Jumoke Dada
Home African CEOs Interviews Visionaries How Jumoke Dada Built Multi-million dollars Furniture Company at 26
Visionaries - April 24, 2022

How Jumoke Dada Built Multi-million dollars Furniture Company at 26

Despite Nigeria’s unfriendly business climate, especially for women, Jumoke Dada started and grew into a tech-enabled furniture company from scratch and now has over 50 staff with revenue running into millions of dollars.

The 26-year-old entrepreneur demonstrated that the first step to success in life is believing in oneself and convincing yourself that it is possible. 

Her defiance to her parents’ wishes to settle for an employee life turned out to be one of her best decisions in life.

“When I started, my parents didn’t believe in me and were sceptical about it because they wanted a white-collar job for me. So I didn’t necessarily ask for financial support from my parents though starting furniture work is capital intensive”, says Jumoke.

Jumoke Dada’s clear vision, grit and determination to succeed turned her furniture brand, Taeillo, an Afrocentric furniture company, into a multimillion naira business. 


Jumoke Dada

Jumoke Dada is a first-class graduate of the University of Lagos, Nigeria, where she bagged a degree in Architecture. She also graduated with a Master’s degree in Environmental Design from the same institution.

In 2013, before graduating, she interned at Interstate Architecture Limited during the rebuilding project of Nigeria’s Central Bank. In 2014, she worked as an interior design intern for a furniture company till 2015.

She also has a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Management. She competed in design contests and workshops, winning grants and accolades.

Some of her winnings include the Tony Elumelu Foundation Award for being one of 1,000 African entrepreneurs who will determine the continent’s future and the Diamond Bank – Building Entrepreneurs Awards. 

Jumoke also received the She Leads Africa Accelerator Award for young female-led businesses that use technology to improve African communities. 

Jumoke was highlighted in Elle Decoration South Africa as one of Africa’s creatives doing something fascinating on the continent right now.

In 2020, she was chosen as one of five Pritzker Fellows. She featured in TechCabals Women in Tech 2020.

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center recognised Jumoke Dada as a Milestone Maker in the Fall 2020 cohort atop the Nasdaq Tower in New York Times Square.

Taeillo: The beginning

Jumoke Dada

From her intern days at an architectural firm, Jumoke Dada knew that she wouldn’t draw buildings for a living. She didn’t see herself working in construction for the rest of her life. Instead, she was fascinated by woodworks.

Her interest in furniture was substantiated when she attended an interior design conference which Japanese and American designers attended. 

She said the foreigners berated Nigerians for depending on imported goods to survive.

Jumoke felt challenged by this statement, and she swung into action, leading to the birth of an Afrocentric furniture company, Taeillo.

“I wanted to use locally-sourced materials to make furniture Nigerians would love. I took that as a challenge and decided to have a locally made furniture brand,” says Jumoke.


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In 2016, Jumoke began working with traditional textiles like Ankara, Motifs, and Aso oke. 

She adds, “We needed to bring something different from a cultural and tech standpoint. For me, it’s like we’re trying to solve a problem for this 1% of the market that wants to buy contemporary pieces like the ones they see in Europe and the US.”

Taeillo created a strong presence with a few clients and formally debuted in 2018 using an eCommerce model via its site and social commerce via social media platforms.

The first milestone

In 2018, Jumoke Dada began making furniture solely for companies, and one of its key customers was NGHub. This was when Facebook teamed with the Co-creation Hub (CcHub) to start NGHub.

The CEO of CcHub, Bosun Tijani, had inquired about a local and economical furniture manufacturer that could supply the company’s furniture. Some of Taeillo’s loyal customers recommended the brand, and it landed the deal.

Since then, Taeillo has added new clients such as Danfo Bistros & Dives, Lost in Lagos, BellaNaija Style, Softcom, etc.

Taking the next step

Jumoke Dada began with a B2B strategy, where her primary customers were business organisations. To her, this is restrictive. As previously said, she wanted customers to have a taste of Taeillo’s brand and products, and the COVID-19 pandemic provided the ideal chance.

She said, “We were asking ourselves ‘how do we create about 1,000 products that people can afford to buy instead of making a few for some companies.” As a result, Taeillo switched to a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model. 

According to her, “this proved to be a wise business move. Individuals who previously could not afford the brand’s furnishings and new and existing enterprises, government, and organisational bodies are now among their customers”.

Hiccups in pivoting

Pivoting, however, presented its own set of difficulties. The whole supply chain has been challenging when interacting with individual consumers. This is because the brand’s essential materials are sourced from the country’s South West area – Akure.

Also, timeliness has grown more important to the company, from ordering materials to producing the furniture and delivering it. 

Taeillo takes 10-14 working days to deliver to enterprises, but just 5-10 working days to individuals.

The startup is also handling logistics challenges by working with logistics businesses that operate using minivans, vans, and trucks. Similarly, Taeillo is experimenting with in-house ways for easy transportation, such as flat packaging.

“If we’re positioning ourselves to a point where one of our exit strategies is to sell out to, let’s say, IKEA, we should’ve sorted out a lot of supply chain issues that companies like IKEA would’ve needed us to figure out,” she said.

While the company sources materials such as wood and textiles from local suppliers, Jumoke noticed that it is difficult to source furniture accessories. And in her opinion, the company needs to get to the point where it can manufacture its accessories.

Taeillo, technology, customer experiences

Unlike the traditional method of purchasing furniture from showrooms, which provides answers to inquiries such as: What would my furniture look like? What are my options? Is this piece of furniture a suitable fit for my space?

Taeillo leveraged technology to redefine consumer experience. Instead of visiting a brick-and-mortar showroom, buyers may do all inspections from the convenience of their own homes.

This is made possible through 3D and augmented reality views, which allow buyers to see how the items appear and fit into the area they envision.

She said, “In that way, we eliminate many things like showrooms where we don’t have to set up square metres of space. We also have VR showrooms where users can visit our office, see pieces for themselves, and interact with them. I think that’s the now and the future.”

According to her, the company wants to get to the point where anyone with VR headsets or glasses can view Taeillo’s online showroom without stepping out of their homes. 


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