My name is Janet Jiya. I was born in Lagos, Nigeria but spent my first 10 years in Port Harcourt. I am the youngest of two and studied mass communication in Caleb University, Lagos. You can call me a total package as some friends will call me because I find myself being able to do so many things… I love to dance – which got me into Soul Quest Port Harcourt (ywap) and other dance groups. Singing and acting made me join the choir and drama groups like Royal Family, DNA drama group. Other things I can do are painting, sketching of outfits, rapping, football, basic sewing and of cause interior designing. I noticed that art and a well arranged space got me excited all the time so I went to The Maven Interior School, Lagos… I decided to relocate to Lagos after schooling because of the competitive spirit in Lagos which I always crave for… this always helps to keep me on my toes… I am not a fan of a laid back environment…there are no challenges/competitions in them which will make you stronger …
2) What was your inspiration?
L2N Beauty which means “Light to Nations” was coined from the promises of God he made to me years back from a song… I didn’t want to have a common name but a name people would just want to know the meaning And also because that is what I have been created for (bring forth light into the world)
It all started April 2015 when I was faced with financial stress and my job at about that time couldn’t help even if I loved what I did (PR) World PR Media. After seeking people’s opinion, i decided to do a list of all I can do with my hands that will generate money even if I was not so perfect at it but ad passion for….
I taught about makeup after a friend of mine spoke to me about it… and then I went home for a second taught.
I could paint and draw to an extent so I decided to go into makeup business that month. L2N Beauty started with my personal makeup kit which cant be compared with some people’s makeup kit, looking at someone who wants to start a business in it… consulting was also what I did without knowing how good I was. So immediately I noticed it, I started reading about beauty tips and the dos and don’ts… that brought me to L2N all Scrub Clean and L2N color out; these are made from natural products like honey, fruits etc… A small cup goes or N2000.
In my pursuit of growth for this business I lend 30k from my mum. Which only got me few products… smiles. I had to take pictures of what I bought and sent it to my mum so she can see that I need more exist comparing it with her cake store of how expensive make up product can be even for a small quantity.
L2N Beauty is also into artistic makeup (character makeup: face painting, effects etc)
3) What would you say is your target audience?
My target audience is not limited because L2N is about enhancing that beauty within and creating an artistic illustration for any moment... some people feel without make up they can’t be beautiful… male or female… that is why I am about to run a campaign “Beauty Cares Campaign ” to remind the less privileged that they are beautiful no matter what. In many ways, it is also for me, an act of giving back to the society.
4) How long has the business been in existence?
7 month and 9 days
5) What challenges did you face at inception?
every job comes with a challenge… it could be how to satisfy the customer, especially when the customer knows about makeup. It can be very challenging because at that point you have to be the master of your craft, who has to convince the customer… Another challenge was the monetary aspect… this was because I didn’t have some products and I have to deliver. I can remember when I had my first job, I didn’t have a a liquid eye liner and I needed that effect so I had to improvise by using the liquid from my mascara as I dipped my brush and applied without the client noticing… my first wedding job was for 20k of which I didn’t get any profit as cash cause I had borrowed money from a friend so as to buy products and when I got paid I had to pay back, leaving me without cash. That didn’t stop me for pushing further though.
6 ) and what are the challenges you still face?
how to deal with clients… and also deciding what color you should mix for the eye shadow; but what I do Is when I’m confused is to just say a word of prayer to the Father of color mix and color psychology (God) under my tongue. I always try to give people different eye shadow mix.
7) what do you attribute to the growth of your company?
customer relations/service and marketing. Most of the job I have done were based on referral and that’s because I try to be patient with my clients… I listen to them and their complaints… after which we end up being friends
8) Did you seek bank fund? and if not, why not?
No! Bank has never been in my plan. I always knew that once I start with what ever I have it will yield to profit and I can always invest with whatever I make….
9) What form of IT do you use in your business?
Social media (Instagram and Facebook)
10) At what point were you able to separate your personal finances from the business ?
2 month after I started. Because I had to take care of my upkeep… not that I couldn’t ask my family members but I had made up my mind to stand up for myself and learn to be independent… situations where I need to make decisions I will always seek for their opinions.
11) What would you say are your biggest mistakes in business so far and what would you have done differently?
At the stage I am at, I am still working a one man performance but I also took interest in some young girls who are focused but i’m taking them one after the other… the first one is an upcoming model who is also the face of L2N Beauty… I make sure she joins me for any event or job I have to attend… and cases where I have a wedding job I always invite some makeup artists for assistance. I would have told them how much to charge so we don’t have a clash; I also pay them quite well for a job well done.
By next year, I will have more hands because I have so many goodies to display…
12) With your experience, what advice would you give young people coming into business?
my advise will be, first you must have the passion and always be eager to be good in what you do… and also be patient with your client. This has been one of my USPs.
Never have it in mind that you are the best… keep learning and work those hands of yours to the point were the brushes are used to your hands… I didn’t go to any makeup school when I started not because I didn’t have the money but I need to sort out other things. So I will always check what is trending and “gele” tying was a concern to me… so I will also check YouTube for videos, and then my pastor saw how consistent I was in the makeup business so he paid for a deal day makeup training of two days.
I like to see different methods and approaches as to how things are done and so I keep on learning, and I am still learning with daily practice. This is a habit i think all young upcoming entrepreneurs must embrace.