BUSINESS / ORGANIZATION:
Eva SonaikeLondon, England
ABOUT THE BUSINESS / ORGANIZATION:Eva Sonaike is a London-based Interiors company specializing in luxury home textiles and soft furnishings with vibrant African designs that bring colour to people’s homes.
The company’s ethos “Bringing Colour to Life” is reflected in its signature collections of cushions, bags, stationery, fabrics and furnishings using textiles designed by Eva Sonaike, combined with the finest velvets and leathers. Emphasis is placed on hand finishing, distinct designs and high quality manufacturing.
Creative Director Eva Sonaike graduated with an MA in Fashion Journalism from the London College of Fashion, where she specialised in contemporary African fashion and textiles.
She then pursued an editorial career, working as UK Fashion Editor for Hubert Burda Media for six years, working for titles such as “German Elle,” “InStyle” and “Focus.”
Driven by her enormous passion for African fabrics and interior design, she set up the company in 2009 with the mission of bringing the vibrancy of African colours and aesthetics to the luxury home-décor and accessories market.
Eva, who was born and raised in Germany and is of Nigerian descent, has taken the best elements of those two cultures to inspire her work – her designs draw from the two distinct influences of colourful African clothing culture and European antique and mid century furniture traditions.
With textiles expertly printed in Germany and products manufactured in the UK, the luxury range boasts a breath of exclusive designs that bring a touch of African luxury to any setting.
Eva Sonaike’s products have been stocked in department stores such as Liberty, Fenwick of Bond Street and Selfridges in London, Globus in Switzerland and ABC Carpet & Home in New York, as well
as in exclusive boutiques around the world; and are regularly featured in UK and international
interiors and fashion press.
THE STORY:My background is in fashion journalism. I hold an MA in Fashion Journalism from the London College of Fashion.
I worked in lifestyle TV and then for a glossy women's magazine for a decade until I had my first child.
Whilst being on maternity leave, I started a little project with African fabric cushions. I had so much experience in fashion and interiors, but never came across any high-end African-inspired homeware that spoke to me or my readers. After a few months, my cushions were stocked in London's top department stores: Liberty, Selfridges and Fenwick of Bond Street, so I knew the “little project” could be turned into a viable business. I did more research, decided to design all fabrics myself in order to be unique, quit my job and got going!
And the rest is history, we are now available on every continent, have showrooms in the USA, Canada, Australia and France that represent us, are regularly featured in interiors, women's and national press and work with interior design firms that use our fabrics in their residential and commercial projects around the world.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS / ACCOLADES / AWARDS:Oh, there is so much I am proud of! But, at the same time, I always strive to achieve more and grow.
The highlights were being stocked by London's top department stores in my first season. Participating at my first tradeshow in the USA, ICFF in New York and getting picked up by ABC Carpet & Home, receiving a Houzz Award for best customer service and most recently working with a large international interior design firm on a luxury hotel project in the Maldives.
I am a dedicated Yogi! I am on the mat nearly every day where I find my focus, inner strength and relaxation.
I am also addicted to home scents. I love the smell and what it does to your environment. So I mix essential oils and use them to enhance my home and even use them for my cleaning products.
And last but not least, my family and friends. As much as I love my work, I love Friday evenings with my husband and kids and friends on our large dining table with great conversations and laughter. And of course, a night out with my girls in London -- where we hit the dancefloor in some fabulous heels -- is never to be missed!
GLOBAL FOCUS:I think we need to make the environment a priority, otherwise, this beautiful planet won't be longer a safe place to live!
As so much damage has been done already, I would encourage everyone to be conscious of what is going on and make them aware of how we could save what we have left. Including myself! There is something everyone can sacrifice, every day.