Ex beauty queen, Elohor Elizabeth Isiorho
is the C.E.O of Prive Luxury Wedding and Event company, and biggest modelling agency in West Africa (Beth Model Management). She is also the Creative Director of Elite Model Look Nigeria. Born in the UK, she studied Business and Information technology. Elizabeth is a highly successful business woman with expertise in wedding and event planning with over 12 years experience in the fashion and entertainment industry.
She successfully launched Beth modeling Agency in Nigeria in December 2004, the biggest and longest standing modelling agency in Nigeria. Through the agency, she has worked with top clients in both the fashion, events and entertainment industry. In 2007, she secured a franchise deal with Elite Model Management Paris to organise Elite Model Look Nigeria. The annual event which debuted in Nigeria in 2008 has under Elizabeth’s leadership consistently churned out thousands of commercially successful models till date. In 2013, she launched Prive Luxury Wedding and Event company and in July 2015 also launched a one stop luxury bridal store in Lagos, Prive Atelier.
Elizabeth has received various awards in the fashion and entertainment industry including modelling agency of the year three times in a row, an award for outstanding establishments for establishing the first modelling agency in Nigeria. She has appeared on several covers and interviews both locally and internationally. She holds several certifications including certifications from top luxury event planner such as Preston Bailey, Mark Niemierko, Sarah Haywood among others.
Elohor Elizabeth Isiohor takes our Leading Lady Spotlight, sharing with us how she started out in the industry and her advice for young women looking to stay relevant in the modeling industry.
You are popular for winning Miss Nigeria UK, and for also creating Beth Modelling Agency- can you introduce us to the Elizabeth most people don’t know?
Thank you so much LLA, it’s an honor to be recognized as one of the Leading Ladies in Africa, as ironic as it may sound. I am a very a simple and easy going person, I don’t really enjoy being in the spotlight, rather I enjoy being indoors with my family and would only occasionally attend events, if necessary. I am also a mother to two beautiful girls.
Tell us about growing up and your educational background- would you say your educational background prepared you for what you do now?
Yes, it did. I was born in England, the only child of my mother. I lived and studied in the United Kingdom for 12 years. After graduation at London Guildhall University, I stayed back in the United Kingdom for a while and tried to push a modeling career, with much success, I figured I wanted more and with the desire to bridge the gap in the modeling industry, I returned back to Nigeria. I got a lot of offers from individuals posing as models agents to work for them; I however wanted to be properly represented by an agency. At the time there was none in existence, so I started up my modeling agency to fill this gap.
Did you ever foresee your life taking the shape it has taken now career wise?
In all sincerity, No I did not. I am however grateful for where I am today, and I give all thanks to God.
What were your career dreams growing up?
At first, I wanted to be a lawyer, then a Fashion Designer.
Can you share some mistakes you have made on your journey and what you have learned from them?
One major mistake I have made in life, is trusting the wrong people. I have learnt not to trust anyone but God. As you grow older certain experiences drives home this point.
How would you define failure and what has it taught you?
I believe in getting up as many times as you fall. You are lucky to be wherever you find yourself, some people have it worse. Failure makes rooms for improvements and that’s how I operate. Nothing keeps me down for too long, I dust myself and get back up.
Let’s talk about Beth Modeling Agency- what inspired its creation and how has the journey been so far?
Beth was established out of the need to create a proper structured agency in Nigeria. Like I mentioned earlier, I returned back to many offers for modeling jobs in Nigeria, and there were no standard agencies so I founded Beth based on the lack of this.
To be very honest, it was rough when I first started. I have contemplated shutting down various times, but looking at all the young people the agency has been able to empower and the lives we have changed, the amazing success stories, it gives me the drive to continue pushing.
As an entrepreneur, would you say there are particular challenges you have faced because you are a woman?
Yes, in all aspects of the society women face challenges daily. There has been a lot of challenges I have had to overcome. However, I am grateful I’m thriving and I have and am still overcoming all of it.
Digressing a bit, how do you deal with the offsides of social media- bullying, unsolicited comments/criticism especially as a public figure?
I am a very private person and I have had my fair share of this, but to be honest I don’t care. I totally block them off and don’t pay mind to them.
Do you think social media promotes unreasonable beauty standards?
I am of the opinion that, beauty is how you perceive it. Everyone should be allowed to be himself or herself in whatever form they choose to express it.
Do you have female influences that have made your journey significantly easier? Care to share some of them with us?
Yes I do. I love Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.
What professional recommendations do you have for women starting out in the modeling industry?
I would recommend they prioritize personal development- attend master classes, fashion academies and never sell yourself cheap.
The Leading Ladies Africa Series is a weekly interview series that focuses on women of African descent, showcases their experiences across all socio-economic sectors, highlights their personal and professional achievements and offers useful advice on how to make life more satisfying for women.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa; an initiative that seeks to effectively mentor and inspire women, with particular emphasis on the African continent.
Do you know any woman of African descent doing phenomenal things? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we just might feature her.