrigued by it. It was so sad that most of the designs where sent out of the country to be made and sent back to Nigeria.
That is one of the things that inspired me. My work between 2013 and 2016 made me more interested. It is actually infusing calmness into furniture designs, that is, telling stories with pieces of furniture. That’s how the story of Alaga started and is what it is today.
DA: How are you able to gather the manpower you need?
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa: Alaga collection is a locally driven company. So we source our materials and manpower from local artisan. As we know talents are everywhere in Nigeria, although some of them go aboard in search of greener pasture.
We employ the most talented. We source for labour, talents and resources. Nigeria has local resources in abundance so we as professionals put our know how and imbibe into designs and teach the local talent how to work this things out with the resources we have in Nigeria
DA: As we all know that nothing good comes easy, how do you get the designs you craft out?
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa: Usually our designs are inspired by culture, our stories as Nigerians, as Africans. We like to pride ourselves by using furniture pieces to tell different stories, to spill different narratives.
Ours is to tell different stories so we pick inspiration from our environment and different things we have become used to. When we get our inspiration from this things that we have become used to we sit down as a team and look for ways to tell a story with furniture.
DA: What are the challenges you have faced in interior and design industry?
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa: One major challenge is working with artisan. Building a team. You might build a team today and find out one person does not deliver, does not do what he said, does not have the know how no matter how much you teach them and it scatters your whole plan and design. It eventually tells on the scope of things.
DA: What are your core values?
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa: Our core values are commitment to innovations and excellence.
DA: An advice for youths that want to venture into interiors and design?
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa: My advice is start from anywhere but never forget to buildup from anywhere you start.
DA: Who is/are your mentor(s)?
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa: On Mentors, I’m intrigued by the works of Ingvar Kamprad & Niels Diffrient.
DA: How can we reach you?
Mr. Oluwatobi Oreoluwa:
- Mail: Ibeere@alagacollections.com,
- website: Alagacollections.com,
- IG: @alagacollections
- Twitter: @alaga_ng.
- My personal page: @iconoreoluwa on all platforms