Fifi Safia Usman is a popular Lagos Skincare specialist who many celebrity ladies go to for their skincare need. She is one of the leading practitioners in the business. She is good at what she does. She is good at transforming the skins of many celebrity ladies who come to her for help. She is a damn good and well trained Skincare Specialist. She’s got the experience. And she is quite knowledgable. There is no kind of skin problems she can’t treat. That is why she’s called a Skin Mechanic. She does skin care in higher definition. So good is she that many celebrity women rush to see her for their skincare almost on a daily basis. And she never disappoints. She knows what products to give them to get the desired result.
She also has a Spa that her customers like to go to indulge themselves. Its called D Moon Spa. It provides you with the most relaxing environment and the ambiance is simply worth experiencing.
What many commend her about is that she has qualified hands and professionals who handle and treat her clients well. DMoon offers the very best in Spa technology. It has state of the art equipment. The spa offers deep tissue massage, lymphatic massage, essential oil massage, head & eye massage, facials, and many more. And once you are on an appointment, Fifi, who some call the skin mechanic, will see any client who needs her services.
Last week, City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE spoke to Fifi about her skin care business. Below are excerpts of the interview.
How has business been? I know you have been around for quite a while, What has been the secret behind your success? What has kept you going?
I will say Luck. Zeal. Liking something, knowing how to do it, doing it perfectly and knowing what you are doing. That is it. Some people go into a Business because other people are doing it. They have no idea what it is. I took an interest in Skincare business since I was little. This is me. This is what I do every day, every minute, every second. I wake up in the middle of the night and I am thinking of the new product I want to release, I am thinking why can’t I go to Manila, why can’t I go to Dubai, Morocco, Abidjan, why can’t this lady treat her spots or acne? Why can’t she just glow? So for me, it has been luck, having a passion for it, knowing how to do what I do, going the extra mile to get what you want and doing it right. That is it.
At the time you went into it, what made you go into skin care? How many years now?
I think I have been into the Skincare business for over 12 years now. I have been into Skincare since I was 16. For me then, I will look at my mum, I like to go to big, big stores, supermarkets where they sell different kinds of products and I will take everything and read what they write. I used to like to go to the Pharmacy for grandma. I will go to all the Skincare Stores and take products and I will read all the instructions on the products. And I will take money from my coin box and buy different products. And I will say to my mummy, you have to use this, to look like this, your skin will be like this.
At some point, I wanted to go into singing because I sing a lot. I wanted to be a musician. I once won an award in Abuja, for singing an Opera. I was very good at singing operas then. I could write love songs. Then I thought maybe I should be an actor. Each time I told my mum I want to go into Skincare she will laugh at me. She will say Skincare what? You want to sit under the bridge and mix cream for women? There is no money in it. You have to go to school. You have to be a professional. She wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer. But I told her I don’t want to be any of that.
After secondary school, I tried to get admission to the University of Ife. It didn’t work out. I then tried Osun State University. I wanted to do Mass Comm then. It didn’t work as well. I had wanted to be in the Media. I wanted to do Theatre Arts but my mum won’t let me. After all that I said I wasn’t going to go to school again, I told my mum point blank, mummy look I am not going to school again. I want to do Skincare. My mum said No. So you want to open Salon like all those women who have salons then you make nails and do hair. You just want to be a cheap girl. I told my mummy that is not what it is. I want to take Skincare to another level. I want to leave this country to go to another country to learn how to do this thing. My mother was not ready to listen to the Rubbish I had to say.
I went to meet my Cousin. She told me lets go to UNILAG, I hear there is a course there for Theatre Arts, you can get a form ill it and you can become an Actress. I said really? Sandra, that’s her name. She drove me to UNILAG. I got the form. I wrote the exam and I passed surprisingly. And that is how I got into UNILAG to do a 5 year course in Theatre Arts.
I had a lot of course mates then. I see them around today, like Uche Uwuji. Helen Paul was my course mate then.
It was in Unilag that I started pounding soaps. I discovered one soap for Acne and Rashes. I had a lot of course mates who suffered from those things. They had it on their faces. I will tell them I can treat all these Acnes on your faces and they will say you’ve started again. I will tell them, I am serious. Give me small money and I will treat it for you.
And I was doing it. That was how I started in UNILAG. I thought acting would be better, but when I got into UNILAG and I was studying Theatre Arts. It was as if I was still in secondary school. I couldn’t understand it and I said to myself, ok, so this is the craze of the acting. I realized that I did not need to go to UNILAG to be an actress, however, the case may be. The zeal was there, everything was there but I knew that my passion was in skin care. So when I was still in UNILAG, I went on the internet I started investigating Manila, Philippines.
At that time, I was reading on the internet about the Miracle Pill they call Glutotyonne, Glutotyonne.
A lot of people did not know about it here. I started ordering it. Magic Portion in Manila. I ordered for stuff and it came and I was selling it, from my house, and people were buying it. I started treating my nieces, girls will come and say Fifi, how far now? And you know what? I was never cheap.
I never started cheap. From the first time I started, my first skin care product was N25,000. I was selling from my house.
After I finished from UNILAG, I travelled to Abuja. I got a Visa to go to the Philippines. I didn’t know anybody there. But I knew that my destiny was in the Philippines. I knew that when I go to the Philippines I will discover another world. I didn’t care. I got a Visa. I got a Ticket. Everything was easy. I got the money and I went to the Philippines. And that was how my life changed. I didn’t know anybody there. I googled the place I needed to go to. I saw a girl at a disco bar. I bought her a drink. I told her I am from Nigeria and I am into skin care. I want to go round and buy soap and creams that make you lighter that makes you look more beautiful. I told her I will give her $200 dollars for her to take me all the markets in Manila.
She said wow! You want to give me $200. I said yes. I can even give you $300 dollars if you stay with me for the whole one week that I am going to be here. So she took me everywhere, the Academy, the markets, the Malls where I was able to get beauty products and I gave her $300.
For starters, I gave her $100 dollars and I gave her the rest. I was overwhelmed when I saw products and soaps in the market and they were very cheap. I saw products that make you slimmer, to make you tighter (for the women).
They call it Majakani, to make women tighter, to make you light, to make you fresh, and to make you go from dark to light and so on. I was like wow! And they were so affordable, very cheap. I would have bought the whole of the market that day. I was so happy. I was getting good products, the real thing that was produced straight from the factory and they were not even expensive. I made so many contents I went to DHL I was able to cargo all the products. I had a good deal.
And that was the beginning of my adventure into Skincare Business. I got married in 2011. Time flies. By the time I got back to Nigeria, I was overwhelmed. Then started calling friends to come and buy what I brought back. They were coming to my house at Jakande Estate. People were calling me. They were buying my soaps and my cream. It was worth it. People that had acne, rashes, skin burn came. I brought back the real black soap, the real, original Ose Dudu.
In Skincare, if you do it right, you will get plenty clients.
It might be expensive, it might be difficult to travel and get all the experience, but you need it. Don’t go into Skincare Business because every other person is doing it, like what we see now. Nowadays, everybody has become a skincare person.
There is more to Skincare than what many of these other ladies do in Nigeria. I trained myself in Skincare. You need to understand what you do. You need to do research. You need to study. I have learnt a lot of things in Skincare. I have learnt about the creativity involved. I travel all the time. I am always Online updating myself. So I am always on top of my game.
In Nigeria, we have so many Skincare people, but only a few of us are experts on this job. The difference is that I went to school to learn about it.
I went to study Skincare. I went to school to get my Certificate and understand how I can be different from every other person.
I have very many rich women, elite women, big women who call me to advise them on how to take care of their skin. They will call me on the phone and say, Fifi, I want to see you. And I will say Ok ma. They book an appointment and they come and see me and we would talk about what the issue is.
Usually, when they talk to me for about 30 minutes they are always very happy, giving me their money, because of the Value I am giving them. When they give me their money, they understand that I am doing this thing because it’s worth their money. This is what they paid for and they are receiving Value for what they paid for. And that’s my happiness. So, I will always try to be the best in everything I do in Skincare. At my Spa, we give Skincare higher definition. Because Fifi is good, anything I do they copy me. They try so hard to be me. But they can’t succeed. What they lack is Education.
They don’t know jack about what they do. They need to be educated. I am not saying that need to go to the University to be educated. I am saying that you have to learn about what you do.
You have to go to school to learn about what you do so that what you do will be different from others. You have to do your Skincare in a different way. That is the difference with me. I do my Skincare treatment differently. I am not just another Skincare person. I am Fifi, a Skincare expert. I am trained in how to make the skin look better
I spend every day of my life finding out how women can look more beautiful, how they can be more appealing to their husband, how they can be more delicious in bed.
Yes. How they can smell nice. That is what I live for. That is why I am successful. I am busy making money, doing what makes me happy. But the most important thing in what I do here is making other people happy with what you do. And that is my joy. I throw parties every year for my clients. I give the first 100 people to buy a N100,000 worth of products my goodie bags. And people are excited to by the whole 100,000 and the whole 50,000. Of course, I am making money. But I am giving them something back. And everybody is eating and they are happy and they take a good drink, good food. I paid for it. They are very comfortable. They are happy.
There are those who beef me. There are those who beef everything I do at my Spa. But I don’t take them seriously. I ignore haters. If you do things correctly and your business is doing well, they will beef you. I am different. My Spa is different. The difference in my Spa is, if you come there you will see that it’s the best Spa in town. If you come to my Spa, you will understand why you are spending money. If you enter my Spa, the atmosphere feels like you are on one Island chilling. We opened the Spa to give you a treat. Even if we have only 2 or 3 clients, a day, we are happy. That is the mentality of the people abroad. When you book for your Spa Session, they won’t rush you. We pay well. We pay our professionals well. My spa is a well-run professional Spa. If you pay for 3 hours, you are getting your 3 hours. We won’t rush you. We treat you well. If you come, you will see how we keep people relaxed. It’s a relaxation centre. I cannot do what is sub-standard. What we do here is about giving you that service you have paid for.