Osaruguemwen Asemota is a 19-year-old makeup artist and owner of JunebyTife. She tells NOAH BANJO about her business

What is your educational background?

I graduated from Effective International College, Ilorin, Kwara State in 2017. I am currently a student of Kwara State University.  I am in Medical Laboratory Science department.

When and how did you venture into the make-up business?

I started makeup in April 2018. I have always liked making people look good. The smile on their faces after their makeup session and they see themselves in the mirror is usually priceless. So, I decided to turn my passion into a business.

What services does your business offer?

JunebyTife offers special bridal makeovers, owambe guest makeup, and makeup for professional photoshoots.

What motivated you to start your own business?

The love I have for makeup was part of it. But the idea that I could make my own money from something I loved to do was a major motivation. It just sounded pleasing to me.

Did you feel you were too young when you started your business?

Not really. At the time I decided to start the business, I really did not see what age had to do it. I simply wanted to have something of my own.

How much was your initial capital, and how did you raise it?

I wouldn’t say I had a definite amount set aside as capital. But I remember that my Dad gave me N30,000:00 to get some things for my kit. From then, I started using my monthly allowance to support the business.

What differentiates your business from others like it?

We are unique because we create natural, timeless and flawless looks. The sessions we offer produce skin-like makeup that does not look unreal. Basically, we accentuate a person’s natural beauty.

What major challenges have you faced in this business?

In a sense, the business is seasonal. Not getting clients over a long period of time is a challenge. Also, some customers want quality but will not pay for such, while others could offer ridiculous prices even though I have my rates.

How do you find customers?

Social media has been of great help in finding customers. That’s where the majority of my customers come from. Referrals through existing customers also bring customers in.

Do you advertise the business? If you do, how?

Yes, I do. I advertise on social media platforms by posting pictures and business flyers. I am also registered on Google My Business which makes it easy for people to find me online.

Has the thought of quitting and starting something else ever crossed your mind?

Yes, it has. It has not been an easy journey. The lack of clients and the unavailability of enough funds to expand the business have made me question choosing this line of business. But it is something I intend to see through.

Has the business been profitable?

It really has been profitable. With the profits, I can constantly restock on the quality products I use for my customers and save up for rainy days.

What is the biggest job you have taken on so far?

It was a bridal job I did in May this year, and it was the best experience ever. I had the opportunity to be part of what could probably be the biggest day in a person’s life. An opportunity like this is not something I take for granted in this business.

What future do you envisage for your business?

The goal is to build a brand that will be recognised by its name. And I hope to own a bigger studio that caters for all things that involve beauty.

What kind of support did you receive from your family/friends when you started?

My family has been very supportive right from the start. They always encourage me to push and become better. Friends have also supported me by patronising and referring me to others. I’m very grateful for my support system.

What would you say is the most influential factor in your business’ success?

My family’s support has been instrumental in my business’ success. The encouragement I got from them has pushed me this far. I also have conversations with  makeup artists who have been in the industry longer than I have and from them, I have received tips that have helped my business to thrive.

What benefits have you personally enjoyed from owning your business?

I have had the opportunity to meet amazing people and connect with makeup artists in other states. It has really been a blessing so far.

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