Photocredit: Folakemi Oloye
Folakemi Oloye is a Designpreneur, and the Founder and CEO of Teal Harmony, an interior design and Renovations company based in Nigeria. At Teal Harmony, she defines and leads business strategy, she also manages business operations and provides design directions for the firm’s projects. Prior to founding Teal Harmony, she had about 10years experience as a business developer across several business sectors.
Background story and Inspiration in founding “Teal Harmony”
Unlike several people, I didn’t realize I had a flair for interior decorating until I had recently moved apartments and decided to do up my home, several people commented on how beautiful my house was, so I did my cousin’s room and a friend’s home, upon completion his neighbours had me decorate their homes and the rest like they say is history.
Teal harmony started out as the yellow pages for home improvement needs due to the challenges I faced when I was doing up my house but it quickly evolved into a full service design firm because people preferred to outsource the design, decorating and execution to me. Teal Harmony got incorporated in 2015 while I was working full time, however, I quit my job May 2016 to start full time.
About Teal Harmony?
Teal Harmony is a full-fledged interior design and renovation based in Lagos, Nigeria, with the sole purpose of providing expert services in all aspects of design. With her initial goal to be a yellow-page for interior design needs, Teal Harmony has grown over the years, earning her place as a full serviced interior design firm in Nigeria bent on eradicating the exploitation of people in need of interior design services and bridging the gap by setting the standard as trustworthy service professionals in the design space regardless of the gender and ethnicity of her clients. We boast of a 53-strong and ever- increasing team of well-vast professionals with years of expertise and commitment to client’s needs.
We operate in Nigeria and countries across Africa and beyond. Beyond creating beautiful, functional spaces that suit clients’ needs. We provide expert advice and consultation services. Our bid to live up to our goal of satisfying our clients while staying true to our original purpose of “providing designs that were not just beautiful but functional and quality driven” has earned us the trust needed to thrive in the design industry and grow our services beyond the Nigerian borders.
Since inception, we have worked on over 150 projects ranging from Corporate Spaces, Commercial Designs, Retail Stores, Hospitality, Health Care Facilities and Residential Spaces. We provide services that are tailored to covering every aspect of our clients’ projects with strict attention to details, a proper understanding of our clients’ tastes, budgets and future maintenance requirements. Our Human Capital pool is made up of the best trained professionals with experience across a wide range of Industries. In addition, technology plays a huge part in our operations as we have deployed systems and channels with which our clients can access our services.
What are your best and worst entrepreneurship moments?
Best entrepreneurship moment was delivering on a container build café from design to build to furniture. Its best for me because the team and I had to do a lot of research and work with a consultant to deliver. The client was absolutely thrilled and has since given us several referrals. Contact us for all your container builds and get an 20% design discount referencing this post.
Worst entrepreneurship moment was working on an information center, we had completed all renovation works, but when the furniture delivery came, the client insisted that it was meant to be in a different color of wood, which meant we had to redo the furniture. We delivered on the design but did not sign off on color. This led us to install new software and update our process so we would never had to bear such loss again.
How do you stay innovative?
Reviewing our projects and processes to see where we can improve, researching new materials and how it can be used, listening to podcasts and webinars, pushing ourselves (the Team and I) to not stay in comfort zones.
Challenges on your journey and Lessons…
Working with other contractors and sub contractors that are not part of your team can be quite challenging, but I have learnt that they have the power to make the project duration awesome or frustrated. So, we ensure we go into those projects extra humble and provide help where we can to them to ensure successful completion.
Upcoming projects and what you hope to achieve
We have recently moved offices so that we can have more room for the growing team and a place our clients can get to experience our works firsthand.
Tips on how to create and build an impactful business
Continuous learning is very essential in growing a business, identifying that you there is always room from improvement. Learn from those ahead of you, peers, subordinates, suppliers, vendors and anyone who knows more about a relevant skill more than you.
Secret to your success
There’s a quote that says if you want to go fast go alone, but if your want to go far, go with people. Your team makes a huge difference in the success of your business, invest in them
Keep improving on yourself, soft and hard skills
Final words to business women in our community
Your femininity is strength use it, do not lose it trying to prove you can do it better than men (for those in male dominated sectors). Everything that makes you a woman has given you a higher chance of succeeding as an entrepreneur. Input is equal to output. Put in the work and see yourself soar. Be willing to take calculated risk, do not wait for the perfect time, there’s no such thing.
The Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.
If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could possibly be featured.