• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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If you cannot serve, you cannot lead- The Business of beauty with Theodora Mogo

If you cannot serve, you cannot lead- The Business of beauty with Theodora Mogo

Theodora-Anne Mogo is an award-winning entrepreneur with multiple businesses across the beauty and fashion industry. She is the CEO of Doranne Beauty, Nailicure Nail Salon, DAF jewelry and co-founder of The Beauty Hub. Extremely passionate about helping women reveal their inner beauty, she has been able to redefine the standard of the makeup artistry and services offered across each of her businesses. Over the past 7 years in the industry, her businesses have partnered with local and international brands such as; youtube NG, Phillips NG, Guerlain Paris, UBA, Zaron Cosmetics, Uber NG, Genevieve, Cointreau, and many more, in creating remarkable campaigns that inspire, educate, and entertain. Her drive to add value to the Nigerian beauty industry brought about several initiatives such as; The Beat by Doranne Master Classes in Lagos, Abuja and Ghana, The Beat by Doranne Annual Cancer survivors master class in partnership with COPE Foundation, Monthly Youth Makeup Training classes. In this interview with Lehle Balde, BusinessDay Weekender Editor she talks about how her businesses were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, building a lasting business and turning passion into profit.

The Beauty Hub in Lekki

How would you say the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business?
Theodora: I’ll be honest with you, there was a lockdown for about 2 months where I didn’t make a single dime, (like many businesses) but as a businesswoman, I had to get creative, with Beauty Hub, I had to start doing virtual make up training because people were at home with nothing to do. Even prior to offices reopening, a lot of things were halted to a 100%, and there was the thought that it will be over in 2 weeks or in 1 month and everything will be back to normal. I don’t think that the reality of the pandemic really hit people. It was a good opportunity for me to take advantage of the fact that people were at home doing nothing, just eating and some people wanted to be productive, or just feel like they were learning something new. And there is a huge make-up enthusiast audience of people that are not necessarily learning makeup because they want to be a makeup artist.

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Every woman is supposed to at least be able to do their makeup, some women don’t care, but a lot of others do, so we started our online makeup classes on Zoom that now worked for the makeup business. For the nail salon, it was a bit tricky, because it was a case of do we want to start doing home calls, how do we ensure the safety of our staff, how are they moving around, there were too many factors to consider. We eventually started a skeletal structure, and we started doing home manicure and pedicure kits, so people could have their nails done. For me, that is one of the beauties of being an entrepreneur, finding new opportunities and ways to at least, stay afloat or more importantly, feel in the gap and create value. Now things are fully operational, the make-up studio is fully operational as well but not as they used to be with the make-up studio, but things are looking up.

Tell us about your jewelry brand
Theodora: I am barely a year into the jewelry, I just pick pieces from a jeweler that I work with that has quality pieces and I bring in and sell so my audience is young, as I’m not doing the complete piece for older women, there is a millennial focus. When I first started, I was a bit skeptical, because it’s quite capital intensive because I’m doing diamonds, real gold, I was a bit anxious about it in the beginning and what I also realize is that most of the people I know that do jewelry here in Lagos, do it for much older women, with more disposable income. The people doing precious stones are doing like a heavy set, very grand, aso-ebi like type mature pieces. I wanted to do was create pieces for young people in their early 30s, more trendy pieces.

What advice do you have for people who want to monetize their passion?
Theodora: I always advise people to work somewhere, the discipline that you get from working in corporate organizations because I believe it helps. A lot of creative people are not business people, and that is one of the reasons why it’s hard for SMEs to scale up. I definitely always advise people to work under somewhere, to work and learn, because if you cannot serve, you cannot lead. In terms of turning your passion into a business, the first question is what value are you creating, if the first thing you are thinking of is how to make money, you’ll will always be short-termed, get frustrated. We live in a country where things don’t work, you’ll realize that the system is made to frustrate you and you are going to get tired doing different things. You have to think about how your passion can make you money and that’s how you can turn it into a money-making venture.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 – 10 years, how do you hope to grow and expand?
Theodora: For Beauty Hub, I hope to get a much bigger space and open space somewhere in West Africa, Ghana. For the jewelry business, I want to brand my pieces, and then create our own signature pieces in the long run, also start sourcing my own stones for my pieces. For the makeup industry, there will always be a need for makeup, unless technology takes over, where there are robots that can do makeup, and I don’t know if people are ready for that, because there is a personal touch and experience you get from where a person is doing the makeup. The nail salon will be in a much bigger space.