Safiya Umar is one of those people that when you stumble on their Instagram page, you Instantly tell yourself “you know what? I can actually do something with my life”. Years back, In the Northern part of Nigeria, the Spa/henna business was usually done at home by young ladies and they were very few people who got into it as a proper business. Now seeing Safiya happily making life earnings out of this same business Is only Inspiring. She is passionate, focused and dedicated to her business and another thing about her that got me is that she is super polite. I reached out to her for an Interview and she granted me one. Enjoy!
Tell us about yourself
My name Safiya Umar, I hail from Niger state but marriage has made me an indigene of Nasarawa. My late father was a court Registrar and my late mother was a business woman I’m the 5th child and last girl of a family of six. I started my primary and secondary education in Niger state and Abuja when I came with my eldest sister as she got married. I did my Diploma in-law at the University of Abuja, after which I had my first Degree at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, CCNA and USIP in the USA, Currently working on my MBA, School of Natural Science and Medicine U.A.E. I’m married with a child.
You have a Diploma and a BSc, what made you decide to go into entrepreneurship?
After graduation I had my first job with Abuja integrated facility management, after which I worked with Vision FM, then DTN Tv and then P&H, of All the years I gathered working in all these firms I discovered something was missing in me, being controlled, told things to do and how to do it and so on, coupled with the fact that it comes with very little stipend as salary barely even enough to cater for everyday life talk more of earning a livelihood and also coupled with the fact that I was married to a man that kept insisting that it’s better you are sure you make 5naira per day than waiting to get paid at the end of the month. He’s always preaching the pyramid of life. So it started to ring in my head that it won’t hurt to have multiple streams of income.(Laughs) so I started to think along side venturing into business, and that was how I started some series of business that flopped along the line. My first business was selling dry fish,somehow I didn’t go far at all ,so I moved on to Palm oil ,then Underwears, and then media content production, given the fact that I had a media background and experience…I started producing content , I got my first breakthrough when TV stations began to ask that I sell my content ,it was sort of fulfilling for me and I was so happy ,so I continued work until my pregnancy got me tied down and before I knew it, I was unable to continue work so I stopped production. By the time I gave birth and was ready to go back to work, somehow I discovered my idea leaked out and somebody else produced and sold my Idea to the same TV station, If you know the media industry well enough, You will understand where I’m coming from. This was after I had spent a whopping 750,0000 for production. It was heartbreaking, I was sad and shattered yet another failed venture, but then Alhamdulillah I was able to pick up moreover “Life Must go on”. While I was still strategizing on what to do next, behold the beauty industry came to mind, and that was how I went into the Henna and women skin care business..
Tell us about Flott beauty
Flott_beauty is an all women Spa service provider, we specialize in everything natural and herbal, we do sugar waxing,body scrubs, exfoliating, vaginal steaming, local incense ,English and Arabian oils perfumes.
Why the name “Flott” beauty”?
Nothing in particular just Norwegian word that depicts our service: posh, stylish and classy.
How do you juggle both business and your everyday activity?
Pretty simple, most of the work are done by my girls what I mostly do Is through the internet, so it doesn’t really involve too much activity just more of tolerance, customer satisfaction, and commitment. How we operate is, I get the call from the client for a service then send my girls out if it’s home service and if it’s in- house will just get the girls to come over to the spa and sometimes I do the work myself depending on what service you want.
What are your major challenges?
Like every other business, the spa business is not left out, most of the challenges come from difficulties to please a client and sometimes staffs.
Have you had people look down on your business or say negative things to you?
Well not really ,very few people and personally I think it’s an individual thing, if you have a problem with what I do to make my money, I think it’s your own cup of Tea and I really do not care. Yes they have been a few times when you send your girls out for a 2 hrs work and they end up spending 6 hrs and when you ask what happened, You find out that some client purposely delay, I mean it’s when the henna artist gets to her house that she remembers she needs to go to the market, so she tells the girl to wait, she goes to the market and comes back , as if we don’t have any other thing to do for the rest of the day. It’s really disturbing, but then we came up with a strategy, If you spend more than the estimated time for your service ,we charge you extra, so with that people are beginning to set their priorities right when it comes to getting services from us. (nobody wants to pay extra).
What do you love most about your business?
Meeting people and then the satisfactory remarks and smiles from clients. I mean it’s really satisfying.
What don’t you love most about your business?
The challenges that come with it, such as difficulties to please clients and the fact that you have to tolerate every Halima, Ngozi, and Bola…(Laughs)
Three women, you look up to and why?
My late Mum, she made me understand the true meaning of financial independence, I have seen situations before where she became the Messiah of the house,this was when my father took ill, she practically became the head of the house and did everything to keep the family going. Then Laila Ali Othman and Aisha Bilal, their Determination and commitment to hard work is superb ,they are what I see as a true examples of the 21st century Independent Muslim women.
How supportive have friends and family been?
Simply put not very supportive, in my line of business I see that strangers are more a claim to helping you succeed than friends but family on the other side do a pretty good job except for the annoying fact that they always want to patronize you for free (Laughs)
What would you describe as the most exhilarating and defining moment of your journey so far?
Those moments you keep getting floods of referrals and returning clients nothing beats that moment wallah, because it really takes a good work for someone to refer another.
Three things you can’t leave home without?
My phone, Ipad & a bottle of water.
What adventure will you love to go on?
What’s a normal day like for you?
Wake up in the morning, say my subhi (morning prayer), go back to sleep wake-up at 8 am, attend to my boy, make breakfast, attend to emails, SMS, DM’s, missed calls and so on, after which I then go to the spa.
Some people think Northern women are not educated, What would you say to that?
(Laughs) I think they should think again, maybe before but certainly not now.How can it even be? When we see them everywhere in the helms of almost all affairs
Where do you see Flott beauty in the next 5 years?
Global Insha Allah
What do you think sets you apart from other beauticians?
Commitment to clients satisfaction, high level of professional tolerance, affordability with quality at its peak and lot’s more.
Sugar waxing can be painful, your one secret to a having a less painful sugar waxing would be?
Contact @flott_beauty or Call us on +2348081388882 that’s our own little Secret….(Laughs) when you become a client, we will let you in on the secret….
(Laughs) that was super smart, If you had to offer one piece of advice to anyone looking to break into your industry, what would it be?
Come in with a load full of tolerance, commitment and consistency, it will help you go a long way.
Please say something to a girl child.
You are strong, brave, intelligent and compassionate, explore these abilities.
Thank you so much, It was nice chatting with you.
Thanks so much for this honor Barakah I appreciate, and I pray Allah S.W.A continue to give you the strength to carry on Insha Allah…..
You will agree with me that,that was really Inspiring, I love her fighting spirit, she made it clear that the fact that you failed in one business doesn’t mean you will fail in another, I loved how she is focused on growing her business so much that she doesn’t care about the negative talks she get from some people. Flott beauty is definitely heading somewhere absolutely great. I hope that Inspired you so much that you will start to push the necessary buttons required of you. Shout out to all the amazing women doing great out there.
And that’s it guys, please leave your thoughts in the comment section.
See you in my next post In shaa Allah.