The Foreign Exchange fluctuation in Nigeria led Olu Onanuga to build strong home grown Home Fragrance brand to cater for Nigerian and the African market. I worked with Olu some time ago and trained her on product developments, perfumery and branding. Here is her story.
BH: What was your candle entrepreneurial journey like?
OO: My journey started when I founded Insignia Interior Design in Lagos, Nigeria. We were the distributors of Yankee Candle in Nigeria and we carried a number of European Home Fragrance brands at our retail store I.e. Culti, Millefiori, Dr. Vranjes among others. I wanted to create a home grown Home Fragrance brand to cater to Nigeria and the African market.
In order to create products that will rival any of the International brands, I travelled to the United Kingdom where I had one on one trainings at The Beauty Handmade Academy and armed with that knowledge and post training support from my Tutor Zaga, I went ahead to launch my Home Fragrance line of Scented candles, Reed diffusers, Room sprays, Hand wash & Hand Lotion, Perfumes- and the list is growing.
BH: What value an expert knowledge played in developing your business?
OO: The knowledge learnt has helped fuel my passion- because to be a successful candle maker, there are specific steps that need to be observed. Remember, our objective is to provide superb, quality, eco friendly home fragrance products for the African market while being truly International.
BH: How would you describe your brand positioning?
OO: Our Home fragrance products have gone as close as around Nigeria to some West African countries like Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and travelled as far as the United Kingdom and America. We are a growing brand producing all our handmade goodies at our studio in small batches whilst promoting wellbeing to all our clients through our Aromatherapy range of products.
BH: Could you sum up your journey in one sentence?
OO:It has been a tremendously exciting period- there are so many barriers to be broken but we’re thankful that we have mastered our craft and gaining acceptance here with the quality of our brand and our unrelenting spirit of providing only the Best!.
BH: Finally what does the future hold for Arome Atelier and Olu?
OO:We are looking towards and working to be the No 1 Home Fragrance brand in Africa and we won’t stop until every home, office, retail store, hotel and space has an Arôme Atelier product.
We’re changing the narrative in Africa, one scented candle at a time