I grew my clientele by doing free jobs at first – Omotola Abdul
At a time when many young people are frustrated over their inability to find jobs, 25 year old Mrs. Omotola Aderonke Teriba Abdul, a graduate of Mass Communication, created her dream job for herself. She’s the CEO of Hardey’s Make-Over and Bridal Aso-Oke in Lagos. In a recent encounter with Vista Woman, she shared her passion for creativity and love for business, while also revealing meeting her heartthrob, another embodiment of creativity, with whom she finally tied the knot late last year. Excerpts:
Passion for creativity, business I’ve always loved the art of make-up from childhood.
The love was so strong that the first thing I always did whenever I came across any magazine was to study the make-up of the women on its pages. I however did not learn the skill until I had done some other things. After graduation, I went to the United Kingdom where I had a brother who was in the army. I actually went there in search of greener pasture like many young Nigerians, but after close to two years there, I decided to return home and do other things. The burden of going into the make-up business was getting more intense.
Incidentally, shortly after I returned to Nigeria, I attended a wedding where the bride’s make-up really caught my fancy. I immediately asked the make-up artist where she had learnt the skill,and she mentioned a place in Ikeja. I went there and trained for two weeks, after which I started working on developing what I had learnt. Fortunately, while in school, I had learnt how to weave Aso-Oke from a relative who was into the business and that made building my business a lot easier.
So, after learning make-up, I went back to that relative to specially learn the art of bridal Aso-Oke. So, it’s part of what I do now. Starting-up was not really difficult because I had acquainted myself with the art of networking as an entrepreneur while in higher institution. As a student, I ran a boutique where I sold ladies’ wears and accessories, among other things. I actually began by buying ladies’ wears from the UK whenever I went on holiday. The trade did not affect my studies in any way because I also learnt to balance my time, and as a matter of fact, I graduated with very good grades.
One thing that usually scares people from business is the challenges that come with starting-up. Of course, the beginning is always hard, but with determination, one will always scale through. It wasn’t easy for me too, but I persevered. For example, after venturing into make-up, my first real job was not financially rewarding! That did not discourage me though, because I was more concerned about perfecting my skill.
However, too many people are anxious to start earning big money as soon as they venture into business, and they could become discouraged and frustrated if they’re unable to do this. I could remember doing a lot of free jobs at first. Funny enough, most of those free jobs fetched me big contacts later, as those clients introduced me to those who paid well. That was how I built up the business.
Seriously, I’m enjoying my job as a make-up artist. It is something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m grateful to God that I was able to make it see the light of day. It has also been financially rewarding, but like I said earlier, it’s not really about financial benefits. It was more of fulfilling my dreams.
Advice to young people
To other business-minded young people, I advise that you identify what you’re sure you enjoy doing. It’s not just about money. Because you’re not yet a professional, understand that you still have to learn every day. Also, if it’s make-up, be ready to travel a lot because you could be asked to come dress a bride, outside the town you reside in.
Meeting my husband
I met my husband, Kehinde Oluwatosin Abdul, in church. He came for a programme in my church, and I happened to be one of the organizers. He’s into the entertainment industry as an MC, compere and comedian. We eventually got talking and gradually, we became friends. He has really been a source of encouragement to me. We finally tied the nuptial late last year.