From Adama Ayuba, Oyelakin Oyekola & Rabiu Mohammed, Kano
Twenty one-year old Mercy Markus from Adamawa State is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Royalty Hairs. The 4-level student of Mass Communication, Bayero University Kano (BUK), is a hairstylist who makes wigs. She shares her experience as a student-cum businesswoman with Daily Trust.
How did you start this business?
I started this business after the COVID-19 lockdown. I was at home and decided to learn a trade for the time being since the government was not saying anything about calling off the ASUU strike. Making wigs is something I have always loved to do. I made a lot for myself at the time so as to gain mastery of the craft. Subsequently, school resumed and I launched the business to my student customers. I have always loved wigging; so the idea wasn’t hard for me at all.
Talking about mentors, I look up to the Hairisland brand and Beccaville International, a major hair line based in Lagos.
What is your motivation or driving force?
It is my love for hair. It is essential in the life of every woman. The hair of a woman is her crown. It must be properly taken care of. Royalty Hairs stands on the basis of influencing beauty decisions. It seeks to help women change their style with utmost convenience. My driving force is the joy I get when I see women look beautiful wearing the wigs I make.
What is the level of your patronage?
I will say it is promising. The hair business is one that already has a wide market. Ladies are always changing hairstyles. Students are my major customers. Some days I sell none. Some days I sell multiple. I also get customers from outside the school, some of whom refer their family and friends after a good experience with Royalty Hairs.
How has the business helped you financially?
I have been able to take care of my personal and school needs without relying much on my parents. I buy my hand-outs myself and comfortably pay for money needed for other assignment purposes. I also buy my food stuff.
Where do you see the business taking you to?
To my amazement, Royalty Hairs has kept on growing from the very first day it was launched on the 9th of February, 2021. If it continues this way, I see the business taking social media by storm. And I see the business partnering with major hair brands and hair products brands. The business is already registered with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). So, I’m working towards greatness.
What challenges have you encountered so far?
Market prices are never stable. The prices double or increase by 30 to 50 percent each time. This makes having stable prices difficult. Also, having a stable worker or apprentice is highly needed as workload increases by the day due to demand.
How do you cope with business and studies?
It’s been tasking; honestly. Sometimes customers’ demands and lecture hours clash. And sometimes I leave the hall after lectures to attend to customers without resting. But it’s a price I pay for greatness. What I do is never to allow business to affect my education. I have the timetable well planned out.
What is your advice to people of your age?
My advice is for them to find out what they love doing, gain mastery and monetise it. Money should not be the only driving force for a business. Passion also matters.