Luxury is a lifestyle and Nigerians know how to appreciate luxury. Ola Morin-Muhammed brings luxury to her unique event invitations. Think about it, at any event, the invitation goes out first. They are really the most important mode of communication for a grand day.
People are slowly understanding the importance of the first mode of communication for their grand day. The invitation goes out first, and Ola’s invitations are some of the most gorgeous you’ll ever see. Ola Morin-Muhammed started IJORERE in 2008 and has designed invites for A-list celebrities of the sports and entertainment industry.
Her background in architecture greatly influences her designs and has given her an unconventional approach. From next year, IJORERE will be designing weddings and events too.
What do you think of the invitation design industry in Nigeria? Why the need for luxury in this industry?
The invitation design industry in Nigeria is on the rise. People are slowly understanding the importance of the first mode of communication for their grand day. The invitation goes out first, it sets the tone for what to expect. It builds anticipation.
The need for stationery in Nigeria, particularly the Nigerian wedding industry has been secondary for some time. And when you have a guest list of at least 1000 to accommodate, a 2-day wedding affair, and the need to make sure there’s surplus of everything, it’s no wonder why the first impression (invitation), doesn’t come first.
I do however, see a shift, and Nigerians residing in Nigeria are beginning to understand the necessity of an invitation. Nigerians are known to be overachievers, and when we achieve abundance of wealth, we like to show it off proudly. I think that’s why Nigerians do appreciate luxury.
Not because we are conceited or arrogant, but because we like to show off the hard works of our labour. Weddings in Nigeria are flamboyant and all about showing the world; that we have educated overachieving children, and will proudly spend flamboyantly, invite everyone we know and don’t know. This is just so our children know how important they are to us and their wedding is talk of the town. It’s a grand milestone the Nigerian society celebrates.
What’s the process that goes on behind your designs?
I make it my duty to understand my client’s needs, their personality, and take that knowledge to the drawing board.
Sometimes, my client(s) knows exactly what design direction they’d like me to take. Other times, my team and I have to interpret what the client(s) desires are. The ultimate goal is to tell their story and expression of love through design.Ola Morin-Muhammed: Nigerians are known to be overachievers, we like to show wealth off proudly Click To Tweet
How does your experience as an architect influence your work with Ijorere?
Architecture greatly influence’s my design approach. I’m always designing not just for aesthetics, but functionality and sustainability. I want my designs to be keepsakes and to be used for other purposes outside of just being an invitation.
Being able to apply principles of architecture to my design process also influences the way my clients experience their invitation. Now, they realize because of the principle of function, their special day can now and forever be a part of the lives of their loved ones. Some of the invitations became picture frames, boxes to keep special memories or treasures.
How do you choose materials/fabrics for your designs?
I always choose materials based on the client’s style and most importantly their budget. I also consider their story in the selection process.
Identifying what fabrics will share their story and expression of love is a partnership with my clients. At the end, we want their guests to feel like they are really about to experience a uniquely grand day.
Has it been difficult (or easy) to find clients to patronise IJORERE?
IJORERE has been around since 2008, Over the years, I’ve garnered accolades in the media, including from the likes of Entrepreneur Magazine, INSIDE Weddings, BellaNaija, Munaluchi Bridal, and more.
I’ve also been blessed to have designed for A-list celebrities of the sports and entertainment industry. A few I am able to mention are Louis Carr of BET, David Tutera of My Fair Weddings, and the weddings of NFL players; Nicholas Perry, and Michael Daniels.
At this point IJORERE is branded, so it’s no longer difficult to receive cool and interesting projects. We let our work do the marketing.Ola Morin-Muhammed: I want my designs to be keepsakes and to be used for other purposes Click To Tweet
Do you usually attend the events you create invitations for?
No, not usually, most of my clientèle are out of state or out of the country. Unless, my clients happen to be close friends or family, I don’t typically attend, although a few of my clients have invited me to their wedding or event.
I enjoy being a part of it all with the designs we create. We get to be part of the big day and days beyond that with our keepsakes.
What’s the last thing on your mind before you go to bed at night?
Just 3 things;
Where do you see IJORERE in 2017? Do you have any big plans in store?
IJORERE is always evolving and staying abreast of trends. My focus will strictly be on invitation and event design in 2017. Weddings and event design is something new and came by demands, based on continuous requests from my clients.
Now, I’m designing not only invitations, but also weddings and events. It’s fun and I find that I’m doing a 360 degree right back to my first love, architecture.
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