Rose Ntong’ondu, Founder, Makeup by Rose is a Kenyan based makeup artist, trainer, mentor and beauty entrepreneur who runs the first makeup school in Kenya with a slogan,‘Beauty with a difference’. This creative has grown from the bottom to launching her own make up products. If you are as curious as we are to know how she did it? Dive in
Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
My name is Rose Ntong’ondu, from Nairobi Kenya.
I am a makeup artist, trainer, mentor and beauty entrepreneur. I run the first makeup school in Kenya. Through my company, Makeup by Rose I train, mentor and empower young people. I also provide makeup services and products. My
What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you chose to be one?
Being a female entrepreneur is both exciting and scary at the same time. Well now, not so scary. But when starting out, it can be the hardest thing because of the many difficulties that come with being a woman in business. In a nutshell, being a female entrepreneur is a roller coaster that is bitter sweet. Can only be understood when one embarks on that journey.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
I recently started my own product line ‘Ella Beauty by Rose’. So far the most exciting thing I have ever done in my career. I have lashes, applicators, skin care and makeup that launches starting next week. I am a creative, so this for me is a turning point in my career. I will finally start using my own products and share it with the world.
What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
For my success, a lot is responsible. Starting with God. If not for Him I wouldn’t be here. Then perseverance. I have endured and persevered a lot. Pain that I thought would never go away. I had to pass through fire, to get here.
In any career, without perseverance, you cannot get anywhere. I had to do odd jobs to support my career. From selling popcorn on the road side and sleeping hungry some days. I had to keep going somehow. Every journey starts with a single step and mine started with me having to get out of my comfort zone to realize my dream.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face?
Definitely, yes. Female entrepreneurs endure so much. Most do so silently. Women don’t like complaining. So they suffer in silence. At times along the path of entrepreneurs you need people to hold your hand, others to help open some doors. Now, as a woman, you will face some challenges especially if you are venturing in a career that is male dominated. From sexual favors to ridicule, be ready to face those demons. But keep you head high. Never compromise your standards for anything. Fact is, women have to work 10 times harder than men to gain success. Obstacles everywhere. And no short cuts. We go the long way.
What values and principles have helped you so far?
#1.Prayer. Be prayerful. Spiritual. This is the one thing that keeps me going. #2. No shortcuts. I always take the long way. I believe that nothing good comes easy, the more I work for it, the sweater it will be.
Why did you decide to go into this particular line of business?
Ever since I was a little girl I loved beauty. I love makeup. That moment after makeup, when a client looks in the mirror and cries, smiles or says ‘I look beautiful’ always gets me.I love giving women confidence using my skill. For me makeup is so much more than foundations, lipsticks and brushes. Its a way to empower women. I love the face.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?
I have faced numerous challenges in my line of work but the hardest one was getting people to know who I was. Getting a name for myself was so much harder than I thought. Also getting clients to trust my brand. It has taken countless sleepless night of planning to finally have a brand that is known all over Kenya. Its not been easy, but its so worth all the hustle. What keeps me going is the knowledge that someone out there could be going through what I went through, so I work hard to give people, especially women hope that tomorrow will be brighter.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
2019 marks 12 years in business. I am so impressed with myself. Then next five years I plan to have my skin care and makeup line all over the country. I also want to educate more women on the dangers of using counterfeit products.
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
What really gets me down is when I see young people wanting overnight success. It doesn’t work that way, never did and never will. I would like every young person to learn the value of hard work. Get up early, send those cv’s, do that research, put in the time, pay your dues. Its important to develop patience. You just have to be patient for success, it comes slow but sure.
And most of all, never lose hope. Keep going and if you do everything right, success is just around the corner. BELIEVE THAT!!
The LLA Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.
If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could possibly be featured.