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

THISDAY Style - - NEWS -

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.

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