Ife Salam is a young entrepreneur who is so passionate about skincare. She puts God first in everything she does and believes that she could achieve whatsoever she sets her mind to do. Ife is a pretty lady who is well read.
She has studied both in Nigeria and overseas, and recently became a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM). She has a Master’s degree in International Business Management, at the Middlesex University, London, (where she gathered her business acumen).
She has a BSc in Economics from the Covenant University, Ogun State, Nigeria, and also took 2 courses, Judgement and Decision making and Navigating Through Organisational Complexities from the prestigious Harvard University.
Having gone through every step to become a chartered personnel manager at CIPM, Ife has a good advantage of understanding human skills. Her impeccable sense of judgement and decision making can be traced to the trainings she was exposed to at Harvard University.
With such an intimidating CV, Ife decided not to pursue a white collar job but decided to pursue her passion and become a problem solver for many Nigerians.
CITY PEOPLE’S DAMILARE SALAMI met with her at her Lekki office a few days back and she spoke about her skincare business. Below are excerpts.
Tell us a little more about skincare business in Nigeria. There has been a boom in that industry. From your point of view, what would you say has been responsible?
I think people are more aware of how you have to look in all of your appearances. Before now, the appearance has been more about clothing and other things but people have realised now that your skin speaks even before you talk. So when people see you, they first look at your skin even before you speak and it’s like your permanent cloth. You cannot take out your skin but you can take out your clothes and wash, you can take out other parts of your body and wash but your skin is permanent on you. So wherever you go, it’s like you are taking your skin along with you.
You can drop your bag at home, you can drop a particular pair of shoes, you can even drop a particular pair of clothes but you can never drop your skin. So your skin is something you go around with every day and it’s highly important. I think people are also aware that our weather is so harsh, the sun is on the high side here, so obviously for you to maintain your skin here, you need a good product.
And people are aware that for you to live in Nigeria if you are under the sun 24/7 without a sunscreen, you will have discolouration on your face and other parts of your body that are exposed. People are also aware of certain ingredients that they need in their products; Some people actually come in with ingredients in mind like they may ask you, what do you have with Sheer butter?
The awareness is just out there and everyone is getting on the ride. There is nothing as important as your skin, I would always say, personally, before I shop for clothes, I shop for my skin. I would rather spend all the money I have on my skin and buy one or two cloths and shoes with the change that’s remaining.
You can see right now I have no makeup on, I want makeup to be a thing of choice and not compulsion because I’m trying to cover up something. And I want people to get to that self-confidence level because you need it and the only way to have such confidence is when your skin is glowing. So Kiehl’s is here to make people achieve that level of self-confidence which I would love to call Skin confidence.
I want people to go out with or without makeup as a thing of choice and not because they have to cover up their pimples, spots or blemishes. So that’s why we are here.
You seem to be so passionate about Skincare, what’s the source of your inspiration?
Em… as I’ve said, I had very problematic skin and I am very particular about my skin appearance. I do not just use any product, I use Kiehl’s. Kiehl’s is a very expensive brand, we all know that it’s not cheap to get on the Kiehl’s product but every penny you spend on it is worth it.
The products do not look as bogus or big as you expect but the tiniest thing you put on your fingertips and put on your skin, you are putting luxury on yourself. That’s how luxurious the brand is. I would say I’m passionate about skincare because I knew where I came from in terms of my skin, and I know where I am now, and the only way could achieve that is through Keihl’s and nothing more.