Taking Nigeria’s Organic Beauty Industry to Affordable Heights
Yejide Erogbogbo is a young passionate social entrepreneur who turned her nightmare into profitability. Yejide is the Founder of Eres Bella by Yejide Limited, an organic skincare company. In this interview with the Editor of The Total Entrepreneurs, Francis Nwokike, the 26 year old entrepreneur shared the reason she opted for the beauty care niche and her plans of taking organic beauty industry to affordable heights.
Please can you introduce yourself to my readers and fellow young entrepreneurs?
My name is Yejide Erogbogbo. I’m a Social Entrepreneur and founder of Eres Bella by Yejide. I have a BSc in Mass Communication from Redeemer’s University, Osun, and an MBA in Global Fashion Media from the International Fashion Academy, Paris/Shanghai.
Yejide Erogbogbo, Founder Eres Bella by Yejide
Tell us all about Eres Bella by Yejide?
Eres Bella by Yejide is a personal care product manufacturer. We specialize in Natural and Organic Hair as well as Skincare Products aimed for the global beauty market. Our products are cost-effective, high-quality and innovative.
Other services we offer include product retail and wholesale, customized/bespoke formulations for beauty brands and private labeling.
How did you build up an entrepreneurial spirit at such a young age, do you believe you were born with it or you developed it?
I’ve always been entrepreneurial. The spirit runs in the family and coupled with my upbringing. Right from a young age, I enjoyed being innovative and impactful doing things differently with a lot of creativity, expressing myself and taking on challenges.
All of these shaped me entrepreneurially.
Prior to your startup, have you any work experience?
I have 2 years’ work experience in advertising and public relations.
Where and when did you learn about beauty products?
My interest in beauty started from my own personal experience, dealing with acne when I was supposed to be past puberty. It was a life changing experience for me. Also, my mum became interested in natural and organic products, and she actually came up with the first recipe for our Brightening and Clarifying Body Wash range, made with African Black Soap. I improved on her recipe, researched loads of materials online and finally did a few short courses in skincare. The rest they say is history.
How long have you been into business?
About 2 years.
Is your Product meant for every class?
The amazing fact about our products is the affordability. Almost anyone can afford our products as one of the reasons we started was to bridge the gap between affordability and quality. Also, we had to educate customers that organic products could be effective and inexpensive because most people believe that if an organic product isn’t pricey, it wouldn’t work.
Eres Bella Products
What were the main challenges you faced at the early stages of your business?
I would say the most challenging aspect has also been the most rewarding. I developed the business skills needed to run a business during my time working in the corporate world, but I also needed to become an expert on skincare. It was actually a steep learning curve understanding how to address customers’ skin concerns. I launched this company because of my own challenges with severe acne that I struggled with for two years. Being able to help people transform their skin so they feel more confident and beautiful is very personal for me and is one of my proudest accomplishments.
And do you still encounter them to this day?
I have to thank God that it’s no longer the case now. These challenges have afforded me the opportunity to meet other dedicated beauty entrepreneurs and working with them has actually helped our separate businesses grow in amazing ways.
Are you the only one managing the business or you have other staff?
I have three people working with me.
If you could turn the time, what would you love to do in regards to your business?
I would have started earlier.
Wow, great. Well, this question might sound funny; do you think it is easy to be an entrepreneur?
This actually depends on how you define “easy.” It’s definitely more complex and intense, people tend to think being self-employed means you have a better work-life balance, but I would actually say it’s in fact the opposite. Your business becomes your baby. You can never turn it off or take a break. If you’re ready for this, then by all means, take the plunge. Looking back, I have no regrets – it’s the best thing I ever did!
Which books motivates you as an entrepreneur?
None. I think the best motivation comes from my own goals and ideas.
What keeps you going even in hard times?
My customers, with every review and testimony, I get this amazing push that truly makes me believe I can conquer the world.
What are your thoughts on entrepreneurship for young people – especially in an economy where jobs are hard to find?
Start small then scale up! Don’t just quit your job without a plan. Start with working on your goals and plans on weekends or nights. See if it works for you. When you are an entrepreneur there is no clocking in and out. It is a 24-hour job.
Start small then scale up! Don’t just quit your job without a plan.
How do you define success; do you you are a success?
Success to me is fulfillment, and I believe I am an epitome of success.
What do you think it takes to succeed in business?
A great idea, and working smart.
What two pieces of advice can you give to someone who wants to become an expert in their chosen field?
- Try to find a problem affecting people around you and provide a solution to it
- Believe in yourself first, don’t go about looking for validation from others
In one sentence, what advice will you give to my readers when it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur?
To be patience with the professional journey! If it weren’t for the hard work I put in during my early career, I wouldn’t have the work ethic I do now and for that, I’ll always be grateful.
That’s it guys, nothing should hold you down; believe in yourself and do not wait for people’s validation to start.
If you have such skincare issues like acne, looking to brighten your skin or seeking to solve similar skincare problems like Yejide and need advice, counseling or coaching, then you should contact her on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/eresbellabyyejide/