From Shop to Showroom by Youth Challenge International on Exposure
“I get visions of beautiful pieces of furniture,” says Joseph Ackon (27), sinking into a plush sofa, the colour of caramel, in his new showroom in the southern Ghanaian town of Sekondi. “My designs come from my imagination, and from God.” Joseph opened By Grace Furniture Works eight years ago when he was 19 years old. He had learned much from a local furniture-maker who took him in as an apprentice. After four years, he had saved a small amount of money—enough to venture out on his own. By Grace Furniture Works began as a closet-sized wood shop, tucked away at the base of a small hill off the main road. He toiled away there for some time, a one-man show, building tables, dressers and chairs upon request, mostly for neighbors, for a song. But word starting spreading about his quality craftsmanship and eventually he took on an apprentice, and then another, expanding his space as his business started to grow.