“I wish I had someone to talk to back then about my career” – Bisola Eboda
Some weeks ago, Social Media was on fire over the comment of President Buhari. A week later I met a young lady who grew up from Fagba in Lagos State and living her dreams. Let me introduce you to Abisola Eboda, a self-taught beautician who has over the years created a niche in the making women look beautiful. She is all shade of art. We caught up with her recently and decided to have a chat with her.
Here is what she had to say;
Introduce yourself to us?
My name is Abisola Eboda, I am a graduate of the department of physiology, University of Lagos. I write poems, interpret art and I make Ankara bags and other accessories with Ankara. I grew up in Fagba, Agege Lagos. I run it as a side hustle for now, but I started out doing makeup for people as a brand. The name of my makeup line is Robynnblack. So I decided to add my bag business to it.
What was growing up like?
I studied at the Federal Government College Odogbolu. It was a beautiful place but I suffered in junior school. Seniors were always finding ways to punish us. But then I joined the church choir and I really enjoyed it. I used to be a Tomboy so I had a lot of male friends, it was cool. University was kinda tough for me cos I studied a course I did not enjoy and I was battling a lot of personal issues. I spend most of my years trying to find myself.
Most people fall into the class of those who “were given courses”, where you one of those?
Yes, I was one of those who was “given” courses and not what I really wanted to do. But now I have found interest in psychology. If I recall correctly, I excelled in physics, and technical drawing (TD) in secondary school and I loved to draw. So I wish I had someone to talk to back then, maybe I would have gone through a different path. I would have studied engineering or architecture possibly.
How did your makeup business start?
I was never a makeup person but then my friends persuaded me to go for one makeup training they found on Dealday when I was in 300 level. I was skeptical at first but then I went. It was a four-day training at Ikeja and I began to love it. So when I was done, obviously it wouldn’t have helped much but I began to read books, watch videos and practiced every day on my bunkmate’s face.
My cousin had a friend that was a makeup artist so she gave me stuff she wasn’t using anymore so I was able to work with them. I couldn’t afford any makeup product at the time. I started doing it and loved it. So I will say I am self-taught.
One would think the MakeUp business was just enough for you, why did you venture into bags?
For the bags, it was towards the end of a 6-months strike. I was in a friend’s room in the hostel one Saturday afternoon, so this babe walks into our room and said she teaches people how to make Ankara bags. She said she was ready to teach every Saturday for one month. All of us in the room agreed to learn but I was so unserious that I had weddings every Saturday. But I was able to attend 2 of the classes and that was it for me, I learned on my own, and started practising.
I started making bags and I stopped after sometime. So sometime in February 2018, a friend called me to ask if I still make Ankara bags and I just said yes because I needed the money. So I went back to the drawing board, brushed myself up and started again.
You seem to have an affinity for beautifying women in general, is that your mission?
Yes, there is so much beauty in the African culture and I would love for our black women and women all over the world to see it and embrace that.
How has it been running the business?
God has really been faithful. At first, I wasn’t selling then I had an inspiration and created a box bag, posted it on my WhatsApp and people started requesting for it. I made about 10 and that put some money in my pocket. I decided to make another type and it happened again.
So the breakthrough came when I posted some of the pictures on Twitter and it has been amazing. I got a lot of retweets and people started ordering for theirs, guys ordered for their sisters, wives, girlfriends and It felt so good. I have not been sleeping well for a while. A lot of orders keep coming in.
What your advice to young people?
For so long I kept thinking about my life and my future. When I would find my own breakthrough. I got depressed at some point, almost gave up a couple of times. But I kept fighting, having hope and seeing God. So I would advise trusting God no matter what, keep working hard because it pays off in the end. Remain consistent no matter how hard it seems.
What are your plans for the future?
I intend to go back to school and further my education. I also intend to expand my business, start a fashion academy to teach young people what I know. Most importantly I want to write more. It like giving a part of me to the world.