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Connect Nigeria spoke to Ebunoluwa Ojo, MD Box and Barrel about her innovative approach through her closet brand, Bulayo and her perception of what makes an entrepreneur. CN: Tell us about Box and Barrel? EO: Our company’s name is Box and Barrel and under it are many brands. Bulayo as a brand is all about closets – walk – in and reach – in closets both wooden and steel. We also have Franebini which is all about kitchens – built in kitchens, modern kitchens built like the ones you see abroad. The product is being worked on at the warehouse and is at its finishing stages, ready for display in our show room. We also have another brand called Frames and More. Some builders come to us and they want to procure some of the Bulayo accessories. They have their doors but they don’t have the hardware accessories to slide the doors. We have hardware accessories for sliding and in a few months time, we will be selling to builders alone. We have some other smaller brands too which I won’t say much on now. 1545802_380315478778628_1226899645_n CN: Why should customers go for Bulayo’s closets? EO: Over the years, we have been around projects and we have found out that the way Nigerians build their bedrooms makes dressing up a big challenge especially when it is an executive who is in a hurry for a meeting and wants to dress up after bath. He will realise that to dress up, he would have to spend more than enough time, very important time on searching for the right attire to wear so we came up with the idea of bringing in the American concept because presently Nigerians operate the European idea where there is a big room with a small wardrobe in a tiny corner of the room or with clothes choked up and boxed up in drawers and cupboards. So we came up with the American idea where you have a walk in closet, a room in a room where you can walk into, where most of the clothes are on display, you can see what you have clearly and mix and match right there without wasting time. So from my own experience, I realise that by the time I go out there for shopping, I end up buying what I already have because I have forgotten because what I have has not been visible to me so I end up duplicating. So, I said to myself, this has to stop. I did not just want to do what every one was doing in interiors. I wanted something that could market itself, that people will need and we don’t have to go around to market it so we focused on closets and brought in the accessories. 11   CN: How do we identify closets that are of the Bulayo Brand? EO: For the accessories, our products are mostly metal and solid steel and they last, if not forever. They are not aluminum. They are so sturdy that no matter the weight (closet – related) you put on it, it would hold. It does not rust. It prevents molding. Most of our wood in Nigeria is not cured to the level that you can bring it into your home and live with it. When there is too much mold in the house, it causes health issues. At the end of the day, thoe wood gathers a lot of mold and it brings in some bad gas into the home but with our wood, that is eradicated. For our doors, we use cured wood, and we treat them in our warehouse until our customers are ready. Our closets are all very beautiful with no health danger, very solid, they slide well and are very light. It is not MDF. MDF is such a bad wood. It is not really a wood but particles put together by chemicals. MDF that falls into water or moisture will start to swell up and at the end of the day, it collapses but when a cured wood enters water, when it is out of water, it dries up, it goes back to solid wood. So that is why we have based most of our projects on cured wood and proper steel – titanium steel not aluminum. 12  

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This article was first published on 25th April 2014 and updated on January 25th, 2017 at 8:13 am

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