Lawal Oluwatoyin, CEO of Omotanwa Mi talks about how she harnessed the Opportunities in the Cosmetics Industry
CAN YOU ELABORATE ON THE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE COSMETICS INDUSTRY?
It is a world full of opportunities on it’s own, you have to discover this yourself.Asides owning my brand with my full chest,i find joy in the fact that people can trust me with their skin and go to sleep,that’s a big one for me.There’s no business with no ups and downs but if you know your onions,you’ll run lil or no at loss.
HOW DO YOU SOURCE FOR THE MATERIALS YOU USE TO PRODUCE YOUR COSMETICS?
Some natural materials are sourced locally cos i wouldn’t want to get it anywhere else except Nigeria,we have the best in some of these things while i source of the rest outside of Nigeria because of adulteration.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU HAVE FACED SO FAR IN RUNNING THIS BUSINESS?
This should be my branding,from sourcing of the right packaging to branding it.
I have had to rebrand severally because i wasn’t just satisfied with what i was getting,i did this till i got what i wanted.I use international packaging so the dollar rate always going up has been a major challenge for me.
THE INDUSTRY IS CHURNING OUT A LOT OF COSMETOLOGIST, WHAT IS YOUR VIEW ABOUT THIS GROWTH?
HOW DID YOU FINANCE THE BUSINESS IN ITS EARLY DAYS?
Before i got a physical office,i do only delivery after after payment and i give notice of 72hours delivery.So basically what i did then was1 purchase materials with the clients money and then i deliver11 after production and still have my profit.
SO, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO CARVE A NICHE FOR YOURSELF, DESPITE THE COMPETITION OUT THERE?
Well, I have been able to achieve this by building a brand from OMOTANWA Mi.There’s a huge difference between just trading,doing business and building a brand.I gave packaging of international standard with value for every penny you spend with OMOTANWA Mi in a bottle.I made sure whatever represents OMOTANWA Mi stands for simplicity,class and value.There’s customer for everyone no matter how cheap or expensive.I wanted “premium” clients and i went all out put OMOTANWA Mi in a position that these set and classes of people can recognize and see her. Premium it has been till date because wasn’t just doing business,i built a brand.
WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST FEARS WHEN YOU STARTED THIS BUSINESS?
My biggest fear was how to source for clients for my brand but i later realised that i could only get over that if givpe value,you see when you give value to people for every penny they spend they refer your brand.Referrals is one of the major key that has brought me this far.
TELL US ABOUT A HIGHLY DIFFICULT PERIOD WHERE YOU PROBABLY THOUGHT OF GIVING UP AND HOW YOU OVERCAME IT?
This was about my 3rd month in the skincare business,some clients bring back my products after purchase to complain that it didn’t work for them expected,omg this almost sent me into depression cos i knew i couldn’t build the kind of brand i wanted on such foundation.Words travel fast and i didn’t want such to be said about my brand,right there and then realised if such complaints continued i wouldn’t go far in this line.First i decided not to make it a business but a profession,a profession that i enjoy doing.I closed down my office for about 4months,paid huge to get an upgraded training,i rebranded and that was it for me.My turning point into fulfillment,i no longer sell in fear,my selling price changed,i give value and i wasn’t and still not afraid to charge for it.
The result of that bold step i took brought me this far,i knew where i was headed and i took a break and paid the price for the future of the brand i envisaged in OMOTANWA Mi.I had a dream and that dream is to build a reputable brand in OMOTANWA Mi.A brand that gives value and satisfaction to everyone that comes across it.
DO YOU TRAIN PEOPLE TO ACQUIRE SKILLS IN THE COSMETICS INDUSTRY?
I take people on SPA training but on skincare training it is sometimes.
A YOUNG FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR OUT THERE IS THINKING OF FOLLOWING YOUR FOOT STEPS, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL HER?
I’ll tell her go for it,don’t hold anything back but get a professional training it’s very important.
Skin is the largest organ of the body,you can’t experiment with people’s skin.Be sure of what you are selling out,don’t just do business,build a brand.Building a brand doesn’t come cheap bit it is always worth it,take a step at a time,remember you have to crawl before you can walk.Be genuine and most importantly have a good customer relationship.