Mrs Adedoyin Balogun is the CEO of Thairphy Salon and Spa which just berthed in the city of Ibadan. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, she revealed her mission to redefine the beauty industry and why people, especially youths, must embrace vocation jobs. Excerpts:
You just launched a beautification outfit, what was the idea behind this?
This has been my dream since when I was a teenager. I have always had this notion that if I want to have a white collar job, I would love to work in an office as a secretary and that if I want to engage in any entrepreneurship or vocational job, I wanted a salon. There were a few delays when I was about to attend the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, to be precise and as a result of this, I enrolled at the Opera Benson Beauty training institute in Lagos then. It was like the higher institution we have today because the materials were very voluminous and the setting was professional. I did my cosmetology in 1990, beauty therapy in 1991 and graduated. Afterwards, I got admitted into the higher institution. Then, I had the feeling that I was laying a foundation which would lead to a well established business that has manifested today. My parents even wanted to set up a salon for me then, but I insisted that I wanted to go to school which is helping me today.
Why did it take you so long to get it established?
It took me a while to concentrate more on this because of the fear of where to start from. Location was also one of the main concerns. But, I eventually made up my mind that Ibadan would be a right place to set up this kind of business in other to correct the wrong impression that it is not a good or safe place to make money. People need to change their orientation about this. I just love Ibadan. Though, I am not from Oyo State, it is glaring that the pace setter state has witnessed a tremendous development in recent time, especially in the world of entertainment and our sector needs to take a cue from this. There are a lot of people who want value for what they get and people should cultivate the habit to treat their clients with class and taste.
What stands you out among others?
Aside the fact that I love treating my body well, especially my hair and nails, I love neatness and also love to have something doing always because it keeps me fit and agile. Having developed passion for this, I also make sure I am grounded in this field. I have worked as a masseuse, stylist, and manicurist and I did all these before I got admitted into the polytechnic. I felt it was time for me to make people realise that they can get good treatment of their body even within the city of Ibadan. Part of the reasons I ventured into this is to correct the mistakes of some people in this field; many are tacky and not clean in handling the business. Whoever is into this business must make neatness his or her priority. We need to realise that it is a sensitive vocation that deals in cleaning and beautifying people. One of our uniqueness is that we want people to appreciate their natural hair by giving it classy touch, compared to others who concentrate more on artificial hairs. Though, it depends on individual’s choices. Our primary aim is to give people top notch treatment.
How has it been since you started?
We just started and the experience has been awesome and encouraging. I know we will get there soon. The salon has been busy since we unveiled it. I believe we will expand in no time because my goal is beyond where we are at present, at Gbeyikomi House opposite BCOS Exhibition gate, Ibadan. I have been on this particular project since last year January. We have facilities for both sex and we have also made it a priority to put people’s body in place through massage.
Where do you want to see this project in the next five years?
By the grace of God, I want it blossom. As it is, we have not yet explored all as far as beauty things are concern. We will not relent to follow the beauty trend and also give people a classy treatment.We have a lot of things in the pipeline and we will begin to explore them very soon.
Now that the world is encouraging entrepreneurship, what is your advice for the youth?
I think this is important for everybody, especially the youth. We need to make entrepreneurship a priority. The current situation of the country has also given a good example of the danger of the white collar jobs. Try and think of a vocational job while in school or when waiting for admission. I am glad that it has been inculcated in the school curriculum. We must discover passion for something that will make one a boss and also put food on one’s table. For me, it is becoming pathological when it comes to beauty, neatness and esthetics.
Why did you dump white collar job for a vocational business?
I was a secretary at the University Press. I just discovered that I was not having satisfaction any more. I felt I was becoming redundant and this is one of the things I fear most in my life. Ordinarily I don’t have any problem with food, clothes or shelter because my husband can provide that, but I felt that life is more than that. I also need to support him in some areas and the fact that I don’t want to be idle because when you are active you don’t grow old fast.