Established in Lagos, Nigeria since 2012, Serah’s Beauty Secrets International (SBSI) run by businesswoman, Mrs Tokunbo Chiedu, has become a cornerstone for the delivery of Services and Training and Education to beauty professionals in Nigeria and West Africa.
SBSI also provides opportunities for global brands looking for technical partnerships in Nigeria with institutions and stakeholders within Nigeria’s beauty sector, who are interested in improving their professionalism according to global standards and best practices; especially within the Spa/Wellness and Hairdressing sectors.
Last weekend, she launched the entry of the latest products in the range of exotic beauty products that she brings into the country. The product, Gemology, is a French product which uses the minerals in precious stones, for cosmetics. Mrs Chiedu got talking with City People at her Bode Thomas, Surulere, spa about the journey so far, in the world of beauty in Nigeria:
Mrs Tokunbo Chiedu, who is CEO of Compass Global Business, a consulting company in the export business, draws inspiration from her late mother, Mrs Serah Adunola Ajilore’s legacy. Her mum was a Cosmetologist who in the 70’s returned home from her studies in the UK/USA to set up a training program with the then Ministry of Education. Mrs. Chiedu has been able to also use the leverage of the international networks from her consulting business, to add value to Nigeria’s technical and vocational sectors.
She is a member of a group that advises the Lagos State Ministry of Education, the Lagos State Technical and Vocational Education Board, and the National Board for Technical and Vocational Education.
THE NEED TO SET UP A SHOP
Serah’s Beauty Secrets was set up in 2012. It opened as a tiny little shop because she had just relocated from the UK and felt there was a need to get products that are authentic. “There are a lot of issues within the beauty space when it comes to getting authentic products.
“I went away in 2013 to Jamaica on my Compass Consulting business on a trade mission and we were approached by the manufacturers of the leading professional brands in the states, Design Essentials. They approached Compass to help them come into Nigeria. “At the time, I wasn’t thinking distribution but how to facilitate the entry of the leading training brand into our space in Nigeria. “My motivation back then was what we could do to support Nigerian professionals like hairstylists, to upgrade their skills and to have access to international capacity building.
“I had set up the tiny seed of a beauty shop and little did I know that it was going to grow and have wings and legs and begin to walk.
“Today, we are proudly a distributing company and what we do is to penetrate the market with the Serah’s Beauty Secrets platform and we have a growing portfolio of brands that we represent in West Africa”, she said.
DO BEAUTY ENTREPRENEURS MAKE MONEY IN NIGERIA?
“We are very passionate about making a difference in the space of beauty, it is a very lucrative and viable sector as many of the different players in the industry can attest to.
“Nigerian is very green for anything beauty related, even in terms of beauty careers and professions. “We have three strategic partnerships with beauty schools; the first is a South African franchise called The Beauty Therapy Institute, who we have collaborated with, to train professionals and from there, they can go anywhere in the world to practice as qualified beauty therapists.
“The second partnership is with the highly reputable Opral Benson Beauty Training Institute and some of the members of my team are from that school and they are here to be exposed to the world of international brands. “The third technical partnership we have is with Elegant Twins. Anyone who knows the beauty business journey in Nigeria, will know that Mama Elegant Twins was the first cosmetologist and I am so honoured to be working with her school. “We offer them an opportunity to have their students come here and learn about the industry after they have completed their initial training.
“Through these strategic alliances with leading beauty brands within Europe and USA; SBSI is able to broker and build on relationships with students of indigenous beauty schools, who are engaged in various Beauty Courses are then able through SBSI, to enroll in global training programs offered by international brands to upgrade their skills and technical capability. “This is done via an internship scheme that was recently launched by SBSI in partnership with at least 5 global brands. The unique selling point of the program is that upon completion, the students are guaranteed employment or have access to assistance to set up their own beauty businesses through the SBS “RUN YOUR OWN BEAUTY BUSINESS” Scheme. SBSI has set up training centres in which the students are trained and also offers them a platform to deliver paid services according to the protocols of the training brands.”
MORE ABOUT THE NEWLY LAUNCHED GEMOLOGY BRAND
Gemology is a top mineral cosmetic skincare line from France. You know what they say about the French people and skincare.
Every product in the Gemology line is infused with precious or semi-precious stones; each stone tackles specific skin needs such as hydration, anti-aging, acne, sensitive skin and much more.
For example, the Brightening Face Serum contains Malachite which is a sacred stone from Ancient Egypt. Malachite protects the outer skin while re-establishing its brightness.
There are 20 professional treatments created under the Gemology brand; 10 for the face and 10 for the body.