Ada Atayobor | GHANA & NIGERIA | Makeup Artistry

Founder of: Vendajules | Philanthropist | Masterclass Intructor

I am the first daughter in a family of five. I hail from Imo state in Nigeria, so I am a Nigerian based in Ghana. Before pursuing a career in makeup artistry, I have had the opportunity to work with several companies, such as a shipping company based in Tema, Ghana, a company in Nigeria that sells zinc and aluminum, where I worked as a salesperson. And in my makeup artist journey, I have had the opportunity to work with many makeup artists like Alexandrina, Nancy Blaq, Divine Cassey, Face Mechanic. I have had the opportunity to work on fashion shows and bridal campaigns.


My interest in the makeup industry

I didn’t even know there was something called a makeup artistry business; I did make up for the love of it. I remember while growing up, I used to do makeup on my cousins whenever we were in the village. So, I’m an Igbo lady, and everyone knows the Igbos for always traveling back to their villages during the Christmas period. My family was no exception, and I was always excited about our trips because I met with all my family members. So when we are all gathered in the village, and the adults are off for their meetings and visitations, I did make up for myself and my cousins, and there was this particular cousin of mine that whenever I did make up for myself, I must do for her too. And that specific cousin of mine was like my baby, my everything; she was very close to me.


So makeup was just something I loved to do. I even used to steal my mother’s makeup bag back then and go into hiding, where I would do my makeup and put on some red lipstick or experiment with color combinations.

I just saw makeup as a fun thing, and when I came to Ghana to school in 2010, I used to do makeup for my friends and have fun with it. Until one day, a friend of mine told me that I could do makeup as a business, where I would do makeup for someone and get paid. And I was like, I’m not sure anybody will want to pay me for doing their makeup, but this piqued my interest. I started researching it online, and I found some makeup artists in Ghana, and I was like, wow, you can do makeup and get paid. And this fanned my interest in knowing more about the makeup artistry business as I already had the skill.


My chosen career and what I do as a makeup artist

A makeup artist is a person who enhances the beauty of another person, and they do that by applying makeup on clients, be it men or women. And I became a professional makeup artist in 2014, where I got paid to do makeup for people.

In 2017, I officially registered my company in Ghana. And I was already a freelance makeup artist before I had the opportunity to learn makeup from some places I found here in Ghana, and I first learnt with Zaron cosmetics when they had a two-week training in Ghana. I also joined Nancy Blacks two days’ makeup class with black radiance. Additionally, I have had the opportunity to train with notable Nigerian makeup artists in Nigeria such as JhulesB beauty, GlambyOmoye, flawless faces by Jane, Doranne beauty, Bibyonce and many more. I opted to go for training because I had never had any prior training before I started doing makeup, I just learnt on my own, and I felt I needed a professional touch to know more and brand myself properly. I still do a lot of training and take online classes to keep abreast with the latest tips and tricks in my industry to always be on top. I never stop learning because one can never be better if one doesn’t learn.


My entrepreneurial journey

I studied accounting in school, and there was a particular course that I was so interested in back in school, and that was entrepreneurship. And in that course, I learnt so much that impacted my life in many ways back in school. And, when I finished school, I told myself that I was going to be an entrepreneur who was going to do a lot of things. So when I started being a makeup artist in Ghana, I used the knowledge that I gained from my favorite course back in school to grow my company gradually. However, I didn’t stop there because there’s always room for improvement, so I took online courses and training on entrepreneurship so I could know more about it. Also, I wanted to learn more about makeup artistry, so I started learning how to market myself as a makeup artist. And this was how I started branding myself.


I got my brand name Vendajules from the combination of my father’s and mother’s names. I have had like four logos before this final logo that’s associated with my brand. So over the years, I have kept on branding and building myself to make sure that I am attracting the right customers, but so far, so good we have been thriving. We all know that one cannot say that the entrepreneurial journey is smooth, but I find a way to keep pushing despite the ups and downs.

In my entrepreneurship journey, I have also had the opportunity to create other businesses, such as Vendajules hairs, Vendajules express, Vendajules empire, where we sell products; also, more will be coming in 2022. So watch out for us, as we will be taking over in 2022 by God’s grace.


My breakthrough moment in the makeup industry

I cannot really pinpoint my breakthrough moment because when I started, I made sure I did makeup every day; if it wasn’t on myself, it would be on a client or a model. I just kept pushing myself, and that contributed to my growth significantly.

Although I have had the opportunity to work with many celebrities, I don’t think I have had my breakthrough moment yet; I am still waiting for it. Even though I have gained a massive amount of visibility on social media, with referrals coming in daily, getting lovely messages, and excellent reviews from clients. I even get cute messages from people who see my work and admire what I do. I still need a big bang. I believe I became a highly sought-after makeup artist because of how I treat my clients, how I relate with them, and most importantly, my makeup skills and the way I apply makeup. Being known in the makeup industry was not a day’s job. It was built over time, as I made sure I made a moment out of each visit to my client. My success in the makeup industry resulted from me making the most of the opportunities that the universe offered me and moving according to my own pace.


My journey so far, the highs and the lows

One of my highs will be the day when eight clients booked me; I felt so blessed that day. And I was able to deliver. Now we have grown to the extent of working with up to 15 clients a day, especially when a bridal party books us because the brand is growing and my team too. One of my lows will be when I went to work on a client, and the client poured wine on my face. I even talked about this on my YouTube channel. I took it in stride, and I didn’t let it get to me; I saw it as a part of my journey, and I didn’t let it discourage me from building my brand. Also, some of the challenges makeup artists face is when they try to collaborate with other people in the industry, they are met with a lot of attitudes. So I think it’s best that you learn to do everything yourself, how to take and edit your pictures, how to do your makeup, make your videos. Trust me, learning to do stuff yourself will help skyrocket your success.



My awards and recognition

I will just be doing my thing, and I will get the message that I have been nominated for this award or that award. Now I have more nominations than I can’t count right now, and I am grateful to God for that. Some of the notable ones are my nominations for the African Business award in 2016, Ghana makeup artist for the fashion and lifestyle award, which I won in 2020. Ghana style awards, which I won the style makeup artist of the year in 2021, Ghana Media and entrepreneurship awards, which I won makeup artists of the year in 2021. Currently, I have been nominated for the Ghana beauty awards as the makeup artist for the year and the Ghana tertiary fashion awards for influential makeup artist of the year, so now, I am waiting on how my recent nominations pan out before the end of the year, which I pray I win, and this also depends on your votes for me. So please vote for me.


Goals I set for myself and how I kept track of them

Yes, I set goals for myself in my business; for example, I make sure I impact people who want to make a living from makeup artistry each year. I see it as part of my journey, as I have always wanted to do it. So I make sure that the goal is met each year, and I do this by making sure I host two masterclass sessions in a year. And this always happens every April and November. We even just concluded the 4th edition of the business of makeup artistry Masterclass with Vendajules, which helps on the 13th and 14th of November. And thank God it was a huge success. Also, I try to record every move I make; this helps me keep track of what I have done. And I can’t forget the God factor; I always pray to my God and let Him lead the way of reminding me of the things I need to do.


My amazing support system

Yes, I have had a fantastic support system, and my first support system, I will say, is God. He has come through for me in so many ways that I can’t comprehend. After God is my husband, he has been there for me, supporting me, pushing me. We work together on the Vendajules brand, as he handles the digital part of the business and makes sure the brand is known globally. Also, I have had the best girls who work for me and the best clients who keep giving me their wonderful reviews about my makeup.


My mentors and the role they played

I have mentors in the makeup artistry business, with the first being Alexandrina. She is also one of the top makeup artists in Ghana that has gotten amazing breakthroughs and achieved a lot for herself. She’s one of the legends in the makeup industry in Ghana. And she has helped my brand and me in many ways. She touched my soul and impacted my life. I am so honored to know her. Also, Nancy Blaq has been a mentor to me in this makeup artistry business; she has been there for me and even created jobs for me.


My advice to young people who want to go into makeup artistry

My advice to young people who want to get into the makeup artistry business is that it’s not just about learning makeup on YouTube or from your friends, and then you come out and say you can do makeup on someone. If you don’t know what that client wants or if you don’t know how to treat that client, you have already set yourself up for failure, as there’s more to the business than just the art.

So it would be best if you learned more about the business part of makeup artistry so you can raise the bar for yourself and make money. And this is the primary reason I hold my masterclass twice a year in April and November, to teach people about the business of makeup artistry and what they can do to brand themselves and charge competitive prices. So you can watch out for our classes by following us on our social media handles.


My plans for the Vendajules brand

We want Vendajules to be global. We want to raise makeup artists in different countries and have people representing us in so many countries. We want the brand to grow into a big brand that everyone can rely on at any point in time, and we are already on our way towards achieving this.


www.vendajules.com

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