Govt should encourage businesses on standardisation and export

Govt should encourage businesses on standardisation and export

Julia Onamusi, a medical aesthetician and beauty therapist, is the founder of Jules Lifestyle. She speaks to JOY MARCUS about her love for healthy skin

As a lifestyle consultant, what are your primary responsibilities?

I am a medical aesthetician, a health and beauty therapist. As a lifestyle consultant who is also a certified nutritionist, proper meal plans, healthy diet and detoxification is my major core. Our strength lies in beauty regimen; managing skin organically, safely and professionally by our recommendations. We also make skin care products that suit the ethnic skin type, considering our melanin inhibition, weather, climate and every environmental factor associated with each skin type.

Have you always wanted to be a skin therapist?

My interest grew in several phases of my life. My mum was a cosmetologist; so, beauty has always been in the family. I had my first brick store in 2007, it was a unisex salon. Then, I advanced by getting trained as a health and beauty therapist. Coupled with the fact that I have very sensitive skin, I decided to explore solutions within.

I always look out for healthy solutions to fix my skin problems and I became more interested after I lost my mum to cancer. Today, I run a business which is aimed at achieving results and solutions.

Can you recollect how and where you started your career?

I was in London looking for suppliers, in wholesale, for fragrances, because I wanted to produce home diffusers for my other business. Then, I came across a company that inspired me because it had a lot to offer its customers.  So, I explored all options and organic oil was one of their products, and I decided to try them out.  With my background in therapy, I made products that worked well with people’s sensitive skin and I got results. That was how I keyed into making it a proper venture.

What makes your work different from others?

It is because every product from Jules has a story. Our products are specific to individual needs. Also, our consultancy service helps to drive our recommendations; so, clients don’t just buy what they see but what they need.

What are some of the challenges associated with your job?

There are several challenges; our focus is an evolving process. Every day gives a different result to each individual. Healthy living comes with dedication and budget. People who eat healthily make conscious effort to do so, which is the same as following through a skincare regimen. Every skin wants to look better. So, we strive to make it possible.  Also, awareness and funds are essentials in making our challenges really effortless.

What are some of the developments you would like to see in Nigeria as regards entrepreneurship?

I would like to see better channelling of grants to support viable businesses. I think the peculiarity of our country has made many young creative minds to venture into business and I am proud to be associated with this entrepreneurship trend. Government and other financial organisations can also support with more awareness.

Where was the first place you worked upon graduation from the university?

My first job aside the numerous businesses I was into was with Silverbird Group. They bought a franchise from South Africa – Placecol Beauty – in 2008, which was where I was trained and worked as a beauty therapist.

What has been your most trying moment as a businesswoman?

Every day comes with its different challenge. The business was and still is funded by personal earnings. I have had sleepless nights trying to keep a huge project alive side-by-side with running the business profitably.

Why do you think most businesses don’t stand the test of time in Nigeria?

There are a lot of factors really. Most small/medium scale businesses are started with little or no funds; hence the ideas and visions are being structured by available means. Also, the running cost of a thriving business is a nightmare and our power sector needs more help because alternative power supplies are more expensive than universal. It’s one thing for a seller to meet a buyer and another thing for a buyer to be able to afford it, considering that the cost of living is declining.

Do you think the government is encouraging business?

Yes, they are in different ways. There are a lot of ways the government has been supportive. Business owners need to look for and associate with these programmes. We also hope that sabotage can be eradicated so that the little efforts of the government can really count.  However, the government can still do more because there is room for improvement.

How do you think entrepreneurship can be better encouraged?

Licensing sectors should make their processes easier and businesses should be supported from registration through growth. Export processes should be enhanced and encouraged. Also, industrialisation and socio-economic standards should be upscaled with training, workshops and awareness on global standards.

What do you think are the three most important qualities that every leader must possess in order to succeed in business?

The key is integrity and honesty. You must have those values to be a successful person in business. Also, there must be delegation and empowerment. Be a good team player; support your team members and focus on your team’s interest and needs.  Lastly, develop strong communication skills with your team and clients.

How would you advise youths to embrace business and entrepreneurship?

I started business at the age of 16 by selling greeting cards and frames. Then, I sold soaps and detergents made by my mum.  It’s not too early or too late to start something and it is not too late to start all over because running a business needs special skills.

What schools did you attend?

I attended St Catherine Model School, Lagos, and Nesto College, Oyo. Then, I moved to Our Saviour Institute of Science and Technology, Enugu. I also have professional qualifications associated with my business. culled from punchng.com

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