Spotlight on Lara Akinsete

Take us down memory lane. When did you first realize you wanted to be a beautician?
I have always been an artistic person. I always wanted to have an expression for my art and make up artistry simply afforded me that opportunity. It was more of an intuitive thing, something I have always wanted to do.

What was life like before Nela’s?
I grew up in Lokoja, a small town in Kogi state. I attended my secondary school in Abuja and just pretty much grew up in the north. I came to Lagos in 2006 where I did my internship with House of Tara.

What was it like when you first started your business?
The story for Nela’s started with my internship with House of Tara. I came into Lagos and I told myself that rather than pursuing a career in the line of what I studied,  I was going to pursue something I was passionate about which is make up artistry. So I met Tara and she advised that I signed up as a beauty Rep. I did and began to sell her products and got tutored along the line. I used to go round offices in Lagos selling her products. One day I came across a lady that had a saloon and wanted a makeup studio but didn’t want to invest in that line of business. So I came in and that’s how Nela’s beauty options started.

Did you get any support from family and friends?
Yes I had a lot of support from family and friends and it hasn’t stopped ever since.

Any fears or challenges since you started your business and how did you overcome it
Oh yes, my dad never saw any sense in what I wanted to do, he thought I was wasting my time. Even till now I don’t think he understands what I am doing. He knows I am doing well but I don’t think he gets it. If you are passionate about your dream, the passion will drive you and keep you focused. I had so many fears and lots of challenges in the beginning. One of my fears was, am I going to make it?  I hope I’m not making a mistake? Maybe I should go and get a job? Lots of challenges because I left school and started  business immediately and had lots of challenges getting myself grounded as an entrepreneur but in the long run it paid off.

Do you think it’s better to work in cooperate world first before starting a business
I will encourage my children to discover their passion in time to start up without delays. In my opinion, getting a cooperate job before starting out what is meant to be your purpose, I feel, can be distracting. I advise you start early. If you start at age 19 by the time you are 23 you would have established yourself and made all the mistakes to make early in your business and recover in time for you to grow and fly. Most of the great minds that we have heard about and the ones we now know started early and kept at it. They never looked back even when people didn’t understand what they were up to.
How were you able to grow your business from N10,000 to this
Thankfully House of Tara was a good benchmark for my business. At the time I enrolled as a beauty Rep, her products where relatively new in the market. To sign up you had to pay N30, 000 and she would give you N10, 000 worth of products. The good thing was you get to make 100% profit on her products but I didn’t have N30, 000. I came to Lagos with N40, 000 and at the end of my first 2 weeks I had spent N25, 000. By the time I met Tara, I had only N15, 000 left. She helped me by telling me to pay N10, 000 and gave me N10,000 worth of products and I continued to remit the remaining until it was complete and moved on from there.

What’s your advice to women out there who want to start a business but don’t know how to go about it?
I would say they are challenges everywhere so don’t focus on the challenges but focus on your goal. Focus on people who have made it in your field. In this country there are business people who have built very successful businesses in spite of the economic situation. So use successful people as your benchmark and run with your dream.

If someone wants to start a similar business would you advice they go to a beauty school for training and how would they know the best one to choose.
I will advice that they go for formal training and they should never stop learning. They should find out from people who have trained as makeup artist where they did their training and find out if the training modules and system of the academy is compatible with their learning method.

Share an effective method you have used to keep work stations and tools clean
We start the day early enough to clean up properly and open to customers after we are done cleaning. Each of our staff is responsible for keeping their work stations clean throughout the day. This of course achieved with much supervision.

Name a time when your patience was tested. How did you keep your emotions in check?
First of all, my mindset is that my customers pay my salary so I take them seriously and I think this has helped me put things in proper perspective. So no matter how big or small their fees are I am extra patient. Though some people can be very demanding but I try not to take it personal.

Do you believe in luck or destiny?
I wouldn’t say luck because I am a Christian and nothing just happens to a child of God. Destiny is not a destination it’s a journey so it comes in phases and it keeps unfolding.

About Nela’s
Nela’s beauty option is a full option beauty place. We are set out to make sure we provide various options to meet our client’s beauty needs. We currently provide makeup services, sell cosmetic products and offer spa services. Our focus is to ensure our customers have the best experience in the most professional way.
My advice to young people is that “ great things have little beginnings”. When you start small, with determination and focus you will surely reach your goal.


  1. Determination and Focus!!! Wishing her the best of God in her future endeavours...

  2. Corporate experience is good. What if she did not do that internship at Tara?


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