Damilola Sanmi-Ogundele is the founder of House of Silk, a beauty outfit, which specialises in makeup artistry, in Ibadan, Oyo State. Prior to founding her outfit, she bagged her first and second degrees from the Department of Forest Resources Management, University of Ibadan. In this interview with RUTH OLUROUNBI, she speaks to the growing beauty industry in Nigeria and its challenges.
In the years since you have been in this industry, what are your personal observations? Where do you see it going?
I see professionalism being infused into the make-up artistry industry, I see standards being set and followed strictly. Some of my expectations for the future of the Industry are beginning to materialise faster than I thought they would be. We have the Make-up Artist Guild of Nigeria (MAGN), a body that is seeing to it that make-up artists in Nigeria are accorded the same prestige as other professions. Beyond now, I also see an industry that has the capability to meet the varying demands of the Nigerian populace at different economic levels.
Do you think there is still a huge demand for beauty and personal care products, especially with the economic realities in Nigeria at the moment?
As long as we have women who alone form a larger proportion of the Nigerian population, the demand of beauty and personal care products will continue to be on the increase despite the economic recession. A typical Nigerian woman definitely wants to look very presentable at all times and in the bid to fulfil that desire; she continually invests a portion of her earnings in beauty and care products.
You seem like an adventurous person, does your work give you an opportunity to explore the world?
I have known I had such tendency but I haven’t really explored that trait until my interest in the make-up business started opening opportunities to explore.
What are the challenges to you as an entrepreneur and the industry as a whole?
The challenge that I am faced with as an upcoming entrepreneur is the cost and time of expanding the business because of the demand for my services within and outside my location. However, I am optimistic that with God, that challenge will be surmounted. With respect to the industry, to me, it’s the infiltration of so many half-baked make-up artists that parade themselves as professionals and underestimate the value/worth of the services they render to clients in the name of survival.
What prompted you into beauty industry?
My desire to look good, to make people look good and see people look good took me to the industry. That I have degrees in forestry shows that what I studied is far from what I am practicing now. It’s a pointer to the fact that I decided to pursue my passion which is ‘creativity’, I am a work in progress and with God’s grace, I am positive about exceeding my dreams.
Do you have a makeup school and if you don’t, is it something you plan to have in the future and where do you plan to see yourself in Nigeria?
My make-up studio is growing speedily and it’s already in our plan to see it become a make-up school in the years ahead. I envision House of Silk being one of the very best in the industry, I also see the brand House of Silk being an umbrella to a chain of businesses, by God’s grace with determination and hard work, it will become a reality.
If you’re not making your clients up, what else do you do?
I love to cook, watch movies and hang out in my spare time and of course travel when the opportunity avails itself. I am gifted with the ability to multitask while achieving what I have set my mind to do and maximize resources at my disposal to do that. I have the quest for excellence and with total dependence on God, all of these things become easier than one will naturally expect.