5 MINUTES WITH ERHI TAMUNO
Meet Erhi Tamuno a wife, mother and a Lawyer, who left the corporate life to follow her passion as an entrepreneur. She speaks to FUNKE BABS-KUFEJI about starting and running her concierge company Maison De Bethany and give insight into gifting and purcha
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what it is you do?
I Antoinette Erhi Tamuno, happily married with two kids. I am a lawyer; I have worked with different organizations at different times, before I finally branched out to focus on my passion. I run a concierge service company called, Maison De Bethany. We sources items from luxury gifts, clothes, shoes and more for people with discerning taste. Also I’m the organizer and founder of the Cupid Love Fair, a valentine fair that brings all valentine vendor under one roof to make shopping for valentine easy for all those who like to celebrate the day. A lawyer by profession why/how did start a concierge company? I have always loved fashion and actually shopping in general. While I was in school, my friends will always call me to ask what to buy for a loved one or what to wear out to various ocassions cause they trusted my judgement. I have always liked looking good and standing out. Even as a child my grandma always teased me about loving to look good in our local dialect and naturally when I wasn’t doing my lawyer duties, I was always sourcing an item of clothing, shoes, jewelry , bag or something for someone who needed my expertise and it eventually it became a no brainer that i enjoyed doing it and decided to make a career out of it. Can you describe what a dtypical day will be for you? I have amazing, truly wonderful and stress free clients and that makes my work a lot more easier. A lot of the times,i will have done various jobs for a client before ever meeting them because trust is key. I also have clients that insist we meet up before we ever transact business. But I’d say most of my clients trust me enough to do the right thing. Atypical day for me is getting an order, sourcing for the item and making sure things are in place to deliver within the frame of time i have been given.
What sets your business apart from other concierge companies in Nigeria?
I’d say our attention to details and keeping the client updated about process and progress is what set us apart from others. We pride ourselves at Maison De Bethany to make sure that we deliver exactly what we have been asked at the exact time and this why we have clients who trust us enough to keep coming back. For someone who loves luxury and fashion, what three items of clothing should every woman have in her closet?
Shoes, (Give a woman a good pair of shoes and she can conquer the world... Marylyn Monroe Hand bag, I personally love handbags. Jewelry, I’m not really a big fan; I can do without earrings, necklaces, but it is important to wear a good wristwatch. In which stores do you tend to find the best buys when sourcing for clothes, shoes, bags or jewelry for clients?
I am partly based in the UK, so I have to say Harrods, it is my favourite place to shop. They carry most of my favourite designers and you can find every bits and bob almost imaginable under its roof without having to comb the streets with the inclement weather. Selfridges and Harvey Nicole’s as well are a good option. In the States, Saks fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman are my first choice. Of course I also find my self in the main stores almost daily, because these departmental shops only carry selected items so you are sure to find me in shops like Hermes, Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana to mention a few. You mentioned your company organizes a yearly valentine fair; tell us a little bit about this fair and how people can participate?
The Cupid Love Fair which it is called takes place every year just before valentines day. The third edition took place at Maison Fahrenheit Hotel on Adetokunbo Ademola and was sponsored by Access Bank. We had luxury and affordable valentine vendors come in to sell gift items to shoppers. We had vendors like cupcake factory selling cakes and cupcakes , dmoon Spa selling spa vouchers and more, hotels and restaurant vouchers, flower stalls, lingerie and more. A lot of people are of the school of thought that Valentine’s day is a waste of time, what are your thoughts and does it mean to you?
I personally love Valentine’s day, so I celebrate, everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and i respect that. It a day to celebrate the existence of love so why not celebrate? It is a day to show love to people who you hold dearly in your heart. And this doesnt necessarily mean your lover. You can suse the day to remind your family how much they mean to you, your friends, the less privilege and all and why not if not?! Some people may argue it’s a been commercialized but I beg to differ, everyone one like to get a good gift especially from
someone dear to them.