Tara Fela-Durotoye, is a pioneer in the bridal makeup profession in Nigeria.
In fact, TFD (as she is fondly called) is a woman of many firsts, including creating the first bridal directory in 1999 and establishing the first makeup school in Nigeria. She has graced many workshops, seminars and conferences and organized many as well, for new entrepreneurs to learn. Hence, she has become a go-to person in Nigeria and African as a whole for the mentorship of entrepreneurs.
Tara is an icon and an example of excellence and commitment. She started House of Tara at the age of 20 from her living room as an undergraduate in 1998. Today, it has grown into a franchise enterprise with three main line of business: the Makeup school, the Makeup studio and the Tara product line comprising beauty products and professional makeup kits.
She is also the creator of the Tara Orekelewa Beauty range, Inspired Perfume, the H.I.P Beauty range and the founder and convener of the TFD Series.
Here are a few things to learn from her:
- Don’t be afraid to start something new:
At the time TFD started, bridal makeup was not yet what it is today. It wasn’t even close. As a matter of fact, there were several people who didn’t see why it should be paid for, after all, “Is it not just make up”? Yet, she persevered, and the more jobs she did (some even for free) the more referrals she got, and today she’s more than just a makeup artist. So don’t give up.
- Don’t stop learning:
Tara is a woman who never stops learning. She has taken several courses to equip herself as an entrepreneur and help her business, including the Owner-Managers program at Lagos Business School which shaped the direction of her business and helped her come up with a mission statement for her business and create systems and structures. She has also taken several courses outside the country. However, learning doesn’t always have to be in a classroom. She is also an avid reader.
- Invest in People:
Many entrepreneurs often worry about training their staff because they might leave, with the training! However, the alternative is building a business with untrained staff and that isn’t a wise thing to do. Regular staff training sessions have helped Tara expand her business since the result is having people who not only buy into the vision but have the requisite skills to handle an expansion.
- Build a Legacy that would live after you:
It is important to build a legacy that will live on even after you. An exit strategy is necessary and Tara Fela-Durotoye is known for training successors. In the beginning, all she had was the makeup bag she took to brides’ homes to do their makeup, and then she opened her store. From a single store with 5 employees, House of Tara now has 15 branches and over 80 employees.
- Have a mentor:
No one can pull through life without looking up to one or two people. It is good to have a mentor that inspires and motivates you. It could be someone in your field or not but note that your mentor’s success will motivate you to strive for more. As successful as Tara is, she still has many mentors who motivate her to strive harder.
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