In our bid to support the growth of the Nigerian and African economies, we are always on the look out for creative talents who are contributing their fair share as entrepreneurs and excelling in their respective fields of interest. In this exclusive interview, we chat with Prince Eyo, a top nail artist and educator as he shares his passions, motivations and the journey so far as “businessman,” as we say here in Nigeria.
Meet Prince Eyo, the nail artist beautifying women across Africa’s most populous country…
SR: Hello Prince Eyo, nice to catch up with you. Can you share your background with us; sort of a brief bio.
PE: Well, you already know my name. I was born 27 years ago in Calabar, Cross River State. I’m the founder and CEO of Princes Beauty Empire Ltd.
SR: So tell us, how did you first discover your passion for nail artistry?
PE: I started doing nails as a hobby after finishing school. So, at first, it was just something I was doing for fun until I moved to Lagos. There, I discovered my love for fine art and infused it into nail artistry and the passion for both drove my career to the next level.
SR: Considering how conservative Nigerians are with career choices, did family and friends question your choice of career? How did you handle that?
PE: Yes, of course! It was difficult venturing into this career. My family objected to it, considering societal beliefs about “those who do nails.” I was seen as unserious by my family while friends rejected me and considered me as non-existent. Handling family and friends wasn’t easy for me but in pursuit of my happiness, I acted stubborn, rejecting all advises, I focused on growing my talent.
SR: Tell us a bit about your journey as a nail artist and nail educator — what would you say was your big break?
PE: My journey as a nail artist and educator all began in Calabar, my home town. Eventually, my craft will take me across Nigeria as I’ve gone on to do work in Imo, Abia, Rivers and Lagos States and also, Abuja. My big break came in 2013 when I contested in a nail art competition organized by NECTAR in Lagos and ended up amongst the top 20 finalists from numerous competitors.
SR: How have you managed to stand out from the competition?
PE: I’ve done so by creating a unique market for myself, setting a standard above others and branding myself as one of the best creative and exclusive nail artists in Nigeria and Africa.
SR: Which brand has been your biggest inspiration when it comes to managing your brand and what’s a key thing you’ve learned from them?
PE: That has to be “Valentino Beauty Pure.” The key thing I have learnt from the brand is how focused they are in setting high standards and achieving their goals. So I follow their footsteps in applying same to my own brand, Princes Beauty Empire.
SR: What does a typical day look like for you considering you do work in several cities across Nigeria?
PE: A typical day for me is quite unpredictable as I face new challenges in the industry and solve them as they come. When your popularity base increases per second, minute, hour and daily as it is with me, then you understand that satisfying everyone across different cities in Nigeria is tasking and demanding.
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SR: Where do you look for fresh manicure and nail design inspiration?
PE: Primarily, my main source of inspiration for creating nail designs is God. I also get inspired by other nail experts across the world via social media. This helps me to keep pace with what’s trending.
SR: As an entrepreneur, what would you say is the secret behind your success?
PE: Well, I focus on setting goals and achieving them, and never giving up on set goals even when it’s taking longer to achieve. Also, I consider every client as important irrespective of status, delivering distinctive services to every client. Plus, I avoid mixing business with pleasure, if you know what I mean.
SR: So Prince Eyo, can you tell us more about your role as a nail educator?
PE: In this role, I teach aspiring nail artists and existing professionals about the requirements of the industry and tips on upgrading their skills. For young people facing hard times like I did while choosing nail artistry as a profession, I inspire them to be determined and focused, if they must succeed like me.
SR: What has been your most satisfying moment since you started?
PE: Living out my dream of becoming a CEO and getting recommendations from high profiled celebrities and personalities in Nigeria and beyond has been quite a high for me. Also, my most satisfying moment is attestation by numerous people that my business outfit, Princes Beauty Empire, is one of the best in the country at the moment, and we hope to stay so.
SR: Do you have any advice for aspiring nail artists?
PE: My biggest advice to aspiring nail artists is look up to God, discover your potential, be passionate about your discovery, have a mentor, set goals and go after them. IF I CAN MAKE IT, YOU CAN MAKE IT.
SR: Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
PE: I see my brand expanding to become the best and most successful nail studio in Nigeria. Also, in 5 years, I see my franchise spreading everywhere across Africa, Europe and America.
SR: Quite ambitious, Prince. It’s been wonderful learning more about your journey. We wish you the very best!
To see more of Prince Eyo’s work, click here to visit his page on Instagram.
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