Hi there darlings, welcome to the month of May, the month of ASSURANCE apparently 😁.
Today’s post is an interview with Ms Abundance Joshua , the CEO of Abysmakeover. I have been watching her for a while and she’s nothing short of inspiring. This post has taken a week and some to make because of our clashing schedules and I am grateful it is finally here.
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A little backstory, she’s young and only recently graduated from University.
How long have you been in the makeup business and how did you get started?
I have been doing makeup since July 2016 when I handed over Miss Akwa-Ibom teen crown, it was part of my pet project. I have always had a thing for makeup but when I started I didn’t know how to do makeup, I used to draw awful brows so when I was handing over the crown, I organized a free makeup training for ladies so they could learn to do their own makeup even if they didn’t want to turn it to a business because i know there were ladies like me that lacked makeup skills. All they had to pay for was the certificate. In the course of the training I was inspired to learn also. Subsequently by October 2017, I went for an upgrade class to better hone my skill. I went for an upgrade with JOJO;s touch in Port Harcourt . Immediately I got back to Uyo, I became sought after because she is a well known brand and when people knew I trained under her, it added to my credibility.
When did you know a career in beauty was for you? Didn’t you feel it was already saturated?
The thing in is anything you want to do, you will defintely not be the only one in that line of business. I have a passion for it, I have always had a thing for fashion. Asides makeup, I also sew. I had to disregard all the people I saw and knew to already be in that line of work and just go for my passion.
What sets you apart from other makeup artists?
Every business owner has what we call their signature, for me it is my brows. I have signature brows. It is different from what you would normally see in Uyo. Well drawn brows are the key to a great makeup. If your brows are crooked, no matter how fine the final look is, there is a way it is going to look because those brows are not well drawn. I take extra time while drawing my brows. I have gone for a job where the bride had to be ready by 8 am and by 7, we were still on brows. Initially, she freaked out but she loved the total look and was thankful I didn’t rush through the look.
So far, what has been the biggest challenge of your career?
Disappointment. Although I know there are no businesses without its’ fair share of disappointments. I get some calls with people under pricing my services. People feel my prices are high but I cannot go below my standard for anyone that cannot afford it. If you tell me the price is too much I apologize and say I look forward to working with you next time when you can afford to pay.
Another challenge is mobility. Just recently I acquired some equipment to make my job more efficient like a bigger box and a ring light and moving them from place to place is expensive and stressful. With time however, I hope to get a studio so most of those stuff can be at the studio and if someone needs me to leave the studio for any reason, I can charge extra for the inconvenience.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the fact that I make my clients smile, there is this thing that comes over me each time I stand up and sharpen my pencil to begin working on someone’s face. It gives me this excitement that sometimes, I do peoples makeup for free just to feel that feeling.
Who would you love to work on?
I am grateful for the opportunities I have had ever since I came back from Jojo’s Touch. The wife to the SA to the Governor of Akwa- Ibom on social orientation, the wife to the Chairman of Nsit Ubium local government area are some people i have been blessed to work with. I am looking forward to working with the Governors wife, I can’t wait to have her on my chair. Even if it is not my chair, let it be her chair, I will take myself to the government house and work on her face. Another woman i would love to work with is Annie Idibia, she inspires me a lot.
I recently got news that I will be working on Beverly Caeser and her daughter, they will be in Nigeria by May and I’ll be handling their makeup and that of Dr Blessing Bassey, the Archbishops wife .It is a very big deal and I am looking forward to it. We’re going worldwide.
Who inspires me?
I cannot wait to be like Bibyonce, I follow her on Instagram she inspires me along side Flawlessfaces by Jane.
I am looking to be better than my boss Jojo’s touch, that woman is simply amazing.
Do you have people working for you? How do you balance your time?
I just started training some students though they have not graduated to the point where I can ask them to represent me. One thing I do is to transfer jobs to other makeup artistes like myself especially when I’m busy because i believe the sky is wide enough for us all. I direct the jobs to them and we split the money and they also do same for me when they are too busy. There is no sense in monopolizing all the work when I know I wont be able to execute. I have had jobs where I had to call other makeup artistes to join me because the workload was too much. I just make sure the person is good because their actions or inactions will reflect on my brand.
What three makeup items should no woman leave home without?
Lipstick, powder and liner. If I am short on time to draw brows, I powder my face, gloss my lips and apply some powder on my eyelids to look like eye shadow and apply my liner and I’m off. If you’re very late, skip the liners because you will smear your makeup.
Are you in a relationship?
No I am not. I am single at the moment because I don’t want to be distracted. Because I’m petite and I run a business, I get some questions like, how old are you? and when I tell them they don’t believe me and sometimes I get turned off and just end the conversation. By the way, I am a graduate, I am not small.
I don’t want distractions, I feel a relationship will happen at the right time.
If you were offered a regular 9-5 job, would you take it?
Well, it depends on how attractive the salary is. But the truth is no matter how you long work for someone, you cannot work forever . Abys’ Makeover is a brand I want to build whether now or later on in the future but it is good I am starting now . If a good offer comes along, I wouldn’t mind. I’ll still do it by the side while I make enough money to open up a bigger studio, train and employ hands to take care of the business. I don’t think I could fully drop my makeup business for a white collar job because makeup is something I love.
What money tip has helped you stay in track of the finances of your business?
Save, save save. One major mistake I made when I started out was I was spending money with the same speed I was earning it. I got advice from more experienced makeup artistes to save because it is easy to spend when there is no structure put in place to ensure you don’t go bankrupt. I had to raise some money to register my business with the Corporate affairs Commission, and use the certificate to open a corporate account. I decided to split every incoming cash into two, one half goes to me and the other half goes to the corporate account. I don’t have a debit card so there is no way I can get money out on a whim. Payments by bank transfers are done to the corporate account also. Apart from this, I also have a piggy bank where I put in money frequently, nothing less than 1000 naira. I can’t wait till the end of the year to see how much I have been able to save. It is encouraging when you’re working and seeing the results from all the hard work. Sometimes I work 6 straight hours so the pain motivates me to not squander the money on things I don’t need.
Also, I try not to bite off more than I can chew. I say not to jobs too even when I am in need of money because there is only so much you can bend your body to do.
What advice do you have for young adults like who who have a passion but are scared to start out ?
In my opinion, there are no jobs in this Nigeria. Some people might criticize me for saying that but I don’t think there is. So look for what to do, something legit. It is better to discover and hone your talents while you’re still in school. Some of us wait till we’re done with school, it is still okay but look for what to do. My Parents stopped sending me money in my 300 level in school, that was when I started this business. My major clients then were my fellow students who stayed in the hostel, charging 1500 per job and there was no week I didn’t make up to 5000naira. It has to be something you’re passionate about so you don’t abandon it when things start getting tough. It is okay if the labour market favours you upon graduation but if doesn’t, find a way to fuel your passion, don’t wait till you start feeling a bother or a nuisance to your parents and God will reward your efforts.
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