BY JOSEPHINE IGBINOVIA
NINE years ago when graduates would jump at whatever job came their way, Adebimpe Adeyi was too glad to resign her highly-paid employment to pursue her dream. Even her employer’s ploy to sway her with a transfer to the UK wasn’t tenable enough to convince Adebimp.
Today, that courage has paid off as the last nine years has seen that little business grow into one of Nigeria’s leading studios for complete beauty.
That’s Brownies Beauty World, a studio that has produced hundreds of make-up artists in Nigeria and created employment for many. In this interview, Bimpe tells us more, recounting her challenges and successes.
Let us take you down memory-lane; how impressive was the pay for your first make-up job?
The pay wasn’t bad; it was about
N30,000 and the job was for a bride and two sisters. I got that contract through a friend. It was quite a drama because at that time, I had not perfected my skill at gele-tying.
My younger sister was a little good at that but she refused to go along with me. I eventually went alone, praying throughout for God to help me do a perfect job. Miraculously, I ended up tying ten gele at that event because everyone who saw my work wanted to have her own tied too. No one could guess it was my first job. Since then, it has been awesome.
Was there a time you wished you stuck to your international job instead of resigning for this business?
Of course there were times I wished I had not left my job at the London College of Business and Computer Studies.But I tell you, that was only at the early stage of my business. You know, I started with an assistant managerial position at the country head-office of the London College of Business and Computer Studies and it was my first job as a young graduate.
The pay was quite good and the job was very promising. I loved and gave it my best,and was soon appointed the manager of the firm which had over eight branches in Nigeria. But you know, I already had the name Brownies World right from my days at the University of Ado-Ekiti where I studied Business Administration. Also, I had planned out all the brand was going to do.
So, I became restless and decided I must pursue of my dream. Soon, I began selling make-up products, leaving office during lunch hour to sell to bankers and others in their offices. At some point, I decided it was time to face the business. This is my passion and apart from the difficulties at the early stage, I’ve never regretted my move.
That means you’ve got a successful business running…
In fact, it’s been wonderful. It wasn’t easy at the beginning like I said, but so far, things have looked up. We’ve expanded on all sides and people have increasingly pleaded with us to come set up offices in places like Abuja, Port-Harcourt, and more.
We also do a lot of training and in the last nine years, we’ve trained hundreds of people. We do skincare and now we have our own range of skincare products. We do fashion shows make-up as well as bridal, regular and movie. We do spa treatments, massage, photo shoots, including for magazines, and many more. So, I will say we’ve metamorphosed into a combined beauty world.
Is there anything spectacular that has kept you flying all these years?
It’s been God all the way. Clients have also been faithful. Precisely, we’ve always learnt new things. I’ve never given up on learning since my first training at Jessy Beauty College in Germany which first launched me into business. I have since garnered other advanced skills both locally and internationally, the last being Special Effects Make-up which I went for in London early this year.
A lot of make-up artists fade out before you say jack. That’s why I make consistent training my priority. Hence the name Brownies has continued to reign in this industry. So, I make it a point of duty never to be where you met me last year. Aside going on course, I engage in personal learning. I buy a lot of books, CDs and even purchase study packs online.
What have been the challenges?
My major challenge is staff leaving to establish their own business simply because they feel they have learnt the ropes enough by working for me. Another is convincing clients that the art of makeup is a professional job and deserves quality fee for service rendered.
Where do you see Brownies Beauty World in the next ten years?
In our early years, we came up with our line of make-up brushes. Now we have our skincare range of products. So, in the years ahead, we plan to come up with our line of lipsticks, powder, eye-shadows, etc. and also have branches in selected states because we’ve observed that we always have to ship a lot of skincare products to the northern part of Nigeria.