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KonkNaija Media | May 2, 2016

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Arhinarmah Ethnic Luxury Interior Furnishings On The Hotseat

Arhinarmah Ethnic Luxury Interior Furnishings On The Hotseat

| On 04, Mar 2013

We caught up with Catherine Arhin,
Managing Director at ArhinArmah in London recently and had a five minute chat over some lemonade and here’s what she had to say.

Who are you and where in the world are you primarily based and where are you located right now?

My name is Catherine Arhin, I am  Director and Founder at Arhinarmah London. Based in London, England


What do you do, how would you describe your presence in the industry, what’s your mission?

Arhinarmah is on a mission to encourage people of all backgrounds to welcome Africa into the home. The iconoclastic UK based design label creates beautiful items of furniture (and handmade soft furnishing), using African accents for the enjoyment of individuals of all ethnicities. All cushions are produced by hand in the UK.


How long have you been doing this?

One year


Notable moments in your career?

Being approached by three seperate investors within 1 month of launching and
securing 3 stockists within the first three months of trading.


What’s the best and worst part of what you do?

Best: Seeing my creations come to reality and receiving positive affirmation for what we’re trying to do with the brand in the process. I’d like to take African prints to a whole new level and I think this is reflected through our marketing, the quality of our products and our unique proposition. To date, everything has been positive, from customers, potential stockists and investors.
Worst: I’m a workaholic and am involved in every aspect of the business so I can find myself spreading yourself too thin. I’m a mother, fiancée and business woman. Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day.


A little about you?

Catherine was born and raised in West London to Ghanaian parents. ‘I’m a Londoner through and through but I also have a great appreciation of my heritage and where I originate from. I love African textiles and I take great pride in the quality and innovation that is synonymous with British manufacture and design. Arhinarmah really is a reflection of my personality and upbringing. A true merging of both Africa and the West.’
The eponymous name for my label (pronounced Ah – hin – arm- ah) is derived from the founder and her Grandfather the late Joseph Armah, (a Barrister who served the local population of central Accra from the 1950s to the late 1970’s).


Where do you see yourself in 10 years

By pushing the boundaries of design and seamlessly fusing both Africa and the West, Arhinarmah aims to become the first truly global lifestyle brand in the area of African homeware and luxury living.


What do you do for relaxing/fun/chilling out?

I spend time with my family, drive performance cars and go to the theatre – in all honesty I don’t really have much chill out time at the moment though!


What advice do you have for others inspired by you?

Do your research as it’s a tough market. Ensure you have significant financial backing before launching your venture and be true to yourself.


Message for your fans, haters,critics

I’ve already been targeted by people in my circle who I considered to be friends. When you have a good idea (in any industry) you’ll always find that there are people that want to take your hard work and try to palm it off as their own. My message to them is imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Secondly, if your the type of person that spends all your time copying other people you’ll always be the follower – never the innovator, so you’ll always be in second place!


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