HER NAME, MERCEDES RICHARDS, IS THE SORT YOU WOULD EXPECT TO FIND IN THE CLOSING CREDITS OF A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE. BUT THAT IS HER NAME - NOT AN ASSUMED NAME. IT’S JUST AS WELL, BECAUSE IT’S A NAME JUST AS EXOTIC AS THE SPLENDID FEEL SHE CREATES IN THE HOMES AND OFFICES OF HER CLIENTS. RICHARDS, PRESIDENT OF MREIN, AN OUTFIT THAT HELPS REFINE INDIVIDUALS’ TASTE IN INTERIOR DECOR, SPEAKS WITH AZUKA OGUJIUBA
What did you set out to achieve with Mrein? And what’s all the buzz about, really?
MREIN was founded out of the desire to make homes, offices, hotels (any space) and life in general as luxurious and comfortable as possible without breaking the bank, and with the right accessories to create the right ambience. The buzz about MREIN arises from its uniqueness. We pay complete attention to detail. Walking into our store will remind you of the missing pieces your space needs. Our pieces are well sought out and we have an uncanny ability to think for our clients.
How was the name coined?
MREIN is a combination of the first letters of my names. The “E” made it a word.
Tell us why MREIN is unique and what edge it has over competitors?
The edge we have is our own home and body fragrances which we launched in November 2011. Also, we have our very own brand of bed linen and lamps made from ankara, batik and raw silk.
How long has been Mrein been in existence and why did you decide to explore this line of business?
Mrein opened on November 25, 2006. So we are going on seven years to the glory of God. I’ve always loved scents and beautifully-decorated spaces. It was only a matter of time.
What does a beautiful and sweet-smelling environment do to a home?
It creates a soothing ambience. It exudes luxury, great taste and total comfort.
Is your name, Mercedes, a nickname?
My name is not a nickname; it was given to me by my father. He named me after his classmate who was called Mercedes.
Describe Mercedes Richards in three words.
Mercedes loves and fears God, she is a strong woman and loves to laugh.
If I flip through your bag, what am I likely to find?
Loads of pens.
What are your beauty mantra?
Don’t have any. Maybe, it’s just being happy.
Are you comfortable revealing your age?
I’m old enough. A lady never tells her age.
What does love mean to you?
Experiencing a new kind of love, It’s been an awesome journey. Love is indeed a beautiful thing.
What will you do for love?
In my new journey, I’d do just about anything.
And what will you not do for love?
Take a life.
If you were the president, what would you consider priority?
Life sentence on corruption.
What are your fashion fetish?
Bags, rings and fragrances.
Which is your favourite reality show?
Don’t have one right now. They’re so many.
If a fashion police were to search your wardrobe, would you be arrested for any fashion blunders?
I’m sure there would be something for which I’d be arrested.
Which celebrity in the world would you love to see patronise MREIN Home?
Too many than I can list.
Do you wake up in the morning feeling sexy with your body?
I wake up every morning feeling hot and beautiful.
Which celebrity in the world do you think has a near perfect life?
What is your favourite perfume?
I’ve got loads of favourite perfumes now, but I’m totally in love with the Oud scent; it’s very rich.
What are five things that will make a man attractive to you?
His love and fear of God; his taste in music; his great mind; his sense of style and
And if you had to go to an exotic island for a weekend what are the five things you will take along?
My trunks, Fab shades, sun screen, great company and money.
Recently, you had a joint exhibition with a designer. Can you throw more light on it?
We didn’t do an exhibition per se. The Mrein Store partnered with a Fab designer, Yutees, who is based in Abuja and we opened our flagship store in Lagos. What I’d say influenced our decision to work together is our love for unique pieces, luxury and detail. I particularly find her designs very fresh and comfortable. That suits my style. We have plans to take everyone by surprise with this business fusion as we are looking at this being the start of great things, being on top of our game, innovative and constantly thinking up new ways to take our brands to the next level.