“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”- Colin Powell
We promised our entrepreneurship segment will take off very soon with sizzling interviews with entrepreneurs who have managed to achieve success in their business . This programme is designed to keep you inspired as they share their stories to help you reach your maximum potential in life. I know some are already doing wonderful stuff but we believe you can even do more to surpass or exceed your own expectations. For others who are struggling to get started we believe through these stories you can kick-start your life and do something meaningful with it irrespective of the challenges you may be facing. Nothing good comes easy, it is your ability to stay strong and focused amid those testing times is what’s likely to be your breakthrough in life or whatever you seek to achieve.
Over the weekend, we were able to have a chat with Bernice Kyei Baffour, the owner of Coco Diva Makeovers, a business that offers training to people who have interest in developing themselves into professional makeup artistes. Additionally, they offer make up services with different packages to the public with even men considered. Bernice taught us a lot through her story and we believe its certainly inspiring and worth reading. At this point, we will roll in the interview for you to know how she got started, challenges she faced and the way forward for her business.
YOUR PERSONAL PROFILE AND THE VALUES YOU STAND FOR?
I am called Bernice Kyei Baffour, a graduate of KNUST in 2015 who read English. I am an entrepreneur who is based in Kumasi. I am an individual who believes in hardwork, consistency, ambition, determination and last but not the least I am a strong believer of God.
Key statement- To succeed in life or even in business you need to have the right values as an individual. Your values are what sets you apart from others.
WHEN DID YOU GET STARTED AND WHY THE MAKE UP INDUSTRY?
I started my business just about my final semester in school. Well, it wasn’t difficult choosing this industry since I like makeup and everything associated with beauty obviously because I’m a woman.
Key statement- You need to have dreams in life and more importantly you need passion to fuel those dreams.
HOW DID YOU START YOUR BUSINESS?
This makeup thing started as a hobby but then it got to a point I realized people were making money out of it. One thing that also pushed me to start is I didn’t want to finish school and end up as an unemployed graduate as I had seen close relation and other people fall into such struggles. I then decided to turn my passion into a full time business. I began to research and learn more about makeup to perfect my skills.
Key statement- Another success tool is vision. In life, whatever you are doing whether you got started, you need to have vision to help you make progress.
DID YOU FACE ANY CHALLENGES?
Obviously, the first thing most entrepreneurs struggle with is capital or the funds to start. Though, it doesn’t take a fortune to start a makeup business make no mistake you need to invest good money and even more depending on the quality of products you prefer. I was fortunate to have people from the UK and US who provided me with some of these products and I had to also use some of the money given me by my parents for my upkeep to support the business as I started. Due to limited funds it took me quite a while to build up my makeup kit-the products and tools to start a makeup business.
Another big challenge was getting clients. You can have all the money to invest in your products but as a freelance makeup artiste especially when you are just starting, it becomes difficult getting clients due to the fact that you are new in the system and clients wouldn’t trust you to be good enough to do a decent job on them. They usually prefer the experienced hands or people they feel they can trust but once you are able to nail your first few clients your breakthrough is close. That requires that you market your services very well through friends and family to enable you roll out your first few clients. It is not a get rich quick business since you need to work hard and be patient to get the results you desire.
Key statement- Obstacles are a part of life; you need to keep your focus and remain resolute to conquer them.
DID YOU FACE ANY PRESSURE FROM FAMILY OR FRIENDS TO QUIT THE BUSINESS?
On the contrary, my family was very supportive right from the start especially my dad. I am someone who surrounds myself with positive people so I received plenty of encouragement from my friends and family which got me going. In our society, people expect after school you jump into white color jobs, they don’t expect a graduate to be doing this kind of work but I was fortunate to receive such an unwavering support from my family and friends.
Key statement- In life, you have to always be positive and surround yourself with people who challenge you. Stay away from negative people as they may kill your dreams.
WHAT ARE THE SERVICES YOUR BUSINESS OFFERS?
My business offers bridal makeup, walk-in makeup and makeup classes. Occasionally, I do a one day workshop to train people into becoming professional makeup artistes. The makeup classes entail different packages to suit the needs of any individual interested in learning to become a certified makeup artiste. I have the one week class, two weeks class and the one month class. I have been able to train over 100 makeup artistes since I began and that number will keep increasing as I expand my business. My target is mainly women but I also perform makeup on men as well. I have also introduced an online makeup classes to extend my education to those who don’t live around to learn and become certified makeup artistes in the comfort of their homes.
Key statement- Whatever you choose to do in life, ensure it is of great service to humanity to make the world a better place to live.
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF YOUR BUSINESS IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?
My business is going to grow big and very huge. I intend to extend it to other beauty areas like hair fixing, hair styling and so on. I also plan to open a beauty school to train young ladies to at least have a trade of their own to help limit unemployment in the country. Aside my personal gain, I want to help and encourage young ladies (no gender discrimination) out there so I intend making it very affordable. Hopefully, I plan to start the beauty school in the next 3 to 5 years and with hardwork I will achieve it.
Key statement- To be a success in life, you need to have a vision which should also be time bound.
IN THE NEAR FUTURE, DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WORKING FOR SOMEONE AT THE EXPENSE OF YOUR BUSINESS?
This is a big question but I want to be honest with you the answer is NO. I want to focus on my business, make it huge, own it and employ others into it. Currently, I only have a personal assistant but I am looking to bring others into the business as it progresses.
Key statement- Any huge price in life comes with a risk, you need to stay positive and take that risk.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS?
Yes, my only regret is not starting early but well its all good the Lord knows best.
Key statement- Better late than never they say, but you must be bold to start early.
ANY WORDS FOR THE YOUTH ESPECIALLY GRADUATES?
It’s good to finish school and graduate but the real life awaits you out there. You need to keep your focus to be able to achieve the things you want in life; when things don’t go the way you planned I will urge you to think outside the box. Also, if you have a passion in something be bold enough to turn that passion into a business as I obviously did.
Key statement- Life isn’t all smooth sailing; to be creative and innovative you need to think outside the box sometimes.
On a final note, Bernice’s story is a classic example of passion turned into business. Though, she faced challenges she is progressing tremendously and she is only likely to soar higher and higher. What do you seek to achieve in life? We believe her story will act as a motivation tool for you to take action and realize your dreams. Remember, “the greatest tragedy in life is not death but a life without a purpose”.
Did you enjoy the story? Share to inspire others. Have a purposeful week!