William Okpo Sunday’s Best.
Growing up in a West African household within London, UK, interior decor has always been a silent but prevalent piece of my identity. From Nigerian wall masks to the wooden sculptures accentuating the dips and curves of an African woman, these interior pieces were laid throughout my home, and my love for them grew as I grew.
Beyond Interior aims to not only embody my West African heritage through my choices of colour, shapes and designs. I also want to further the normalisation of Black women within the interior design field, eventually have Beyond Interior become a household name when the discussion of interior brands arises.
Do you mind elaborating on this statement and what that means to you as an African woman living in the UK. We are a U.S. based company and your perspective on race and culture is very valuable to our readers, home and abroad.
“I also want to further the normalisation of Black women within the interior design field”.
So, I’m first generation British. My parents are immigrants from Nigeria. This means it was very much “Nigeria when I was in the house” and London when I stepped out. I am very much connected to the two cultures which I think dictated a lot of my choice in style and creativity. I got to experience two very different worlds growing up.
Is your company an interior design company? Please tell us a bit more about that. Yes, the aim is to grow my collection and have a whole interior business. I have more products on the way.
The nude bodies, the color choices, and the sculptural shapes of the candles are clearly a statement. In your own words, what is that statement?
That all body shapes and all tones are beautiful, and should be celebrated. I love the female body and everything it can do.
Beyond Interior? The name feels like a thought out statement. If yes, elaborate on it please.
Yes, lol. It’s definitely a statement. Beyond Interior means exactly what it says. I want my products to stand for something beyond just an interior piece. I want it to make people think, feel, and be inspired to share something beautiful with the world also. My logo is a West African Adinkra symbol that means “unity in diversity”, representing and celebrating diversity through our products.
Our candles are handmade from 100% beeswax. Because our candles are hand poured, it means that no two candles will be identical, and each blemish is part of the beauty of handcrafted products!
Beeswax is known for cleaning the air when burnt. The candle releases negative ions which helps to neutralise pollutants in the air. This can help with getting rid of dust, mold, and odors.