“When I returned to Nigeria after 30 years, I fell in love with the people, not that am blind to the chaos in the country but I saw what we lack and also saw huge potentials, so I took my time and made the very first sample in my furniture product, the results went beautiful, sold it and here we are today”
– Demi Samande
Haven’t left the country [Nigeria] at the earlier stage of her life for United Kingdom where she lived for three decades, Demi Samande returned to the country, fell in love with country and decided to make impact by venturing into the Nigeria-made Furniture Company.
She floated Majeurs Chesterfield, a furniture company that specializes in all brands of exotic leathers and fabrics for furniture.
Speaking on her motive of returning to Nigeria after spending three decades in England to establish the furniture company, Demi said in a Youtube interview with Wonde Maya that she fell in love with Nigerians when she returned to the country and was convinced that there are more opportunities and potentials in Nigeria that can be tapped into.
Recounting how she got into the furniture business, Samande said she was into architecture for years in England, until 2010/2011 when recession happened. She described the experience as what made the turning point in her life.
“I was not getting top jobs at the time, what was coming to me at that time was furniture. I started developing strong passion for it that I started thinking about it. The furniture business blown in the United Kingdom but I decided to come to Nigeria to make more impacts in the furniture business space,
When I came here in 2016, I fell in love with Nigerians. They are people of strong hope and passion. I always marveled at their positive faith for life, this was not because I was blind to the chaos in the country but I saw the hopes, opportunities in country and what the country lacked”, he revealed.
“I took my time and made the very first sample in the local made and the results went beautiful, sold it and here we are today’’, she said.
Demi further explained that the furniture company is building an empire of home-made furniture outfit in Nigeria to serve the entire whole African market, by Nigerians for Africans, pointing that she didn’t grow up here but the moment she came to the country as an adult, she saw the opportunities to tap into.
Commenting on the materials she uses for her furniture, Demi revealed that all the furniture materials she uses for the furniture sets are locally made; these include the woods, foams and some of the fabrics.
‘’It doesn’t give me the joy seeing Nigerians not using their locally made items either for furniture or any other works. We can achieve great products in Nigerian market, everybody is skeptical until they see what we do. We have the resources and people, I’m proud of Nigeria even though I didn’t grow here”
When asked of her inspirational factor, Demi said she derives love in taking raw materials and seeing them transforming into a beautiful products for people to use and enjoy.
She also added that the furniture company has been training and retraining people on furniture making and planning to open furniture academy for Nigerians to expand and grow.
Speaking on her experience on the change of the environment, she said she hasn’t in any way regret coming back to Nigeria.
“I’m here to stay even with the fact that my parents are still in England. I have been doing fine and making impact in Nigeria”, she explained.
Demi however highlighted lack of funds as one of her major challenges in the business, calling on Nigerians to patronize Nigeria-made products, saying people are doing wonderfully well and without their supports, patronizing them they simply cannot grow.
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Calling on Nigerians at the diaspora, she urged them to discard the opinion that coming home might attract nothing worthwhile, making herself as example, she stressed that she grew up her entire life in England and had no experience of Africa and today, she is doing it.
“There is no place in the world where there are no challenges. There are different challenges everywhere we go. Charity they say begins at home, they should come and do the charity at home by investing their money at home”
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