InterviewStories was able to get across to Otaiku Yetunde Oluwabukola a natural beauty expert who happens to be the CEO of otaiku_naturals. She is a friend of Olaleye Nafisat Morenikeji of Namzafoods whose interview we have conducted at InterviewStories. She talks about taking good care of the skin and her journey into the beauty industry.
Can we know you?
I am Otaiku Yetunde Oluwabukola, CEO of otaiku_naturals. A student in the Department of Botany, University of Ibadan.
Which industry do you work in?
Skin and hair care industry or better still the beauty industry.
Tell us your journey into the beauty industry?
Well, my journey to organic products wasn’t predicted, I didn’t plan it, it just happened. It started when my friends begin to compliment my skin and hair and started asking what I was using.
What were you using?
Organics that I formulated myself, then it was just Facial cleanser then Black-soap.
Why did you formulate these organics yourself instead of using the regular ones?
I’m the type that loves looking good, I love been natural, I didn’t what to use any synthetic product that has adverse effects on skin, I wanted to make use of what was around me, and with the help of my parents and internet, of course, I came up with something that really works and with no side effects which were organic in nature.
Were you not scared of damaging your skin?
I wasn’t because I know my ingredients, they are natural and skin friendly.
How were you able to get those ingredients you used for the first time?
My mother and my boyfriend helped.
Why did you not keep using the product for yourself only?
Firstly it was because others wanted it too, they started requesting. Also, roughen face and skin is a common issue among most youths I could vividly recall how uncomfortable I felt whenever my face is rough, how in-confident I felt, others have these feelings too, so I decided to share my little discovery and make people feel comfortable and confident in their natural skin without bleaching or use what so ever harsh products.
How did you now venture into being CEO of otaiku_naturals?
Thank you, I noticed people were lazy about doing a homemade cleanser and soap not everyone could go through the stress so I decided to start making it for others and I will be paid in exchange.
So I picked up an existing brand name of my family (my parents are CEO of Otaiku Herbal Medicine for alternative therapy) which happens to be my surname. That was how I started.
Tell us your first experience selling the product?
Wow, it was accepted despite no label and proper packaging. I even got paid before I made the products. I used my first earned money to invest properly in it.
It was encouraging and as well as condemning. But then I decided to focus more on the encouraging path, just like the common saying ‘life is a phrase’ everything has stages.
What is the difference between selling as an individual and selling as a brand?
Selling as a brand is more official and formal, it will expand your business in a short while and give it respect. It also earns your business more recognition and trust from your customers. While selling as an individual will not earn much respect, sales are always fewer and mostly from family and friends.
In addition to this, selling your own brand is the best, it your future investment and sure it has more gain. It is a long-lasting sale. It could also be inherited.
How did you establish your brand otaiku_naturals?
Just as have said earlier, I came from a herbal home, not traditionalist, my parents are into herbal medicine, and I have been much exposed to naturals right from time, if just like a stepping stone for me. So I decided to grow on the family business and widen its course. That how otaiku_naturals was established.
How much did you start with?
I actually started with ₦300.
Was that not too small?
Yh u will think it is, I started with ingredients common around me, ingredients common and very effective but inferior to us all. My first package was in a perfume bottle. That was it; I actually didn’t have much capital when I started.
How old is otaiku_naturals?
It will be a year in May 2019.
Do you work alone?
Yes I do.
Why do you work alone?
I am still a student and still learning.
How many people regularly purchase your products?
I can’t count, God has been so good An estimate of 5 people in a week.
Tell us products at otaiku_naturals have?
- Facial cleanser
- Natural black soap
- Glow body lotion
- Organic body butter
- Glow oil
- Face cream
- Moisturizing hair cream
- Black soap shampoo
- Natural leave-in conditioner
- Hair growth serum
- And Natural oil e.g carrot oil, lemon oil, orange peel oil, papaya oil, olive oil etc
Tell us about your products and who can use them?
Our products are 100% organic plant-based formula. They can be used by all; newborn babies, toddlers, youths and adults. Since they are made with natural ingredients bestowed to us by God for our use.
How can one take care of the human body?
Firstly, you need to cleanse yourself from microbes present in our environment. It is always advisable to bath twice a day in the morning and at night. At night, always ensure to use a mild facial cleanser before bed. And in the morning, ensure to use a sunscreen on your body before heading out, this is to prevent your skin from damage from the exposure to the sun. Ensure to eat healthy and balanced food and get at least 8hours sleep each day. Drink a lot of water to detoxify your skin.
Any beauty tip or advice for us?
Never pop a pimple, never go to made bed without cleansing your body and face, never be careless about yourself and also never leave your pillowcase unwashed.
Always use the right products, ensure good personal hygiene, be consistent with your beauty routine and allow your skin to breathe once a while( i.e not always apply heavy make up).
What problem do you face at otaiku_naturals?
Customers are not patient enough. Some people are always in haste to have their face all smoother in seconds which do not work that way. Everything takes time, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I face challenges in explaining this to some of my customers. They tend to forget that this is organics and not magic. Some clients find issues inconsistency, which I always pinpoint. Also, some organic materials are rare and not found here in Ibadan. Getting original essential oils and not diluted ones is another problem, that why I extract some of the essential oils myself so that the quality would be maintained.
We are also faced with the problem of Implements and tools used in making production easier, faster and more productive. Most implements are expensive and not common for example the stick blender which is mostly shipped in.
How can these problems be solved?
Supports, sponsorship, investors and partnerships. Yes, if we are financially buoyant, we could maintain quality raw Materials, ship in implements, improve our customers’ service and educating them more effectively.
How do you plan to get all these solutions to workout?
These are part of the means I plan to do. I plan to write proposals to some certain influential people and join a cooperative society. I also plan to save more and of course, I will surely Pray to God for helpers.
What advice do you have for new startups?
Never give up, keep trying new things, keep the standard no matter what, keep learning more, always read more about your ingredients, life is a phase don’t get beat down, you will get there and pass there, keep growing. Thank you.
Do you have any role model in this business?
Oh yeah 3 of them. They are: Anike_naturals, organicsbymide and Afropelo Haircare.
Why do you see them as a role model?
Have seen some couples of naturalists in Instagram have them different and unique among others
CEO of Anike_natural is just 23years old yet her products are so classy and well packaged, I like the way their adverts and brands when you see her products you sure think they are imported, she’s formal, young and a graduate.
Organics by mide: Her products are captivating, she’s so creative with are things and she’s very jovial even in relating with her customers
And lastly, Afropelo haircare: She’s a fresh graduate of the University of Ibadan, she has been very helpful to me, her products to are of high extreme, she’s smart and very creative
Does every entrepreneur need a mentor and why?
Of course, we need mentors. So that we can be better, and have whom to look up to, having a mentor makes you want to improve fast so u can meet them and probably pass them.
What is most important for you as an entrepreneur?
Putting a smile on my client’s face, for them to look at me and say thank God I met otaiku_naturals. Customer’s satisfaction.
Do you plan to continue with otaiku_naturals in the future?
Of course yes.
How can people get otaiku_natural products?
Do you have other anything to say?
otaiku_naturals is just starting, just stay with us. thanks to everyone that contributed to this growing brand. I would also like to specially appreciate my host, the person of Ifeoluwa Oseni (InterviewStories) thank you for having me.