Tiwalola Gbakinro is the CEO of Isle’ov Tea, a makeup artistry company based in Lagos Nigeria. The Diva-like yet humble personality of Tiwa attracted me to the very talented woman who started her journey just at age 14. She believes her soft and professional skills, the understanding of different facial structures, her ability to pay attention to her customers’ desires and continually exceeding her clients’ expectations plus her great personality are what makes her different from other makeup artistes around. Tiwa made me up for the site profile shoot (See profile for details).
Ladies and gentlemen, meet another great entrepreneur that I know, the future Nigerian Fashion Industry, Tiwalola Gbakinro
HIP: How/ when did u start Makeup artistry?
TIWA: I started makeup at a very tender age of about 14yrs old. I saw a music video on DSTV, I fell in love with the unique blend of multiple colors to create an artistic impression and I remember using my “pocket-money” to buy a black, blue and pink pencil and some other makeup then I’ll make everybody at home up! Including my elder brother…lol
HIP: What inspires you?
TIWA: As we grow, our tastes seem to change. What inspired me when I was a kid no longer do now and what inspires me now won’t probably last as well! Oh well!
HIP: What have you achieved as a makeup artist?
TIWA: I’ve had the opportunity to meet wonderful people, make them happy by what I do, and I’ve been able to make people happy by expressing what they want on their face. I’ve had the chance to convince people on how they look, that makes them more comfortable with themselves. Every face has its unique structure and once you understand and identify yours, you’ll know exactly what to do on it.
HIP: How many clients do you have on an average?
TIWA: I can’t really say per say, but a lot! I have some that are super-steady; they just want to look good no matter where they are going. They could almost ask me to start living with them…lol
HIP: Have you ever been discouraged?
TIWA: Discouraged? No! That doesn’t mean I’ve not faced extreme-challenges, but my love for what I do makes me see beyond what I face at that moment, so I don’t get discouraged, I get challenged, and I get better.
HIP: How much do you make averagely from doing Makeup?
TIWA: Can’t really put a figure out because there are diverse and intricate details to having a makeover, so my charges are solely based on the type of makeover my client desires…. But I make enough and my services are affordable.
HIP: What are d challenges you’re faced with?
TIWA: Competition in the industry. But my vast experience and artistic prowess have always made me standout among the crowd.
HIP: What motivates you to continue?
TIWA: Passion! I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the industry, I’ve always wanted to be known for the type of makeup I do, so I always feel as long as I want to the best, I’ll never stop working hard.
HIP: What makes you different from others?
TIWA: My soft and professional skills, understanding of different facial structures, my ability to pay attention to my customers’ desires and continually exceed my clients’ expectations… Plus, I’ve got a great personality.
HIP: What other businesses do you do apart from Makeup Artistry?
TIWA: I make beads too. It’s interesting.
HIP:Where is your favourite place in Nigeria?
TIWA: Sincerely, my home, on my bed! I work very hard, so when I get the chance, I just want to stay indoors, on my bed! I’m so in love with my bed… lol
HIP: Describe and Average Nigerian Youth
TIWA: Many Nigerian youths are hardworking, but they don’t read books. They need to be re-orientated. The average Nigerian youth is confused with the fact that Nigeria is super blessed with natural resources but poverty is actually everywhere. Also, an average Nigerian youth is intelligent, gifted, very passionate, and very energetic but lacks vision; not because they don’t want to see but because there are few or no dependable people, leaders or Mentors to look up to.
We need a wake up call for us to look beyond what depresses make a difference and us. We can have the picture of a desired future for ourselves. We can develop traits of personal leadership. We can stabilize our economy with our creativity. We need to make a difference so that our own children and children’s children will be able to dream from here and conquer the world.
HIP: When you look at the future of Nigeria with you in it, what do you see?
TIWA: I see a new generation of young folks who will refuse to allow the state of the Nation abort their dreams, but would rather dream, work-hard and turn Visions into Reality as we collectively transform Nigeria positively, create more jobs and evolve into True Leaders.
HIP: What do you wish to change in Nigeria?
TIWA: Our Leaders.
HIP: Are you are proud Nigerian?
TIWA: YES! I am.
HIP: Describe you in a sentence.
TIWA: I’m very friendly, caring, diligent, tenacious, motivated, hard-working, outgoing, dedicated, polite, trustworthy, responsible, ambitious, bold, social, honest, positively-driven.
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