Over the weekend, I crossed paths with an interesting young woman, Buogo Obi, whose story became an immediate inspiration to me and everyone I have told since I met her.
She is the CEO of Wooddesignes, an indigenous furniture manufacturing firm which is specialized in producing high quality furniture at the most affordable price.
We met at the Wooddesignes outlet at The Game, Lekki and we had a very smooth chat.
CP Africa: How did you start WoodDesignes?
Buogo: My father started the business 30 years ago, of course as an Architect, he started building his designs and bringing his designs to life. I took over the business from him three years ago after practicing as a Doctor of Physiotherapy for a while.
CP Africa: How did you cope with the new field that Furniture making is, considering that you never had a background experience?
Buogo: As a child, I used to visit my dad in the workshop, bang a couple of nails and al….But with my background knowledge in Physiotherapy, I learnt the appropriate height and how a chair should be in order not to cause back pain for humans and I am applying this knowledge in our products.
CP Africa: How do you handle competition in the furniture making industry?
Buogo: At Wooddesignes, we are more interested in satisfying our customers and premium quality. We also set the pace in the industry; we are the first brand to make furniture purchase available online. We also have a custom design feature on our website (https://wooddesignes.com/) where people can design their furniture by themselves and we send them the finished product.
We also have a Facebook page where we reply to inquiries 24 hours of the day.
CP Africa: How do you manage influence and your age and gender perception with people?
Buogo: I take a lot of advice from people but most importantly, I filter these to ensure I’m taking the right advice. I also do not joke with God and his direction in running the business. I have learnt that humility is also germane in leadership. I also try to understand my clients’ opinion or philosophy on age and gender issues and then play along based on this. Some people like to relate with men and some also like to relate with older people so I adapt to every situation.
CP Africa: Any advice for other entrepreneurs?
Buogo: You have to be disciplined and well focused. Arrogance cannot be carried along on this journey too and studying your industry.
CP Africa: On a very light note, Is WoodDesignes doing anything about Climate Change and Deforestation?
Buogo: Yes, we are, we have separate lands where we practice afforestation and as an environmental friendly firm, we are doing all our best to ensure that we make the environment sustainable for the future generations.
CP Africa: So, Buogo, thank you for your time and have a great day
Buogo Obi: Thank you very much for stopping by Ladi.