We recently chatted with Timi Sanya, a Nigerian born, fast-rising bracelet designer, creative director of Timi Bracelets and a Zoede vendor. He is best known for his unique, customised and equally stylish bracelets.
Timi is obsessed with wrist candy and he finds inspiration in all things even through the Holy Spirit. His bracelets have been worn by several celebrities home and abroad.
In this interview, we discuss his journey into the world of bracelet making, the challenges he faces as a jewelry and accessories designer in Nigeria and the future of the Timi Bracelets brand.
This is a must-read for anyone interested in knowing about the process and art of jewelry and accessories design.
Hi Timi, Kindly tell us a bit about yourself and your brand.
Hello! I’m Timi Sanya, CEO of Timi Bracelets. I am 25 years old and I currently live in the city of Abeokuta, Ogun State. My brand, Timi Bracelets launched in 2015, that’s about 3 years ago.
What does Timi Bracelets do? Well, we make stylish unisex bracelets from beads, gemstones and cord. Currently, I’m a graduate student in Animal Production at the Federal University Of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
Asides bracelet making, I am also a petrol head, game freak and a lover of fashion.
How did you get into jewelry and accessories designing? Particularly, how did you venture into making bracelets and other accessories?
Growing up I always had an obsession with wrist candy – wrist watches, bracelets you name it!
My younger sister is also a bead maker, she makes necklaces, bracelets and other beaded accessories.
So it all started in my final year at the University, my sister made a piece for me and everyone I came in contact with loved it, I decided to learn how to make these bracelets from her and that’s how we kicked off.
Over time, I have learnt more designs and techniques from watching Youtube videos.
How would you describe your design aesthetic and what inspires your designs?
Inspiration is everywhere, a lot of things inspire my designs from long hours surfing the net, to other people’s work on Pinterest to color combinations and of course, I won’t rule out the place of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I start without any idea of what I want to make and then I come out with a masterpiece.
Who is your target market? How has the market responded to your brand, locally and internationally?
Our target market is quite large this is because we offer a wide range of products which meets the need of almost everybody. The bracelets are adjustable and some are made of the elastic cord which makes them really stretchy. So, irrespective of your age, sex or financial status, we always have something for you. Timi Bracelets are affordable and can be worn by everyone.
Locally, the response to the brand has been amazing. We’re still looking to penetrate the foreign market more come 2018.
We know your products are mainly made of beads, cord and gemstones. How do you source for these materials?
Yes, they are. I buy my materials basically from the local bead stores in Abeokuta and Ibadan. I am yet to explore the Lagos market. Once in a while, I have to purchase some materials from foreign stores when I cannot purchase locally. I also do this for quality assurance and quality control purposes.
Why did you choose beads, cord and gemstones for your products? As opposed to using say, leather or other jewelry making materials?
The big dream is to eventually make bracelets from anything and everything, I started out with beads and cords because they are easily accessible. In future, we hope to make pieces from leather, precious metals and stones.
What has been your some of your biggest challenge(s) as a jewelry and accessories designer?
Well, to be honest, running a business in Nigeria can be quite challenging. If you are in a business basically for the profit in Nigeria, you will eventually be forced out of the market.
I am still relevant in this business not because am making millions, but because I love what I do.There’s really no huge profit as such at the moment because most of the profit goes back into the purchase of materials, the big profits are coming for sure, as long as we keep being persistent.
So, for now, we are DREAMING BIG AND STARTING SMALL.
Another big challenge is interstate delivery, some of these courier drivers can’t be trusted.
Where do you see yourself and your brand in 5 years?
In 5 years, I want the Timi Bracelets brand to be number one in the jewelry making business in Nigeria.I’ll also love to have International recognition outside as a jewelry and accessories brand.
Timi, it’s been great chatting with you and getting an insight into the mindset behind the Timi Bracelets jewelry and accessories brand. We wish you great success!
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