By Esther Onyegbula
Rita Edoyemwen Ogiamien Egbon, a UK-based Nigerian Beauty Entrepreneur, is the CEO of Squares Beauty and Accessories located in London, United Kingdom. In 2004, she travelled to the United Kingdom where she obtained her BTEC National Diploma in Health and Social Care from Southwark College Bermondsey, London.
Subsequently, she also obtained a Certificate of Higher Education in Physiology and a BSC Honours in Education Studies at the University of East London. With an insatiable quest for knowledge and continuous learning, Rita went further to the London School of Academics where she obtained her Master’s in Religious Studies.
Recently, she was recognised by the Edo Festival and Awards in the UK for her immense contribution to the Edo community in the United Kingdom. In this interview, she shares her journey as a Beauty Entrepreneur in the UK, catering for the beauty needs of Africans especially Nigerians. Enjoy!
Did you work in the corporate sector before your transition into the beauty world?
I work in different sectors such as Boots in Whitechapel London, United Kingdom. Boots deals with pharmacy, health and beauty. I also work in a Savers shop in the United Kingdom. Savers shop deals with health, beauty and households.
How would you describe the experience you acquired while working in the corporate sector?
My first experience working in the corporate sector was very valuable. It built my ability to deal with people from different diversity and ethnic backgrounds here in the UK. I acquired the skill to work as a team, work without being supervised and also be time conscious. Britons are very time conscious people, they have respect for time. The experience I acquired while working not only built my confidence, it also inspired me to establish Square Beauty and Accessories.
What do you hope to achieve in clear terms with the establishment of your beauty products?
I intend to become one of the top brands in the beauty industry in the United Kingdom and all over the world.
What is the creative force behind your organisation?
The creative force behind this organisation is my passion. I am passionate about putting smiles on people’s faces, making them beautiful and happy. This isn’t just a business for me; I am passionate and determined to give quality service to my customers.
What are the major challenges you have faced as an entrepreneur, how did you cope?
As an entrepreneur, we face different challenges every day. Challenges come in different forms; from competitors, staff, customers, thieves and so many more. However, we have been able to deal with issues effectively each time they occur. Every staff member gives a listening ear to customers and pays attention to every detail. We ensure that staff members are courteous, patient and able to communicate effectively to customers. Personally, I see every challenge as an opportunity to improve and excel in myself.
What unique services does your outfit provide?
Apart from providing beauty related services, we stock quality beauty products that cater for different hair and skin types. We also ensure that customers are comfortable when they come into the establishment.
How has social media helped in marketing your establishment?
Social media has helped to put our establishment out there squarely in the marketplace. I remember when the Black Lives Matter Movement took place; it supported the black owners and their businesses. Then one of my fans came to my shop and did a video live on Facebook and this also promoted my business.
Looking back now, what event can you consider the major landmark for you?
The major event I consider a landmark was the day we officially opened Squares Beauty Accessories in Grays Shopping Mall London. It was indeed a dream come true.
What is your vision of what an ideal society should be?
For me, an ideal society is one that is peaceful, with enabling environment that allows citizens to thrive positively. A society that is secure and safe for people to live in.
What mistakes do women make in their entrepreneurial journeys that keep them off the radar?
Not having passion, not being passionate about whatever they choose to do is a huge mistake most women make. Another is not knowing how to strike a balance between business and family.
If you could change one thing about life in general, what will that be?
If I had the power to change one thing about life, I will change poverty and death. These two have caused so much pain in the lives of many.
Recently you received an award, at the 10th edition of the Edo festival and awards organised by JJ Barry and his team, kindly shed more light on the event?
The award was bestowed on me because of my contribution to the beauty industry in the UK by the Edo community during the 10th Edition of Edo festival and awards; which took place here in London. The Edo Festival and awards recognize and celebrate sons and daughters of established Edo indigenes here in the United Kingdom.