Meet The Founder Of Ile Ila #Exclusive Interview

Hey there!

It’s been a minute. I just checked the date of my last published article and I myself was wowed! But hey! Let’s leave the past in the past shall we?

I was opportune to have an exclusive interview with the founder of an amazingly awesome furniture design brand called Ilé Ilà. The fist time I came across the brand was during the Bellafricana ACE Awards 2018 in Lagos, Nigeria, and I can remember just standing and staring at these sets of beautiful furniture made with Aso Oke. They were so colorful, looked very comfortable and all I could say to myself was, ”Oh wow, this is art!”

This interview gave me more insight to what this brands stands for, why they do what they do, and some of the challenges they face as a business. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Ladies and Gentlemen, I introduce to you, Tosin Oshinowo, Founder and Creative Director of Ile Ila.

Please introduce yourself and your background

My name is Tosin Oshinowo. I am an Architect and run a design practice in Lagos, Nigeria called cmDesign Atelier. I am also a product designer and run a lifestyle furniture line called Ile Ila.

Tell us about your work. How did Ile Ila start?

Ile Ila, is a lifestyle furniture line designed and hand-made in Lagos, Nigeria. The brand design period-conscious furniture with a contemporary African content.

How did you come about the name and what does it mean?

Ilé-Ilà, means House of Lines in Yoruba,

What is your niche and how did you know it was a market to get into?

Our business is focused on accent chairs and ottomans. we really focused on the celebration and capsulation of Culture.

Where do you get the inspiration for your products?

We get our inspiration from everything around us. In particular we have a thing for color and textures and there is so much variety with Aso Oke.

Can you remember one of the first products you made? What makes it memorable?

One of the first chairs I made is still in my home. It’s an assortment of purple and lilac Aso Oke. It is really is one of the reasons who I got into the idea of color combination.

What are some of the challenges you face in your business?

Biggest challenge has been scaling up of production due to capital costs of the carpentry machinery. Currently, production is slow due to the machinery available, if we can scale up we can reduce time and reduce production cost and pass this saving on the our customers.

Do you have any regrets venturing into this line of business?

Not at all. Because I have stayed in the realm of design and creativity both businesses feed off each other.

What is your most popular product?

It’s interesting but difficult to answer. different demographics like different things. All the chairs have done well but i can almost guess peoples preference if I know their background or gender. In terms of sales the Alaafia did exceptionally well.

Alaafia Rocker


To what extent do you draw upon your Nigerian (African) heritage for your work?

We are all products of our experiences and exposures and it is this combination that is reflected in my work.

What are some of your short term and long term goals, both in your business and life in general?

We really want to push international sales. right now it’s expensive to export and this pushes up the price. short term we want to add more furniture lines to the brand.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I don’t know how to tie gele….. and I hardly wear Aso Oke.

What profession would you be in if you weren’t in the Furniture Design industry?

I probably would have been a visual artist.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone who wants to start their own business in your industry, what would it be?

Make sure you get your business properly registered and engage the services of an accountant from the start and make sure you pay your tax.

And finally, Here are some more images of pieces by Ilé-Ilà





Connect with Tosin on Instagram @ile.ila or send an email to [email protected] or you can call, 08023789728.

Follow us on Instagram @bell_africana for more amazing creative indigenous brands, and to fine out more about the beauty of Africa.

A Made in Nigeria Chair that gives Inspiration – Ile Ila

Have you ever heard this popular saying by Shirley Chisholm that says “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair”?

Well I say, scratch the folding chair, bring an Ile ila chair, a proudly made in Nigeria chair that gives inspiration.

A wise man once said, ideas rule the world (Sam Adeyemi), and I couldn’t agree more.

Without ideas, you cannot create solutions to problems, you cannot even call yourself a creative, talk less an entrepreneur or intrapreneur.

Well, if ideas truly rule the world, where do you get inspiration from?

Most times I personally like to take a break from my space, go for exhibition, stay cations, vacations….you might even agree that an idea can fall on you anywhere!

Even when in the shower, yes? but you have never heard of you getting ideas from a chair.. right?

So I am here to introduce to you a proudly made in Nigeria chair by ILE ILA.

Wooosh, trust me, you will soon want to own yours!

First click let’s start by meeting the amazingly talented bellafricana verified founder, Tosin Oshinowo…

Here are some of the Ile Ila chairs;

ilé-Ilà_House-of-Lines-adekunle-gold_bellafricana verified

Ile ila sofa bellafricana verified

Ile Ila chair and stool bellafricana verifiedIle ila chair and stool bellafricana verified made in Nigeria chair furniture brand Ile Ila inspirational chair bellafricana verified asooke chair Ile Ila inspirational chair bellafricana verified asooke chair

To contact Tosin of Ile Ila (mention you found her via Bellafricana),

Email: [email protected],

Call: 08023190946



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