Tina Ezenwenyi, CEO of Tinaz Artistry, is one of Calabar’s finest, young and most creative makeup artist. A graduate of University of Calabar who has turned her childhood passion of drawing and sketching into a business enterprise today.
She deeply understands the importance of looking good and in this interview she talks to Calabar Blog about running her own small business, the value of training and how passion can change your life.
- Can we meet you?
My name is Augustina Ezenwenyi, a native of Nnewi South in Anambra State. I am a graduate of University of Calabar with B.Sc. in Business Management. I am a very creative person by birth and nature. I love to arrange things in an orderly manner maybe that is why I am a professional makeup artist today. I am currently the creative director and managing director of Tinaz Artistry; a makeup studio brand in Calabar. Tina is from a family of 5 and I am second child.
- Why did you choose makeup?
Like I said, I’m a very creative person, I love to arrange things, I love to play with colours, I love to sketch and draw things. Makeup gives me the opportunity to express my artistic gift while offering value and making money. Makeup is a comfort zone for me, I don’t sweat to do a beautiful makeup job, and it comes to me naturally.
- When did you start?
I started professionally on the 2nd of June, 2017.
- At what point did you realize that you were going to do this fulltime?
I have always known I will be a CEO of my company growing up in a family where our parents were business owners; we learnt the act of business and trading from our tender age. Studying Business Management was very intentional. I tell people, the University is where you harness and develop your gift and talent. You don’t go to the University to just study anything. “Jamb gave me” “they gave me Chemistry” it’s an error to your destiny.
When I realized that makeup is around my passion, I had to develop a business on it and equip myself with all the necessary skills needed to stay afloat in the makeup industry in Nigeria.
- Did you attend a makeup school or class?
I attended severally classes. Talent is not enough. You have to acquire all the skills and love your talent to be the best. 10,000 hour rules says that you have to practice your talent for at least 10,000 hours to become an expert on that thing. So I have been on this makeup industry for 2 years and every day I still practice and develop my skill. Imagine where God will take us in the next 5 years with commitment, hard work and creativity.
- Do you currently train students?
We just had our second batch of graduation last week. Our overall students from our academy is up to 20 students so far, and we like the feedback from them.
- How does your academy operates and what is the success rate so far?
At our academy, we leverage on our very conducive environment that enables learning and we take our students on a journey of discovery and help them make firm decisions about their path to greatness in the makeup industry. We try to make them win in their minds and allow them see progress mentally before we embark on skills acquisition. Success is spiritual, until a man wins in his mind, he cannot win physically. So far, we have received remarkable testimonies and feedback from our students. Some of them have gone ahead to establish their own studios while some are trading on makeup items to raise capital.
- What are your favorite makeup brands and why?
Classic, H & E, LA Girl, MAC, ZARON. We have very good makeup items and tools in Nigeria, our industry has come to an age.
- Who are your customers?
Our target market is the slay queens and the makeup enthusiasts. People(girls and women) who want to look good to their occasions, weddings, corporate events, birthday photo shoot and party.
- What’s the craziest question a customer have asked you?
Can you deliver this job? I hear this question a lot when I started out but I have been able to build trust and confidence on my clientele, they now refer people to me.
- What has been the star moment of your career?
My star moment was connecting with my role model. Miss Joan Banner of Jogo’s touch. I enrolled for her professional class when she came to Calabar.
- What top makeup artist inspires you?
Miss Joan Banner inspires me every day.
- What do you find most challenging as a makeup artist generally? And how do you cope with the challenges?
Epileptic power supply in the country tends to increase operational cost and hence increase makeup pricing given the hours required for a perfect job.
- From your view, what would be the most vital resources needed by an aspiring entrepreneur to start a makeup business?
The number one critical success factor in this industry is the talent from there you can develop it into a skill, but the gap between talent and skill is finance. Makeup trainings are not cheap especially when you want to learn from the best hands.
However, money should not be a limitation as you can learn bits by bits with your phone on YouTube or Instagram, technology has made learning very easy for anyone.
- What are your business plans for the second half of the year?
We are launching our summer programme for teen from (18 – 22) in this August. Sometime in September, we shall launch our professional classes which will come with startup tool/kits for our participants. We want to support makeup enthusiasts with this platform in September. It promises to be very impactful. Interested participant can stop by our studio for more information and Registration.
- How do you relax?
I love to see movies and listen to good music. I engage in things that task my imagination and increase my creative juices that is how I rest and get refresh.
- Any advice to aspiring M.U.A?
It is not a walk in a park. Just believe in yourself and your talent, devote yourself to learn everyday and benchmark your performance with the best in the world, let customer satisfaction be your number one priority, don’t put money ahead at the beginning, be known first and money will pursue you everywhere.
- How can people connect with you (contact details and social media handles).