Debo Alao is a certified cosmetic formulator and medical aesthetician who believes so much in the power of plants and how they can solve skin and hair challenges. Let’s read up on her story.
Tell us about Yourself
My name is Debo Alao. I’m from Kwara state, Nigeria. I am a graduate with a BSc in Biochemistry from the University of Ilorin, I am also a business strategist, cosmetic formulator and medical aesthetician. Debo Alao is the
Founder of Joya Supplies. And also a medical aesthetician and Head Formulator at Beauty by Joya.
I believe so much in the power of plants and how they can solve skin and hair challenges. I train individuals on how to build a beauty brand and make their products from scratch. I have also worked with popular brands like Tecno, Oppo, Credit Direct, V-Bank, etc. This vast experience with businesses in different sectors has equipped me in spotting opportunities in various sectors, marketing, building brands and brand campaigns, channelling what one loves into building a profitable business, etc.
I am a recipient of the TR Leadership Hub award for Most Industrious Leader, the BSG’s TARA award (powered by Business Study Group, Abuja), and the Sam Obafemi Behavioural Change Academy (SOBCA)’s emotional intelligence certificate and also the Author of the book titled “Fungal Acne: What Beauty Brands Are Not Telling You”.
What does your business do and how it started
My business, Beauty by Joya improves self-esteem and mental health in men and women by offering natural skincare and haircare products that cater for their skin/ hair challenges.
BBJ started with a little accident that I had using a lotion containing harmful ingredients. It made me too light that my veins became very obvious so it was hard to control but with only Cocoa butter, I was able to repair my skin back to its former state with no scars left behind. I followed up with more research out of my desire to help others and this led to the birthing of BBJ.
How do you solve your customer’s challenge?
We manufacture natural products for skin, hair that meets various skin challenges, specifically acne, hyperpigmentation, ageing and hair loss. We also offer skin treatments that attend to areas where topical products can’t reach e.g. Collagen infusion therapy, Chemical peels, skincare therapy etc.
Who are your ideal customers?
Men and women of age 25-40 who are health conscious and desire to improve their skin or hair the natural way.
Can you describe/outline your typical day?
I wake up to thank God and say my affirmations into my day. I go online to check for emails or messages from my colleagues or clients. Then I resume the office to create content for our social media pages, other times I am manufacturing products that are out of stock. After the close of business, I relax with a comedy series, make dinner, chat with my friends, spend time with my family, say my prayers and then go back to bed.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I get to see them only in the morning and evening. It hasn’t affected me badly, on the contrary, being around them has helped my mental health and built my confidence for days when I felt like I was ready to give up. It’s just on some days that I’m away from home for business reasons and don’t get to see them as often as I used to.
What motivates you?
The fact that I’m African motivates me. I’ve learned to see the strengths that lie in me as an African and have channelled it to build motivation to keep on going. Black is undefeatable; Black doesn’t crack!
What is your greatest fear?
I fear that I won’t be able to access the resources I need to hit my goals and aspirations as they come. Guess that’s how big they are 101!
How do you define success?
Success is when you’ve done exactly what God has sent you on earth to do.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
That would be when I create new formulas and actually make them in the lab.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would not attend every seminar or course that is advertised to me. I would settle down to have a good understanding of where I’m going before seeking knowledge that would be relevant to do them.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
1. Emotional intelligence
3. Learning to be okay with being alone
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Mrs Tara Durotoye. I love her story, and how she has been able to navigate the challenges she’s faced and come out on top.
What advice would you give to people who want to become entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship is a process, not an escape route from poverty. Be ready to go through the process and keep being solution-driven
What is your favourite book?
My favourite book is The Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
I would title it, “The girl named Debo”
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