Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Project DONE- Series Three....

Sola Olamide Okeowo is CEO, Royalty Makeovers. A friend following stories on introduced me to S.O.O as I fondly call her. Considering her dual employment status, my friend thought she could be an interesting and unveiling participant of Project DONE. He sure was right. Alongside being Boss of Solmid-Roylaty, S.O.O is also a full time employee in one of Nigeria's most important public offices. During our pre-interview chat, we both had curious first impressions; it was senseless fixing another date for the interview. We carried on the gist immediately. I invite you into our conversation.

Q. Tell me a little about S.O.O

A. (Laughs) S.O.O ko, SOS niii. (Laughs again) Sola Okeowo is a graduate of Information Resource Management from Babcock University. She loves drawing and in general has a flair for creativity and artistic things.

Q. What does Solmid-Royalty do?

A. SOLMID-ROYALTY MAKEOVERS is an outfit dedicated to bringing out the beauty in every bride. We engage in Bridal makeover services such as Facial Makeovers, Hair Styling, Beauty Consultancy and Head Gear Tying. I also give formal trainings in all these.

Q. How long have you been doing this profitably?

A. Since 2006.

Q. In order to be clear, is your business solely dedicated to brides?

A. Yes. It’s dedicated only to brides.

Q. How did this all begin? Where did the inspiration or expertise come from?

A. The artistry came naturally. My mum was a heavy make-up person and I was the last of five girls. Growing up, every girl in my house had well carved out eyebrows; lovely painted lips, polished eyelids and well powdered face. I always asked questions and fancied knowing more about makeovers. Whenever my mum or elder sisters started preparations for outings, I was always asking questions. What’s the eye-pencil used for? What’s the mascara used for? What colors went together with the lipstick and eye-pencil? When they weren't making up, I was in their rooms, toying with makeup kits. So, I grew up in such environment. But, the discovery to my capability came in my 3rd year in Babcock University. Normally in school, we aren’t allowed to wear pronounced make-up but for a while, I had been taking the risk. Highly projected red lipstick, largely carved out eyebrows, blush filled cheeks and well styled hair. I scaled over administrative persecution many times but not loads of goodwill gestures. Friends always passed compliments about my makeovers and asked me to teach them how to do theirs. This for me was very inspiring and it went on for a long time. My most loving memory was making-up 5-6 girls on their Matriculation Day. With limited resources, everybody testified the girls turned out extremely gorgeous. I was praised so much and my future in makeovers was debated about several times.

 Q. So how come you are where you are today and not doing makeovers full time?

A. They say diversity is power. Plus, if I have means to multiply my streams of income, it’s only sensible I do so. Yes am currently surviving off both the informal and formal sector but truth be told, have never since my university days stopped doing makeovers. I love what I do. I probably just never concentrated on it full time. When I finished university, I needed some kind of job security. I wasn’t prepared to take the risk of starting up a business and taking all challenges alone. I might still not be. I hope to grow Solmid-Royalty but for now, I really need some kind of leverage. Solmid-Royalty is part time while my public sector job is full time. I never stopped or put a hold on Solmid-Royalty while searching for a 9 to 5 job. Seeking for a job then was a job on its own and Solmid-Royalty was also another job. I made money from Solmid_Royalty then to keep me going while searching for a guaranteed remunerating source. . I have big dreams and visions for Solmid-Royalty and don’t think such can be materialized in 6 years. However, each day, I feel I’m getting closer and closer to actualizing these dreams. More so, under the circumstance of our country, one needs as much leverage as one can get. I really enjoy both jobs and they don't in anyway conflict the other. I have made good money from Solmid-Royalty and also being paid well at my full time job.

Q. Hmmm…. Well I have talked to folks in the makeover industry who just less than 5 years have created a thriving and profiting brand image for themselves.

A. I have done quite similar. I might not be totally consistent with the industry but my jobs speak volume and are identified with. I get offers I turn down very often due to lack of time. A thriving and profiting brand Solmid-Royalty has achieved but it would have achieved more in 6 years if I gave it my full time concentration.

Q. What more?

A. I could by now have my own studio or be handling fashion shows, photo shoots and editorials internationally.

Q. So which sector has been more profiting?

A. (Breathes deep) Hmmmm, financially, Solmid-Royalty has been more profiting without a doubt. But in terms of leverage, job security and societal recognition, my full time work has done well. Also, from my full-time job, am guaranteed at the end of every month, no matter what, a reward. For now, Solmid-Royalty can't guarantee me that. Some months are totally booked but I then could go on 2 months after that with no job at all. Fingers are not that equal and for me, I need job security. I can’t bare the risk all alone. I’m consistently working towards certain goals for Solmid-Royalty and in the long run, when I have the resources and confidence, Solmid-Royalty would get to the level of my dreams. For now we not doing so badly.

Q. So why doesn’t Solmid-Royalty always pre-occupy you every month? Don't your jobs get satisfactory pass marks or referrals to get more jobs?

A. I don't think so. My pictures speak for themselves. I guess for me its mostly because of price. People hardly ever want to pay for the kind of service they require. And with the kind of products I use, I hardly settle for jobs that don't meet a certain standard. A lot of people come to me for jobs but they tend not able to afford service.

Q. So you turn down clients?

A. Yes. Some mostly because of time frame and inability to afford the services they require.

 Q. I see, so what kind of products do you use and what are your rates?

A. I use Sleek, Iman, MAC, Mary Kay, Tara and a host of very exclusive products. Rates depend relatively on a host of things- Location, Duration of Stay, Length of Event i.e. it’s a day event or a two-day event (engagement and wedding), number of wardrobe change etc. Nevertheless, the most cost effective service for a bridal makeover you can get from Solmid- Royalty is N35, 000.

Q. Are these products available here in Nigeria or are they…?

(Cuts in……Laughs) Sure they are.

Q. Oh ok.. I was just thinking why clients don't rather buy them for personal use and have your likes just pay for service?

A. Some do so but mostly not brides. Brides prefer tool kits of makeover artists.

Q. Do you currently have employed staff or at anytime during Solmid-Royalty's six-year duration employed anyone?

A. No. Not at all, it’s been only me. I have done trainings for loads of people and had friends and relatives as assistants and models, but never financially recruited staff.

Q. Tell me about your trainings and beauty consulting.

A. Yes. I do Makeover and Head Gear training and tutor these classes only on Saturdays. As regards beauty consulting, it’s relative and depends on that which one inquires about. Since 2006, I can’t count the number of trainings I have done formally and informally; both makeover and gele.

Q. So 6 years in this business, why have you still chosen to remain a full time employee and still be Boss of Solmid-Royalty?

A. Like I said earlier, there is power in diversity. Am just simply enjoying it and when the time is ripe and the resources are available; I’ll focus on solely concentrating on one. For now, I depend more on my full time work and need its leverage to work Solmid-Royalty part time until resources are available for Solmid-Royalty to actualize my dreams and aspirations.

Q. Why don't you have more vision and dreams for a career in your full time employment?

Solmid-Royalty is my first passion. It’s my love. Its what I indeed love doing. Its not a job for me, its more or less like an hobby. I love making Brides look gorgeous. Also through this hobby and passion, I would be able to transform lives. I would be able to empower people by teaching them these skills God has given me and then granting limitless opportunities to many by being part of Solmid-Royalty. We have so many jobless ladies out there and one of my dreams for Solmid-Royalty is to use it has a platform to empower women. If I can be supported to take Solmid-Royalty to the level my aspirations in terms of owing a studio probably and having some financial support, without a doubt, I would start today.

S.O.O’s argument in most parts of our conversation I found to an extent reasonable. Am very glad she has discovered herself and also identified specific strengths and weaknesses of her part time business but unhappy she has chosen to stop, conclude and settle for what she discovered and understands. She seems content with the restricting understanding and plans to work out growth from it. This is tough to achieve. Rather, it could hinder future goals and dreams of transformation when opportunity presents itself again. S.O.O’s perception of her strengths and weaknesses constantly dominates her mind and thus controls or should I say, hinders her actions.  Her expertise is capable of developing something greater than its present circumstance but is hindered by presiding self-conclusions of limited capacity and the lustful mirage of "two is more". The moment we fail to engage in repetitive self-discovery and re-evaluation and choose not to take up challenges and risks but bow to prevailing circumstances, we cripple individual and in the long run, societal productivity. In my view, S.O.O is a bit in that trap. She has discovered herself beautifully but as put a halt in continuously re-discovering her capabilities by taking risks. She needs to take some level of risks, if not any, at least calculated risks. Lets not rely on hope if we choose not to masturbate it into appearance. We can never know more than we are exposed to so in order to know, we have to be free-spirited, to an extent vulnerable, embrace opportunities and take risks.

To quit her present full time job and focus on Solmid-Royalty isn’t what am insinuating but the fact that she testifies to needing material resources for growth or expansion and not realising that commitment to her craft/expertise/skill in whatever she seeks to do is the greatest and most influencing value that would accelerate patronage and promotion makes me a bit unhappy. We are that which we seek. S.O.O is good in what she does and I would refer her any day any time.

Contact Name: Sola Olamide Okeowo
Telephone Number: 08028868110

Jide Alara.

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  1. GOD Will Continuoue To Bless The Works Of Your Hands.... GOD Bless Solmid-Royalty Makeovers

  2. YippeEeeee, my frnd yaff enter d internet =))º°˚˚˚°ºнaĦaнaº°˚˚˚°º‎​=)) . Like seriously dis is a gud one, so peeps if u need to hv agreat look for dat great day holla at solmid.

    1. Solmide Royalty Makeovers.....Hmmm, ​​​​​​​​​​​​i remember my first day of training, ​​​​i knew ​​​​i made d best decision, ​​​i had d best teacher. From theory to practicals, She takes her time with her students and ensures they understands every step. Her Skills and expertise are superb. Am proud to say she made me d Pro ​​​i am today.
      Kudos Boss

  3. Shola Okeowo God bless d works of ur hand.I 'll 4eva feel gud whneva I rememba dat dai u gave me a nu luk.gr8 makeova u did 4me.much luv.

  4. I'm proud of you my friend, keep up the good works. God bless Solmid

  5. Sholly sholly is on the Internet ooo. Great job we all knw that. Bless u

  6. Keep u the good work, d sky is ur limit.

  7. Hmmm! I've always believed in u... Keep movin gurl, you are almost there.. Asolly baby peperempe, peperempe.Lols. Kharisma Events

  8. My Beautiful Aunty , Really impressed with this blog about your company , god will continue to help you grow IJN .

  9. olushanu okeowo5 July 2012 at 07:38

    I am so happy for you baby sister. I pray that God should continue to raise you up and above in this profession. I am very proud of you, and I wish you all the best. You are doing a good job and I can't wait for you to do a makeover me.

  10. Solmid royalty is the in thing in town now,her makeovers are simply irresistible,I have known s.o.o like for ever now and am so proud of her not only because she is my aunt but because she is doin a good job. Well done sola,the sky is the beginning of ur limits..u will soar higher and higher in jesus name.

  11. So proud of u shola may God continue to increase you,may u attain all you heart desires and fufill destiny.God bless and keep you.Cheers!!!

  12. Shola, you are so amazing!!! Part of the make-up was done by solmid. She's awsome. please visit to see her work.


  13. Mr Dragg, in my opinion I don't think S.O.O is hindered in anyway as far as progression in her passion or business. It's just a matter of being honest to what society (Nigeria) has to offer in terms of living comfortably. Her full time job could serve as a platform for networking and clientale in order to actualize her dreams of Solmid, and we all know public/government job is somewhat an avenue to making it in our beloved country, depending on where she is. I don't choose to demean my argument with the corruption in our governing system, but we have an eagle's view of it and it can't be escaped. As far as Solmid goes, she's just going through a process where capital does not permit her to be where she wants to, and at the same time realizing she has to live, eat, and look good for both business and pleasure. There's a time frame to every success story and I believe she's crip walking (lol) straight to hers. It's ur boy Oludayo. Hola.....

  14. Hmmm true. She is content with the pace she claims to want to move in and believes someday, the messiah in resources would come. I believe that messiah which she seeks, she already has. Its her passion and skill and its limitless until personally limited. What do you think? Should we as Nigerians dare to take risks that could heal and transform our infections or continue to treat, nurse and live with them?

  15. Just one word! O! Banging!

  16. I have known her for a bit and I can say she's passionate about what she does. I can give a money back guarantee;not like she needs. Big UPS to Solmid

  17. Ioka-Ojo Gbolahan5 July 2012 at 14:41

    Solmid-Royalty no doubt is carving a niche out for itself in the beauty industry which connotes with its high level of ingenuity innovative mind of her C.E.O (Sola), a woman with an artistic mind to dazzle the minds of 'A Groom looking forward to see his would-be Bride'. No doubt, Solmid-royalty brings in a different facet to compliment the works of the Creator in putting a touch of royalty on her clients faces.I strongly recommend ladies to patronise her services, if only u wanna dazzle everyone and make your wedding a memorable one for yourself, Groom and everyone.

  18. I am not surprised to see this cos this babe is too much not to be at the top. A good work advertises itself. She has this way of transforming brides. I see you in places babe.

  19. Nice one shola,am impressed. ok it is certified ure a big madam. Lol. Kip up d good work.

  20. your passion for what you do is whats going to set you apart from the rest. just keep it up and the sky will definitely be the limit!

  21. Well done gal,keep up d good work...

  22. Proud of u girl,d sky is ur starting point..Ajede Blessing

  23. Shola us the only one I trust with my brows,lol,she's very good at what she does,more grease darling .

  24. Hmmm......intersting write up.Enjoyed every line & quite insightful too.Thumbs Up Solmid! No limitations dear and just keep pushing yourself beyond the limit;I know you havent even scratched d surface am lookin forward to seeing you on CNN some day.

  25. Hmm... Mr Dragg, I'm with u on dis one bt be easy on our gal. Tru out ur convo I c u were trying 2 bring out sth. We c it, we get d msg. I dnt blame dis young lady 4 not taking dat risk, u wanna put all ur eggs in 1basket in naija n watch dem break one after d oda? she mite ve bin tru sum stuf n can't share here. + she also sed she likes her 9-5 job. Let's leave it @ dat n let her good work speak 4 her. U go girl, u r almost der. Studio in a wee bit. *wink*

  26. Baby girl, the sky is a stepping stone, keep moving. Your good works are speaking. Thumbs up Royalty SOLMID!!!. Interesting & inspiring write-up. The 8-4 job is just to have something coming in as basic, keep the passion on, if everyone can look in and bring out what gives them joy, the rate of unemployment will be reduced.


    www just been paid
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  27. Aunty sholly... I am really impressed with how far you have gone. I remember the day you shared ur passion and inspirations with me (just like yday)... all I can say right now is well done!! Cus it takes a lot to turn a dream into reality.
    * I love that you pay attention details and you allow a persons personality reflect in ur work. So they don't get lost in layers of make up. Thanks 4 all the make up tips ;) you are the best and I doff my hat to you. Kudos!!

  28. “Big up” to S.O.O – Very Inspiring.
    My humble advice is that she follows her heart in her ventures (not so much looking at the £Profitability) and she will be surprised at where it will take her. So nice that you got to interview her. I like your style.

  29. Sinmisola Sanda (Simbaks Alasoke)6 July 2012 at 13:04

    Hey to be honest people Sola's make up is looks so real and foreign unlike other makeup that looks messy.she is banke meshida to me I will equate her to foreign makeup artists.sola please continue the good works you are a star out for sola on the front page of forbes magazine as a young and vibrant entrepreneur.God bless you dear

  30. waao, i finally got tru to dis site, after much trials, gues its been so busy cos evry1 is trying to say nice tngs bout solly-pomping. all i would say is Sola, the sky isnt even the start for u. you have what it takes to make an industry that would employ a lot of people, keep up the hard work and someday, dat studio we talked about will come to reality. i avnt forgotten that you still are a naughty girl o. winks. lv u. Tolu Jay.

  31. Solmid-Royalty Makeovers.....Hmmm, ​​​​​​​​​​​​i remember my first day of training, ​​​​i knew ​​​​i made d best decision, ​​​i had d best teacher. From theory to practicals, She takes her time with her students and ensures they understands every step. Her Skills and expertise are superb. Am proud to say she made me d Pro ​​​i am today.
    Kudos Boss

  32. I just hope as una dey pass all this lovey dovey compliments for S.O.O, una dey share to una facebook, myspace, and twitter pages also. She's indeed good at what she does sha but lets stimulate more, policy discussions amongst ourselves as much as we can to motivate societal growth. The solution is us; mostly us...we make up our society.

  33. I'm so proud of my friend and sister sholly sols!!! God bless u hun...x

  34. Inspiring. Give you kudos my friend. Keep it up. God Almighty will give you the grace to take Solmid to a greater height.

  35. Hmmmmmm!u are genius in dis sweet*kiss*, abinini is absolutely diff frm ability.God 'll continiuosly bless the works of ur hand. Keep it up.


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