Back in early October, I received a text from a friend congratulating me on my upcoming event. I was confused by the text because although I had been mulling over branching out into more events, workshops and trade shows for 2019, these thoughts had not yet escaped the crevices of my subconscious. The ensuing conversation between my friend and Irevealed that there was a kindred spirit, business doppleganger in Nigeria I had to meet. A few emails later, Blueprint Africa became a proud media sponsor for the Blueprint Conference, hosted by the Jenniez School of African Interior Design (JSAID) in Lagos, Nigeria. The Blueprint Conference was founded and run by the lovely Jennifer Chukwujekwe.
JSAID was founded to bridge the gap in education around interior design and decorating in Nigeria, with the hopes of reaching the continent at large. Even before publicly venting some of our views on education options on the continent in our Dear Africa article, Blueprint Africa has always been a keen advocate for a formal and specific education curriculum for the interior design industry, pushing for a training option that is separate and apart from architecture. Nigeria has definitely been at the forefront of trying to bring this reality to pass, and Jennifer has distinguished herself in a short time as the first and only interior design business coach in Nigeria.
Jennifer herself observed that of the few interior design schools in Nigeria who offered certifications, these certifications were actually for decoration courses as opposed to offering the rigour that goes into pursuing and qualifying as a full-fledged interior designer in accordance with internationally accepted standards. She decided to do something about that.
Following the launch of JSAID, Jennifer further realized that most people had the creative skills but lacked the business skills to become successful artrepreneurs. She launched her online coaching course where she teaches interior designers smart business strategies to become visible and make profit. She is popularly known as the Design Biz Coach. In her words, interior design is a passion and coaching is a calling.
Friends, bookmark your calendar for the Blueprint Conference on November 10th. Full of great speakers from all over the world including Keia McSwain, President of the Black Interior Designers Network in the US, as well as Tosin Oshinowo, who has been a fantastic inspiration to architects and furniture designers across Africa. I have also been given the opportunity to lead a discussion on “The Art of Sourcing in Africa”.
Not in Lagos? Yes, we thought of you. You can get all the insights, impactful advice and design acumen via a livestream for just USD 45 rather than the equivalent of USD 100! Just pay and the livestream link will be sent to you in your inbox (yes!). For more details head to Paystack.
I am very excited to be collaborating again with design professionals in Nigeria. Jennifer and I have already discussed a number of seminars and workshops we can hold in Accra, Ghana in 1Q19 and I am looking forward to growing the Blueprint Conference and the wider African design community. Join the movement!