Bukola Are, a Nigerian American woman, is making noteworthy strides with her HVS Home luxury brand and unique decor.
HVS, which stands for House of Versatile Styles, prides itself in curating and creating modern luxury home decor with a multitude of vibes and contemporary aesthetics. From exotic room fragrances to opulent tableware, HVS offers an array of in-home staples.
In fact, Are’s home items are available at a select number of furniture and home decor retail stores in the US and UK, and HVS Home most recently partnered with Wayfair for retail fulfillment. Having started the brand in the beauty and fashion spaces first then branching into home, Bukola’s creativity sees no bounds. Her brand has been endorsed by celebrities like Spice, Ugo Mozie, Seyi Shay, Dimma Umeh, and more!
HVS Home unveils its latest standout piece, the Africa Tic Tac Toe game board. Glimmering African continent shaped pieces, crafted from the finest acrylic materials, this one-of-a-kind game board is the perfect conversation piece. With its reflective, sleek look it adds flair to any room.
HVS is also a social cause brand that is passionate about making a positive impact in the community. Through its charity initiative, HVS Cares, it empowers women and children in their local communities and across West Africa. Bukola recently returned from Nigeria where she curated her annual Act of Kindness Day on July 27. The brand sponsored 2,000 students across two schools with personal care kits (i.e., sanitizers, soap, toothbrushes, etc.) and dry food.
What was your inspiration behind HVS Home, and how did you get started?
It all started from a creative idea, but soon enough became a conversation piece at dinner parties. My ideas, visions, and concepts would never just let me be, they were yearning to be brought to life. Well, it turns out that somehow the pandemic provided just the perfect space for these ideas to become fully nurtured and for concepts to take form. And so, the lifestyle brand of my dream was birthed, the exquisite delight I present to the world as HVS Home.
You started the brand in beauty and fashion spaces, can you tell us more about that experience and how you transitioned to retail stores?
The HVS brand introduction to retail stores, was really me understanding where I wanted to take this. The goal was to develop an accessible lifestyle brand. My dream is becoming a successful e-commerce entrepreneur but if we are a small business and part of our goal is to be accessible then we need to get out there and partner with the retail stores both online and physical to make this dream a reality. I can still remember how I felt when we closed our first multi-store retailer, a Black-owned luxury furniture store, Modern Contempo. This opportunity really gave us confidence. Less than three months in business, already in four stores, products moving. I’m very grateful they took a chance on our brand because it gave us direction and confidence on how to position the brand and the courage to pursue more retailers.
Tell us about your background
I come from a traditional Nigerian family. I identify as Nigerian American. I discovered very early as a child that I was creative. I’ve always been that way. Over the years, I have explored my creativity through different mediums, art, fashion, beauty, and now home décor. Today, I would introduce myself as a multi-passionate creative entrepreneur.
How did the partnership with Wayfair come about?
Pursuing a partnership with Wayfair was inevitable. About 80% of the furniture and decor in my home came from Wayfair. Especially during quarantine. Something was arriving from Wayfair every other week. Wayfair is a user-friendly website with a healthy assortment of furniture and home décor making it the perfect platform to help introduce our brand to a larger audience.
How did you curate these pieces and why are they significant and special to you?
I like to refer to HVS Home as a collection of vibes. It’s really everything I love and adore. I use social media as a tool to see what people like and want. Once, I notice a pattern of positive responses and interest…that’s a greenlight for what’s going into the collection.
What advice do you have for women of color who are looking to build their brand to be as successful as yours?
Never stop learning about your industry of interest. Make developing your business infrastructure a priority early and don’t be afraid to get support even if it means outsourcing. There are a million things that need your attention, and you are constantly facing and dealing with challenges so if you need help, don’t be afraid to get it.