Category Archives: Fashion

TESTAMENTS OF SHALZMAKEUPGEEK Part 6- How he took it.

Hey you Prosper! I’m happy to be alive today and share that life with awesome folks like you. How was your week? Mine was busy and filled with God’s favour.
 So straight to it from last week into some more personal stuff like i promised. How did The Husband take my decision to face Makeup as a business? I can’t begin this without mentioning the kind of person that dude is. Simply put, he likes Book! As in, He’s such an intellectual and a junkie for formal and informal education.
 Before we tied the knot, this my up-and-coming guy had already begun to save for an MBA for me or something of the sort that was going to cost over one million naira. He was willing to invest in me . When he told me about it, I was like…what the??? To say the least,He was shocked and disappointed at the same time at my lack of excitement at his revelation, afterall, he was going to be responsible for the fees. I surely seemed like a ‘serious-minded girl’ , so what serious-minded-21stcentury-ambituous girl wouldn’t be excited at such thoughtfulness? Me- Shalom!

In my head, I was like dude give me that money, Amma start up my beauty business and multiply it in no time. You’d be even prouder brother!  But I did not say any of that, i had that monologue just in my head. Instead of speaking it all up, I cowardly recoiled into a newly fabricated imaginary shell because I was afraid of being a disappointment to this awesome scholarly bobo God had gifted me with my makeup-artist ambition (I mean I didn’t know how lucrative the business could be, I didn’t know how much a good makeup artist could earn, I just loved the idea of expressing my artistic and creative inclination and being paid for it. ) Obviously He had thought too scholarly of me. Scholar dude thought he had found a fellow scholar and he would help me achieve more “schorlastical” milestones and we would have pretty scholar children and live scholarly ever after.(OK shoot me if I use that word one more time)


Basically I had to admit it, I was ashamed to admit to my boyfriend (at the time) that his ambitious girlfriend’s only ambition (at the time) was to become a makeup artist. I didn’t think it was such a hard thing to say but it was . I knew he has very lofty expectations of me and I didn’t want that to change yet, It would be scam to hide anything that sensitive from him till after we got married.
I wasn’t proud of my ambition because it didn’t look as promising as having an MBA  looked. I was wrong. I wasn’t supposed to feel that way!  Why did I? Summary is I hadn’t done my homework. If I had, I’d have been tall and proud.

 So back to the story, I told him. Yes, before we got married. He knew of my interest in makeup but was surprised that I was so keen on it that I considered it for business. He wasn’t disappointed (at least he didn’t express that…lol) But he criticised my idea, I would have been surprised if he didn’t. But he made it obvious he did so because he needed to be sure of what I wanted-basically. This made me go back to my drawing board and do some research (A wise man wants to know that his companion isn’t perpetually confused ladies, have a plan)

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We made a pact that if I was going to do anything, I had to be excellent at it and we were going to begin by finding the best school to have a good start. He promised to support me.  I didn’t need a prophet to tell me I had winner, a quality man. But beyond that, I had learnt something, for anyone to buy your idea, first buy it yourself with full payment. And so my journey as a makeup artist began!
 Be prosperous Prosper, it’s in your DNA.

TESTAMENTS OF SHALZMAKEUPGEEK Part 5- my self-discovery struggle

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Hiya Prosper! Compliments of the season to you! I’m grateful we made it here today 12th December, are you? I’ve looked forward to this day all week –I mean the time to sit here and simply type my heart out to you. You have become a very vital part of my weekly life you know.

I want to apologize that I kept you hanging (yesterday) Friday. Earlier today, I got a mail from a friend saying “Shalommm, no post yesterday?? What hapun?”  As much as I got gingered to stop being lazy and get on here, I felt very elated that there are people who look forward to reading my posts! Awww  I thought it was sooo shweet!! Hehe , then the more interesting part is No running away for me.

So!How was your week Prosper? Can you take a minute or two now to pray about the coming week and how you want it to look like.  Recall what I shared with you last week, I want to know, is there any experience(s) you’ve had (long ago or recently) that looking back now, you realize that it was a preparation God was taking you through for a greater assignment or vision like I shared last week? Please share with me via comments here or even send me a mail ritashalom@yahoo.com . I’d love absolutely love to hear from you!

Today, I’m going to talk about some of the struggles that came with my passion discovery. You people discover their calling or purpose differently. There are those who have an early discovery, then there are the late bloomers, then there are those who need a lot of assistance with discovering what they’re called to do. People say I was an early bloomer, I’m not sure I was, but I think that’s because I had such high expectations of myself. Whatever category you fall into, i realize that a lot of us have to deal with the pressure of convincing our family and friends who have watched us grow, that we’re “finally” passionate about something and that we can turn that passion (no matter how hilarious it might seem)  into a means of livelihood and we won’t be broke.

When I told you guys about my background, remember I also said I knew I was never designed for the corporate world, that was probably the only thing I knew for sure about my life at 16. So that certain, next thing I knew was that I was not going to be a commodity provider but a service provider. Why? I had always been a “handy-girl”, loving to create and re-create stuff and simply explore with my mind and hands. So service it was! That was all I was sure of, I didn’t know what exactly, but I had a strong artistic inclination that was sort of fashion/beauty…ish . With some exposure, I discovered makeup artistry and couldn’t wait to be able to explore.

Now as a student, I immediately made resolution to finish school with excellent grades as proof to the people who cared about me that whatever I chose to do as career or business, (significant or not)wouldn’t be as a result of academic frustration, but completely my choice.  Anyway, I was glad I didn’t have to deal with any of that till I was done with my first degree.  Makeup  wasn’t so cool or popular, at least not in the environment I grew up. I didn’t know how much one could make from being a makeup artist,  there was no Aunty or Madam who I knew that I could point at and say to my Mum that I wanted to be like . I just did not want her to feel like she had wasted her hard earned money on my school fees.  I can’t forget her reaction the first time I said mentioned it with the corner of my mouth; “ehnn ? God forbid! So you will now throw away your 2;1 and be dressing people up” I didn’t even try to push it a second time. My parents and almost everyone I knew had expected me to become a lawyer (something I had not even the tiniest interest in), then I studied linguistics not even the law they tried to voodoo upon me. That was disappointment numero uno…then I imagined how even more disappointed they would be when they heard I wasn’t even interested in a 9-5 job.  I needed to take lessons from someone who had been in my shoes before and how they dealt with it. I would spend days wondering how musicians, comedians and all those “unserious” people managed to break the news of their self-discovery to their family especially their parents.

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“You’re joking right??”
The look you give your child when He comes home to tell you he wants to be a policeman after you’ve spent over N10M on his education.

Clueless as I had become, I just took the subtle approach of getting on with life the typical way everyone expected me to – get a job. I got a small job as front desk before going for youth service while still planning and seeking to develop myself in Makeup artistry. Somehow, I didn’t take my mum’s disapproval too seriously; I just felt that when the time was right, it wouldn’t be an issue.

Next Friday, I’ll finish this up on an even more personal level. in other news, My church is moving to a new location tomorrow and I’m as excited as a little girl expecting new clothes. I’m fresh from Shiloh and full of expectations in this new week, exhausted from this past week so I can’t wait. Plus I’m looking forward to Christmas.  Have a sweet holiday season as the day approaches. Be kind to one another, and even more, be Prosperous for surely you are!

TESTAMENTS OF SHALZMAKEUPGEEK PART 4- My Learning Process

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Hi Prosper! I’m getting used to spending my Fridays sharing with you, and that helps me because it makes me more sensitive to the things that happen to me and around me, which I hear is good for one’s spirit. So, how was your week?
Mine was challenging, but splendid too. Many things! I began the week somewhat sad as it was the week of my Dad’s transition and it came with the saddest and fondest memories of Him. Then my Studio rent was due..ghenghenn…we all know that feeling when you have to make a debit of bulk money from your savings at once, I mean I was tempted to tell the Landlord, “Oga I’m allergic to bulk debits, can I pay it in 20 installments?” But most of all I’m bursting with gratitude from God because it is only someone who He has blessed with a viable business that can worry about rent o my dear. Then I took loads of pictures this week as you can see(batting my lash less lids) Hehehe, I was feeling fly with my new Crochet braids that everyone thinks is a weavon.
Ok! With the occupational background I had, I know that God was simply building me to be fit for what I am now and what I’m going to be. He knew just what my strengths and flaws were and exactly how to give me all the training I needed to have. Did you read my last post? Please try to biko, it will help you follow better in this one. Continue reading

TESTAMENTS OF SHALZMAKEUPGEEK Part 3- My Journey

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Hey Prosper, how are you today? How has your week? I’m here having a mini melt down from disappointment in many of our “Naija Style” Black Friday promise­-and-fail online stores. God is watching all of them on 3D. After promising us 90% off and then…poof!!!April fool in October!

So , I got a bunch of awesome feedbacks (is that even correct grammar?feedbacks kwa!) from you guys, thank you oh so much! It took so much self-motivation for me to begin writing again, so right now, your feedback is like party jollof rice to my soul.

On Friday last week, I started giving you a little insight into my background about my wakeup call into entrepreneurship. So here’s the continuation. By the time I was out of school, I was posted to Katsina State for my service year, against Mumsy’s wish and mine. She had tried to influence my posting to Lagos or somewhere still on the face of the earth but somehow, when I heard how much this guy had charged her to do it, I called him (behind the scenes) and told him to let it be. I have always been an adventurous person so I just wanted to see how my life would play out at the time, leaving everything for God. I developed a personal philosophy quite early in my life that, if I started a new phase of my life by ‘self-lobbying’ then I better be ready to ‘self-lobby’ all the way and not suddenly start depending on God when d matter go hook me since I failed to do so from the start. I cried shaaaa! My recovery song was TY Bello’s “The land is Green” . I listened to that song it until I purged .

I was posted to work at Diamond Bank for my service year, and as much as some of my friends thought I was lucky, I was depressed about it. How I wan take sell my market na? I had silently looked forward to a teaching job first because I have this love affair thing for teaching,  and then my selfish reason that  I would have good time on my hands to be the bead maker that I was. As far as I was concerned, God was wasting my time. Oh, how wrong I was! Now I know better that because I sucked at marketing, and customer relationship, He placed me in the center of it all to learn. He just put me there and said, Shalom, survive and learn right here or faint and learn. Whichever way, you will learn. He was setting me up to run an enterprise, and then build an empire. He was building my capacity for my purpose. He still is! He had blessed me with skillful hands, hands that loved to make art and create beautiful things out of basic things, but just having a skill or talent is never enough to create wealth. I needed to learn a lot that my first degree in Linguistics had not given me back in 2006. I had plans to spend my service year making beautiful jewelry and then sell, but like my good friend Weyinmi says, Man proposes, God Laughs! God doesn’t set us up for small things; He takes us step by step till we’re fit to handle big things.

I eagerly looked forward to what was up next for me after my year in KT. I started to feel very restless about beading, since I knew from the start that I was only doing it temporarily, It didn’t surprise me when I lost interest in it and started giving out my tools. Now done with service, I wasn’t going to look for a job, I wanted to create one for me and more people. But I was NOT going back to sit at home clueless. I got a job I had reluctantly applied for in an “ajebutter” school to work as the PA to the Directress of the school – those were some of the saddest days of my post-nysc life o. Why? Apart from the fact that my boss was not my favorite person, I felt underutilized, like I could do better than what my responsibilities were. But again, remember what I said, that was God taking me step by step molding me to be fit for what he had planned for me.  Take note of the order of events, associations, and environments you are or have been, they are pointers to a larger picture of where God is taking you to. Usually it makes more sense afterwards, or as progress is made, and then you would go like Ahaaaa…this is why so so so happened! I bet some of you can relate with that.

I spent about 6 months in my ajebutter school and got a job in another  school as School Administrator where although my paycheck was slimmer than the previous but I experienced more fulfillment. Now notice the order I like to point out, God took me through several levels of active training –

  1. Marketing and Customer Service at the Bank to deal with my horrible negotiation skills when I was eventually fit to begin a proper business.
  2. P.A to the School owner to make me learn closely from someone who was running a successful  business and educational institution which I dreamed someday to have but as a Makeup School.  I learnt many things I wanted to be and didn’t want to be from watching her run her business. He was preparing me to run my Sunday and so I needed these lessons. God didn’t care whether I liked her or not, she was part of His lesson plans for me, and you know how you hate some subjects but have to pass it anyway to get to the next level.
  3. School Administrator in the best and most challenging working environments I ever experienced. I had to run the affairs of the school , sometimes with directions from my boss and many times, I had to use my discretion and total dependence on God’s wisdom. I had to supervise care for the most personal and precious possessions people have- children. I learnt how to deal with conflicts and how to be sensitive to the most vulnerable individuals.

 

Ok guys, In my next post, I’m going to be sharing how all these experiences summed up to create a foundation for me to be an Entrepreneur, a makeup artist and an entrepreneur. Do you know someone who this blog might inspire? Please help to expand this awesome community by sharing this link with them.
As usual Prosper, feel free to drop your comments, questions or anything you want me to talk about as we take this walk together. I want each post to be as entertaining and inspiring for you as it is for me.
I’m beginning the weekend hoping it will be relaxing and eventful at the same time. Meanwhile, I believe God for a vacation soon in a very ghenghen place, we’re long overdue for one. Hehe diaris nothing too hard for my God! What do you believe for this weekend. Speak it and see it. And as you go, Be Prosperous, for surely you are!

Love Always

Shalom (SHALZMAKEUPGEEK)

 

TESTAMENTS OF SHALZMAKEUPGEEK part 2. On a less serious note

On a less serious note: my wake up call to the world of entrepreneurship.

Hi Prosper (yes, get used to it, that’s my special name for you, because that’s Gods plan for you- to prosper in whatever you do )

So, how was your week? And how is your new week going to be? (I just stole my Pastor’s pick-up lines…hehehe). Anyway, that is to make you reflect on the blessings of this past week no matter how little they seem to you, and then ‘ginger’ you to create the week to come with the right words.

Now I have a lot I want to share with you, but chill first, I believe that some of you guys are still getting to know me , so I don’t want to be barging into your lives with all the abracadabra of how to build successful makeup or beauty businesses and stuff…even if that’s what I want to go on this walk with you. So I thought it would be nice to share a bit of my story with you especially from my first attempt at entrepreneurship. Who knows, someone might pick an inspiration from it, so fingers crossed.

I began my journey as an Entrepreneur somewhat unconsciously, but totally aware that I was going to end up being one all along. I knew I wasn’t cut out for a routine ‘office tins’ lifestyle. A friend said I thought that way because at least one of my parents was an entrepreneur.

I was 17 and I had lost my Daddy a year before, my Momma had all 5 of us to take care of,  and we were all in the university at the same time! Mumsy was running a lace and asooke business that was doing very well prior to Daddy’s departure, but  barely anything was left of it as she hadn’t  gone to her store for about a year in order to attend to Daddy.

I was a bit young but not unaware of how hard it was becoming for her to meet up with demands from all 5 of us at the same time while in school.  This was My wake-up call to the world of business . I thought it would be great for all 5 of us to find something good to do with our hands to reduce her burden. But being the youngest, I knew it wasn’t my place to tell my siblings what to do, but do what I thought was right by beginning myself.

My first uncertain steps involved learning to bake , but I thought I would either eat all my cakes or just make them for free because I didn’t know how to charge my friends for anything. (Believe me, that is not a challenge anymore, I will even charge you for popping your pimple, you know that’s a joke abi?) Next thing, I started teaching myself to make beads. I recall starting my bead business with a certain 4000 I had lied to my mother about as I thought she wasn’t going to support my move to begin a business while studying. Now, I knew I was only beading temporarily, but I needed to keep doing it till I was sure of exactly what I loved to do.  I beaded jewelry for quite a long time and made quite some good amount of money before graduating and then service. Mission was accomplished, I had been able to reduce my money request calls to Mumsy by about 50%.

I want to finish this gist but my crazy but dear friend Tina called me last week to “warn” me sternly about how long my last post was for people like her who don’t like to read . She will kill me for this one if I don’t stop now, then she will kill me for mentioning her name, so that’s 2 killings!

But I won’t leave without reminding you of what you should be this week…Be Prosperous for surely you are!

Love always,

Shalom (  SHALZMAKEUPGEEK)

TESTAMENTS OF SHALZMAKEUPGEEK part1

Hi, my name is Shalom Stephen-Ojj AKA Shalzmakeupgeek . I’m a makeup artist but most of all a Makeup Educator. I absolutely relish any opportunity to glam up a client or model, but most especially, I am even more fulfilled when I have an opportunity to transfer the knowledge I have gathered over time to aspiring or practicing makeup artists through teaching.
This post won’t be complete without me making an admittance, because the whole purpose of all posts that will come up here is to take as many people as I can up this ladder of entrepreneurship I’m climbing – I have been procrastinating picking up blogging as an obligation, in spite of the fact that I have a huge flair for writing (people say I write like I talk, I’ve stopped seeing that as a flaw but as a great gift).
Now what was has been my biggest discouragement from picking up blogging? I knew that if I wanted to blog, I wouldn’t be doing it for the bucks, so I needed to focus on areas that I would be passionate about, but at the same time, not already over flogged areas like makeup artistry which is my field.

I knew there had to be a way I could reach out to more people than doing one face at a time, and much more than teaching a group of 10 students per makeup training program at the school, but I have always EARNESTLY desired a message!I remember the days I would kneel down and pray, “Lord, I know make up is such a vain profession, but that’s one of the special gifts you gave me, please show me how I can use this gift to your glory”. So typically,I would gladly oblige to any opportunity to offer my services, especially in my church without charge, as I see it as service to God which it actually is. Not that I think so differently now o (so hollup with the judging …hehe) but my point is I have a better understanding of many other ways to serve God using this beautiful gift that’s so similar to what God does- beautify people!

I will eternally be grateful for the day STEPHANIE OBI, (amazing counselor) spritzed into the studio for a makeup session through a referral from my friend Jennifer of Yanga Beauty , she is God’s medium to me in this aspect of my life-I mean the hunger to reach out to more people with my gift. She probably will never know that I have her name stored on my phone as STEPH FROM GOD…lol.

So my tutorials or testaments as I love to call them, would not be focusing just on teaching or sharing about the skill of makeup, because obviously that is being beautifully explored by many of my colleagues, but it will be about something i think is soooo important but overlooked- BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL MAKEUP BUSINESS(Starting up to Sustaining it).
I’m going to be borrowing the experiences of other makeup artists who have gone ahead and would be gracious enough to be of help, because a myriad of lessons will make this experience even richer, and so I’m not going to be depending on mine alone.  So get your friends and colleagues over here to share, after all, the more the merrier abi?

Pleaaase, Stay closeby as you guys are going to be the only reason for me to go ahead on here. Hugs and kisses in advance for being such huge supporters.

Most importantly, be prosperous for surely you are meant to be!

…love, now and always,
Shalom (shalzmakeupgeek)