Leaving a secure job and venturing into the “dangerous” waters of entrepreneurship is no easy task. Even renowned entrepreneurs advise that one should think and plan thoroughly before making that move, with some throwing words like “you can be your own boss while at your job” or “entrepreneurship is not for everyone” just to make sure people don’t get carried away by the perceived outer beauty of entrepreneurship.
One of Nigeria’s finest makeup artists, Joan Banna of Jojo’s Touch made the move at age 21 (brave right?) leaving a secure job as a chemical engineer without any formal business education or makeup training to start her makeup studio. She is our Beauty #WCW feature today and she proves that when you’re a go-getter, absolutely nothing can stop you!
I had the opportunity to chat with her and my favourite quote of her’s is the advice she’s given our BellaStylistas who’re young entrepreneurs, “Be consistent and persevere”, work hard but remember to also work smart.
BellaNaija Style: Tell us about your first encounter with makeup?
Joan: My first encounter with makeup dates back to 2009 when one of my sisters got married. I was known as the makeup person in the house so it was my duty to take care of the bride and her girls.
Makeup to me then was powder, brows, eyeshadow and lipstick so it didn’t take much time as I did my sister’s makeup and all 6 of her bridesmaids, myself included. And after that, I started calling myself a makeup artist.
BNS: When did you decide to turn your interest into a business?
Joan: It was in 2011 I decided to take some friends to a studio to do a shoot, after which I printed fliers and it was official. I was 21 at the time.
I haven’t been to a business school nor a makeup school either. I knew it was a gift so I relied on the Holy Spirit and improved my skills, I always want to know the new trends then I’ll practice till I get it right.
BNS: What’s your signature look?
Joan: My signature look doesn’t stay my signature for long. Before now it was my coral smokey eye look, now its the cut crease look for which we call “the goddess look”. Let’s not forget our signature brows.
BNS: What’s the biggest challenge you have experienced and how did you overcome?
Joan: It was a stepping stone more than a challenge, having so many clients on the same day. So I decided to take a maximum of 2-morning brides and 1-noon bride, having to be with the first bride as early as 5 am and then rush to the 2nd. It was really challenging but in a good way, it helped me grow.
BNS: What is the biggest highlight of your career?
Joan: It was 2014 when I was contracted to do makeup for Dillish Mathews, the winner of Big Brother Africa The Chase, it was a high point in my career as it brought high popularity and increased clientele.
BNS: In the course of your career, tell us one accomplishment you’ve had that inspired you to know there was so much more.
Joan: My earliest accomplishment was moving from a small studio that iI shared with my friend to a quadruple sized shop where I introduced 2 other services; a hair salon and a photo studio in addition to the makeup studio/training room. It was a huge one for me as no one imagined I could pull it off.
BNS: What’s the future of Jojo’s Touch?
Joan: One of our registered names is “Jojo’s Touch Worldwide” that has always been the vision, making our name in the local community while having the whole world as a target.
BNS: Who is your favourite African style icon and why?
Joan: That would be Rita Dominic. Because she doesn’t stress it, it’s inbuilt and she always slays.
BNS: What’s your favourite thing to eat?
Joan: Fried plantain and egg, oh I could forgive a terrible sin for a plate of that ?
BNS: Where’s your favourite city in the world?
Joan: Dubai, that was where I had my first international bride and I had the most fun there.
BNS: What do you do to de-stress?
Joan: Movies. I’m a movie freak, so I go to the movies to relax.
BNS: What advice would you give to anyone struggling to balance a 9-5 with launching a business?
Joan: I believe you can’t eat your cake and have it. I had to resign from a construction company I worked for being a chemical engineer to take care of my studio. With the fear that came with leaving a sure source of income, I knew putting my all in my business will profit me more. I did it and you can too!
BNS: What advice would you give a new business owner/entrepreneur?
Joan: Put God first, be consistent and persevere. Don’t be in a hurry to hit the jackpot, improve your skills every day and you will definitely make it.
Get in touch with Jojo’s Touch