what we do and how we came to be
Hello and welcome! My name is Omobola, but I write children's books under the name Simisayo Brownstone. As the CEO and founder of Teni & Tayo, I am passionate about creating products and experiences for kids that stir the imagination, inspire creativity, and nurture problem-solving. You'll see elements of that in all the toys, books, and classes that we create.
But what sets us apart is our commitment to infusing African influences into many of our products. Our aim is to challenge and change the prevailing perceptions of Africa, and I am proud of the global community we've been able to reach. We've had children from as far as India and China to Ireland and South Africa join in to learn about Africa in some way or another.
So, whether it's an African proverb tucked inside a toy box or a subscription box with enriching lessons about the continent, we are excited to share a piece of Africa with you.
What Inspired The Company
Up until a few years ago, I never really thought of myself as the type to start a business. I was born and raised in Nigeria and was always surrounded by people that looked like me, but now I live in Los Angeles California and I am raising my two daughters in an area where we are a minority.
As my daughters got older, they started to notice how different they looked from their friends. Even the TV shows they loved so much lacked representation. I wanted to reassure them that they were beautiful just the way they were and that their African heritage was something to be proud of regardless of what they saw or didn't see on television. So, I began to be more deliberate about the things I bought for them.
I wanted to surround them with books, toys, and more that represented their beauty AND culture, but there weren’t a lot of good options available. And when I tried to find representation in the things my daughters were particularly interested in – things like princesses, fairies, and superheroes – it was even harder to find options.
That’s when I decided to start something on my own, and that’s how my first character, Feyi Fay, was born. Feyi Fay is a Nigerian superhero fairy who travels the world helping kids solve their everyday problems from bullying to making friends. I later added a character called Captain Nosa to represent the boys.
My goal with Teni & Tayo creations is to create a wide range of everyday products for kids, from pencil cases to underwear, and maybe even a TV show one day! I hope that these products appeal to children from all backgrounds and ethnic groups while at the same allowing black and African children to feel more seen, empowered, and proud to be who they are.
Thank you so much for stopping by and if you have any questions about anything, please don't hesitate to ask.
(aka Simisayo Brownstone)