A Makeup artist and Jewelry merchant, Oluwatosin Abejide, says her the vision of her enterprise is to eradicate poverty in Nigeria.
The business developer spoke in an exclusive interview with ALL TIMES CEO’s VISION.
My company started so I can create wealth for myself and my family but now it has grown and is still growing into massive wealth creation enterprise that will in turn eradicate the country’s poverty.
Read the excerpts below
CEO’s Vision: Can we meet you?
My name is Oluwatosin Abejide. I’m a recent Law graduate of the faculty of Law Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. I’m 23 years old and I hail from Kogi state. I’m an aspiring Business Mogul who’s currently a Makeup Artist and Jewelry Merchant. I have a lot of interests but I am passionate about the girl child, leadership, taxation and business growth/development.
CEO’s Vision: What was the motivation for starting your company and how did you start?
I started my company when I was in 200 level in the university. The strategic scope of my business is the provision of Makeup services and Jewellery items to customers within and outside my community. I have my base in Lagos Nigeria but I supply in and outside of Lagos. Like many other businesses that started off in universities, I just wanted to make more money to support myself in school. I’ve always believed in improving people’s appearance to make them look better so I started learning make up. I went on YouTube and joined BBM make up channels to watch and learn make up. I constantly practiced all I watched on my family members and close friends. I did extensive research about the art of makeup, found the people at the frontiers in the industry and started following them & learning from them. I also looked for someone to mentor me.
During my research I stumbled on Special effects Makeup SFX and I fell in love it with. I started trying them out and I believe that’s how people first noticed my skills. However demand for SFX wasn’t much at this point but it wasn’t bringing in money for me and don’t forget the reason I started in the first place. So I switched majorly to beauty and editorial make up with only a little mix of SFX. As for my jewelry merchandise, it kicked off in my year 3 in the university. It was a supplementary source of income that I needed. I discovered that Makeup as I wanted my brand to be needed a lot more capital to really kick off the way I’d like so I started selling Jewelry.
CEO’s Vision: What are your company’s strategic business goals?
My company’s strategic business goals have evolved over the years to be the following;
. Increase profit margin
Capture a bigger market share
Grow number of clients by 5% per year
Provide better customer service
Improve employee training
Build a large customer Base
Set trends in the Nigerian beauty industry
Gain reputation as a visible and valued contributor to the community.
CEO’s Vision: How are you linking strategy to operations for competitive advantage in your industry?
I fully understand that a strategy that’s not implemented can only be just a strategy and won’t get my company anywhere; an unexecuted strategy is an idle strategy. So as much as possible I do the work, I increase my efficiency in my work as often as I can. I go for trainings from time to time to ensure I’m getting better at my work.
I put myself and my work out there as often as I can, I use all my social media platforms to do this, I create flyers and distribute them. Also I don’t keep a closed mouth, I tell everyone I meet about the services I provide.
An added quality I’ve implemented in my business is making sure every client gets out of my chair feeling like they just spent time with a friend. By creating this friendly atmosphere I’ve been able to increase and keep most of my clientele.
CEO’s Vision: Your Company is growing swiftly, how far do you envision it?
House of Rheevo is very young. My grand vision is for the company to become a household name in Lagos and Ibadan and their environs within
the next 5years. I also want my jewelry business to remain an online store only. I envision Blingsbyrheevo becoming the number one stop for all Luxury Rings, precious Stones and customized Accesories in Nigeria. This vision will take time to actualize but we’re working towards it every day, one step at a time.
CEO’s Vision: What challenges do you encounter running your business and how do you think government can help create an enabling business climate in Nigeria?
There are a lot of challenges with running a business in Nigeria. The one that affects me the most is bad roads, unlisted houses and bad means of transportation. As a Makeup artist in Lagos one thing that impedes my job the most is getting stuck in traffic, it has become so bad that sometimes I have to turn down certain jobs because of the distance from my house and the type of terrible traffic I’m bound to face in such areas.
I stay around Lekki Conservation Area, If I get a job in Agege or Ikorodu, for instance, I’ll have to calculate the cost of transportation, the opportunity cost of my time (because hours will be spent on the road and in traffic jams) and then Cost for the actual service rendered. When I put all this into consideration, I end up just turning down the job, because I know it won’t be profitable for my business. The issue of unnumbered streets too, I cannot recount how many times I’ve gotten lost because the map wasn’t accurate enough. Also the lack of security, I can’t take certain jobs at night because of the fear of being robbed or molested.
For the jewellery business, the challenge is the cost of Data and internet subscriptions. As an online business, we have to spend a lengthy amount of time and data to push sales online, the cost of this is really weighty. I wish it was more affordable.
Conversation: What is your company’s Big Vision for economic revolution and social impact?
Eradication of poverty through enterprise. My company started so I can create wealth for myself and my family but now it has grown and is still growing into massive wealth creation enterprise that will in turn eradicate the country’s poverty. This will be achieved through job creation, as it is now I currently have one employee that I’m paying salary to, the goal is to have many more.
Another problem that plagues our society is illiteracy and ignorance, through our company’s training sessions which is sometimes free and other times for a price, we are helping people acquire skills that will set them up for generating wealth for themselves which will in turn improve the economy. So this is currently our vision for economic revolution and social impact, as we keep growing as a company we will devise more ways to achieve this.
CEO’s Vision: As an entrepreneurs and corporate leader, how do you think young entrepreneurs without opportunities can be supported?
Hmnn. So many ways! I believe our generation has a wealth of hardworking and smart individuals! Honestly speaking I wish that there was more encouragement from the government. The opportunities are not as much as it should be in this country. very many in this country. Sourcing for funds/capital is an Herculean task and the sad part is that those who even get awarded money to push their ideas are not monitored effectively! I think that there should be a way by which serious minded entrepreneurs are sifted out and paired with people who can mentor them first, before they are given financial aide. I also think that every state in Nigeria should organize a function that celebrates the youths and Entrepreneurs in their state. Many people are doing fantastic stuff without any recognition. Nigeria is really blessed with great minds and highly resourceful people, many of which are relocating to other countries every year. Entrepreneurs need the basic amenities to thrive and excel, the absence of it makes their work unnecessarily hard and frustrating.
We fight against the system everyday and some people just don’t have the strength to continue. Entrepreneurs in Nigeria from all works(Technology, science, beauty, design, architecture etc) deserve an opportunity to be heard, promoted and celebrated. This will encourage others to continue and hopefully we can repair our damaged economy and give Nigeria a good name again.
CEO’s Vision: What is your advice for other young people out there striving to make it without the enabling platform or opportunities?
My advice to them is for them to keep doing what they’re doing while striving to get better, building contacts, connecting with others and learning from mentors. The truth is that one day, you will be seen and heard. Just keep striving for excellence. And please remain HONEST! Honesty and integrity are very important because so many people are dubious nowadays. God help us all
CEO’s Vision: What are your daily work routines?
Wake up as early as 5 am, skip or just stretch my body. Say my prayers. Check my calendar for any bookings.Prepare for work and get to work before 10am . I presently work at a beauty house in Lagos while awaiting my Law School Placement. While at the studio I attend to clients and if there are no clients I post jewellery on my page and try to push sales , create makeup contents for my page, record tutorials for my students or I just read a book.
CEO’s Vision: How do you unwind and manage stress?
I just put my phone on Silence (I never switch it off or turn off my data) then lie down on my chest and sleep! Or I read a book, listen to podcasts or watch TED-talks on my computer. Other times, I just buy lots of finger food, lock myself in the house and watch animation all day.
CEO’s Vision: Thank you for your time
Thank you for this interview!!!! I appreciate the opportunity and I had a great time.