Many global consumers have a traditional concept of African design, but creative entrepreneur, Mimi Shodeinde, founder of Miminat Designs, is looking to change all that with her contemporary design outlook. She is demonstrating that African design is not only exciting in a minimal context, particularly when it comes to furniture design, but can also celebrate the best of tradition and technological innovation.
LoA found out more about this exciting global business venture this month from its creative founder, Mimi Shodeinde.
What does your company do?
The company specialises in furniture and product design for commercial and residential projects both in the UK and internationally. The philosophy of Miminat is simple; the mission is to constantly innovate and explore and push the boundaries of the furniture and design world. Furniture has been a part of the human experience since the beginning of history and Miminat use their creative expertise in fashioning work that observes the antithesis of time and method resulting in newfangled arrangements.
"The philosophy of Miminat is simple; the mission is to constantly innovate and explore and push the boundaries of the furniture and design world."
What inspired you to start your company?
My love for African culture and art really inspired me to start my company. I was determined to bring African Minimalism to the European Western forefront like it had never been seen or done before. When Europeans think of African art or anything African, they think of vibrant colours and heavy patterns, which I think is great. However, I wanted to strip all of that away and also show that we can do minimal and contemporary but still show influences from our culture also.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
I look at furniture as a sculpture not an object, good furniture is art and those who love and appreciate it will understand it. The beautiful combination of tradition and technology creates our stunning, timeless pieces. Miminat products are hand-crafted and hand-finished using the finest British Oak, Ebony, and Teak, crystal glass, chrome and brass. Created using the latest technology in wood routing, our manufacturers come with a wealth of experience bringing our designs to life. Perpetual intercommunication ensures each piece is completed exactly to the client’s stipulations, with the utmost precision and care.The utilisation of computerised numerical control (CNC) allows for designs to be cultivated meticulously with an unprecedented amount of fidelity and faultlessness
"My love for African culture and art really inspired me to start my company. I was determined to bring African Minimalism to the European Western forefront like it had never been seen or done before."
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
Both my parents were extremely entrepreneurial. My mother is my biggest inspiration, her work ethic compares to none other I have seen. I think just growing up seeing her chase her goals, work so hard and still mange to be the amazing mother she is, really inspired me to chase my own dreams and do my own thing!
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
My hope is that Miminat will have a global platform with stakes in the commercial, hospitality sector, government spaces, art spaces, private spaces and residential projects. I want people to recognise my designs from their distinctive style. Given the wide breadth of the design industry it would be a shame to limit it to any one particular industry or sector.
Exclusivity is synonymous with design but this is something I want to challenge. I want anyone who is interested in my designs, the stories behind the designs to be able to have one of my products in their home. Personal and financial status shouldn’t prevent anyone from buying one of my designs; I want to break the mould on the concept of exclusive design for high society.
"The art world is fast moving and competitive, so I’ve learnt that the only way to succeed is always be at the top of my game."
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
The art world is fast moving and competitive, so I’ve learnt that the only way to succeed is always be at the top of my game. I want to always create fresh and innovative content that strikes a chord with my buyers. Design is an expression of many contradictions; it is simple, yet complex, it considers form and function whilst possessing timeless quality that continually pushes design boundaries. So my only advice will be stay on TOP of your game, be a master of your craft.
Contact or follow Miminat Designs
Why LoA loves it….
The design world has always been known for pushing traditional boundaries, and in the case of Miminat, creative founder Mimi Shodeinde, she is challenging established notions of African design. Her contemporary take on traditional design and manufacturing techniques results in furniture pieces and products that are both exciting and yet reflective of the continent that inspires them. This is one designer to watch in the coming years! --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa