Niki Ogbuefi, popularly known as Niki.O., is one of the female celebrity stylists in Lagos who have been into beauty business for five years. Her salon betrays her love for class and sophistication and provides a personalized experience.
A visit to the outfit is a soul lifting experience. Her success did not just happen, but as the result of hard labour and work ethic.
She is very optimistic about life and gains something from negative experiences. Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly, Niki.O. told us how she made her mark in the world of beauty.
You had a good business year in 2015, how did you do it?
2015 was a great year because as the year went by we knew our customers more and were able to carter to them uniquely. We also spent quality time redefining our craft and skills and looking forward to 2016.
Going further in 2015, what was the turbulent experience you had?
One of the challenges of 2015 was poor power supply. We spent so much on diesel. If we can have regular power supply, things will be better. 2015 was quite challenging as many people complained but to God be the glory, we made it to 2016 and we should be grateful to God.
How would you describe the current Nigerian economy, has it affected your business?
I think everyone is struggling at the moment but I have faith in our system. I believe things will get better. You should also understand that many people prefer to go hungry to not taking care of their looks. People spend more on their looks because they believe that’s what defines them. Even with the bad economy people make their hair and take care of their skins. So it has not really affected our kind of business and we thank God and pray for an improved economy.
As a business woman, do you think the year looks brighter?
I think 2016 is going to be beautiful. Though I cannot see beyond now but we started well and we believe God will always see us through.
Where were you trained in this business?
I trained in UK and Belgium. I did a course in salon services.
Have you been able to impart the knowledge to your staff?
Yes, we do a lot of training because training is key. Every season, things evolve and if you are not on it, you might be left behind, so we do up to five trainings in a year.
Looking at those who run beauty business, do you think it can really pay bills?
Every business can pay bills depending on the way you run it. Though there are challenges in Nigeria in the area of electricity, aside that, if you have good staff and a fantastic team, you can make it. The beauty industry in Nigeria is blooming but needs sanitization; the stylists, the make-up artists, the staff, every aspect of this business.
How would you want the government to assist in making salon business the economic backbone of Nigeria?
First, there should be a training school because a lot of people look down on stylists, technicians, makeup artists. There should be good schools where people can go for vocational training or even full time school where people read it as a course.
Abroad, you could see people with masters in some courses we neglect here. We could take off those boys and girls in the street and train them and it goes hand in hand with the movie industry. Women make their hair every week because they want to look beautiful, they make up every time to parties, they fix and polish their nails, they fix their eyes. In fact, it’s a huge market.
What are the services Niki.O. render?
We make hair, we do facials, we do body scrub, we do nails, hair cut, pedicure, manicure, eye glow, waxing, massage, you name it; we do it. It’s a unisex salon open for men, women and children.
How affordable are your services?
It’s very affordable compared to other salons in Lekki, Lagos.
Within five years in business you have Niki.O. on the lips of Nigerians, how have you been able to do that?
We thank God. It’s all by His grace and we give Him all the glory. Our customers are like our kings, our queens and we treat them with ultimate respect. We love our customers and we show them love. We communicate with them and we try as much to render fantastic service to our customers and my staff are doing pretty well.
Have do you cope with competitors?
Anybody who knows me know that I am a very competitive human being not in the negative way but in the positive way because I believe if there is competition, there is always room for improvement. There is always room for one million salons in this Lagos and I don’t have problem with that.