Between getting a degree as a Dentist and TheHairContessa, Oke Omotola wants to do just more.
A woman’s hair is the first noticeable part of her body. It enhances her beauty, and remain a big deal to them. Many women feel that a bad hair is equal to a bad day, which is why Oke Omotola decided to launch a business in making women look good. YC caught up with her recently in Ibadan, she told us more about the brand and her passion to impact lives.
Please introduce yourself and what you do?
My name is Oke Omotola. I am a final year dental student at the University of Ibadan in Ibadan. I also own and run TheHairContessa a global hair brand. I have a special interest in the empowerment of women in all its forms. I am also a budding social media manager.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was very interesting. I am the only girl out of 4 children. So I was sort of a tomboy for a while. My primary education was at the Staff School University of Ibadan and my secondary education was at The International School Ibadan (ISI). I thoroughly enjoyed my times in school.
What were your aspirations growing up?
When I was younger, I wanted to be a lawyer, a nurse, and an actress. In that order, Lol. I had varying career choices but what remained constant was my desire to impact lives positively. That was always the guiding factor.
What is the most trouble you have ever gotten into?
Well. I’ve gotten into one or two tight situations but nothing that could ever be as serious as ‘trouble’.
What ignited the spark in you to start a business venture?
I have always been fascinated by the act of buying and selling. I started out helping my mom sell ice block back when I was very young. Then when I got to secondary school, I used to buy second-hand novels from a dealer nearby and resell to my classmates.
I’ve always liked business and I firmly believe that I won’t stop with this hair business, there are other ventures I’d love to try.
Tell us about your business (what product or service you provide and who your target audience is)?
I help the 21st-century woman look and feel confident enough to excel by selling premium quality human hair weaves and wigs. I also sell hair accessories and provide hair care tips.
The Hair Contessa is a growing and evolving global brand. Our target audience is young trendy women who realize the importance of looking good and appreciate quality.
How did you make your first sale?
My first sale was to someone who worked in the same hospital I study at. She walked up to me and told me that she liked the wig I was wearing and she wanted one like that too.
I scrambled to the market to get supplies and in 3 days I made it. The first hair I sold was to someone off Instagram, she liked it and bought it immediately after she saw it.
I should also mention that my friends were invaluable, paying me money for my wigs even when I was not exactly perfect at it. And those who couldn’t patronize me made sure they referred me. I really appreciate it.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I work hard every day to study market trends and stay on top of them. I also provide a customer satisfaction experience that leaves my customers wanting more.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Thus far, word of mouth and referrals have been very good for me. But after school I have a lot of plans for rebranding my business and marketing campaigns will play a huge role in that.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
Before you start a business, read ten books about it, talk to ten mentors in the business. Research, research, research. Document every step and stay close to God.
What do you do for fun?
I love reading, I read a lot when school allows. Initially, I read novels a lot but now I am into self-development so I read more non-fiction books. I also love travelling and going to new places. I love going out and meeting new people too. Then weirdly, I like attending conferences, programs, seminars, workshops. At first, I attended the ones held in school and more recently I attended business-oriented programs.