In a bid to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs, Chance-Media features on a weekly basis, successful female entrepreneurs in our #LadyFromNaija series. The aim, is for these successful ones to tell their stories in their own words and encourage many others facing similar or even lesser challenges.
This week we present our interview with Ms Ini-iso Ofonime Akpan, the beauty and brain behind Sunshine Makeup Artistry.
Chance Media : Tell us about yourself(your name, the schools you attended and what you studied).
Ms Ini-iso: I am Ini-iso Ofonime Akpan
I attended Monef kiddies school, the now defunct continental school, Rayfield schools and AbSTA.
I had my secondary education at Bright star model secondary school and the University of Uyo, where I studied Early Childhood Education.
Chance Media : Tell us about your business.
Ms Ini-iso: Sunshine Artistry is a makeup and bridal accessories outfit. It is the reality of my unspoken dreams.
It started while I was in the University and I would say youtube also helped me find my path.
The vision is to let every woman's beauty glow from the inside whilst we hand her the mirror.
Chance Media: What convinced you to follow this path?
Ms Ini-iso: I always wanted to be a beauty queen. I won a peagentry organized by the University of Uyo Women Association (UWA) some years ago.
I let the dream die because people told me being a beauty queen doesn't put food on the table. I took up dancing professionally and also abandoned it because it affected my health.
Makeup is an expression of all that I always wanted to be.
Chance Media: What challenges have you faced or currently facing as female entrepreneur in Nigeria.
Ms Ini-iso: I would say the first is my age. I started sunshine artistry at 20 and its been a few years down the line yet clients still doubt my abilities when they get to see me in person. My other challenge has been making my father understand that is the path I have chosen for myself.
Chance Media : Who/What motivates you?
Ms Ini-iso: I'm motivated by my mum. She read graphic arts in school and never got to practice her craft.
She is a workhaholic always pushing that getting a degree isn't enough. She is a Jack of all trade and master of them all.
Chance Media: How do you intend to affect the society(touch lives)?
Ms Ini-iso: I intend to use makeup to reach out to emotionally abused women. Reach out to young girls and help them find their inner beauty. In order to do these, I need to expand.
Chance Media: What are your expansion plans?
Ms Ini-iso: My expansion plans include production of a total bridal package among other things I can't let out of the bag right now, and also the training of younger people to be bosses of their own.
Chance Media: How often does your business keep you awake at night?
Ms Ini-iso: I happen to have allergy issues and my drugs most times make me drowsy, so I sleep my nights out. Although I'm usually up early looking for inspiration and also to practice on my siblings.
Chance Media: Which female entrepreneur do you look up to?
Ms Ini-iso: I have always loved Otis Makeup Artistry. She inspires me a lot, because she stuck to her trade at a time very few people appreciated it.
Chance Media: Did your family support your decision to be a makeup artist?
Ms Ini-iso: Yes they did. They helped me build camouflages for my makeup box so my dad wouldn't notice. They escorted me to see clients so I wouldn't be intimidated.
Chance Media: Did this affect your education, considering that you started while in school?
Ms Ini-iso: I believe it didn't. Although my dad thinks I would have made a first class without the whole “makeup distraction”, however I made a second class upper.
Chance Media: Are you currently seeking investors?
Ms Ini-iso: Yes I am. I intend to go into beauty products on a full scale like Tara. My goal is to have products devoid of chemicals.
Chance Media: Any advice for other entrepreneurs?
Ms Ini-iso: Keep your head high. Listen and learn everyday, even from your clients.
Chance Media: How can prospective clients get to see what you've done before?
Ms Ini-iso: I have a couple of my jobs posted on my social media pages. I'm active on facebook (Ini-iso Sunshine Ofonime), instagram(@sunshine_makeup_
artistry) and snapchat(@sunshineakpan486).
Chance Media: Thank you so much for creating time out if your busy schedule for this interview, we look forward to covering the launch of the Sunshine Artistry range is beauty products soon.
Ms Ini-iso: Thank you too for paying us a visit. Chance Media will definitely be a part of whatever we do. I'm indeed grateful.