Tara Fela Durotoye: The Nigeria Top Beauty Entrepreneur Who Started Her Business With Just N15,000

By Balogun Kamilu Lekan

Photo: Instagram/@taradurotoye

For Tara Fela Durotoye, dreaming is one thing, but winning only comes from having the guts to go after your goals and the stamina to stick with them.

House of Tara is a leader in the retail, distribution channel management, and educational sectors of the beauty and makeup industry in Nigeria and all of Africa. It established the bridal makeup industry in Nigeria. 

The company is also credited for publishing Nigeria’s first wedding directory in 1999 and organising the country’s first-ever bridal seminar series in 2000.

Photo: Instagram/@taradurotoye

In the whole of Nigeria, the company is the first to start a professional make-up studio and academy. Additionally, it championed the inaugural Make-Up Conference in Nigeria in 2014.

The company, House of Tara International, was birthed due to the resiliency and strong will of the founder, Tara Fela-Durotoye who never despised the days of little beginnings.

Photo: Instagram/@taradurotoye

Tara Fela-Durotoye was born to John Ejegi Sagay and Felicia Omaghomi on the 6 March 1977 in Lagos. 

She had her elementary education at Command Children School, Victoria Island, before proceeding to Nigeria Navy Secondary School, Ojo, for her secondary education.

Photo: Instagram/@taradurotoye

Tara then headed to Lagos State University to acquire a degree in Law. As an undergraduate, Tara began her career as an entrepreneur. She confirmed she built her beauty empire with a meagre amount of fifteen thousand naira.

According to Tara, her entrepreneurial awareness awakened when she was inspired by a businessman who came to give a pep talk in secondary school.

 “I was in secondary school many years ago and a man came to speak to us and he came to speak to us as an entrepreneur, that is, as a businessman. He was in advertising and because he was creative, I found him interesting. He made me interested in business. I eventually went to university and I studied law. As an undergraduate, while I was still in school I started a business. I started with just N15,000 (fifteen thousand naira). It is less than the cost of a blackberry phone.”  She said.

Tara started when the business was less competitive. She confirmed she stormed the industry when people thought what she did was strange.

According to Tara Fela-Durotoye, “I started at a time when it wasn’t even popular for people generally to be entrepreneurs, unlike what obtains now. Many people who were my peers didn’t even fully understand the concept. Even for me, I didn’t wake up one morning to be an entrepreneur. The focus was on doing what I loved, which is making women beautiful. This passion started when I was studying Law at Lagos State University. From bridal make-up, the clientele began to expand, and slowly, it dawned on me that this was a big deal, and it could go far beyond a few random weddings and become a pioneering movement. I haven’t looked back ever since.”

On her quest to be good at the make-up craft, Tara proceeded to undergo training as a professional make-up artist at Charles Fox.

Photo: Instagram/@taradurotoye

She also noted that her very fashionable and classy stepmother, Modupe Agnes Sagay, inspired her to explore the beauty industry.

She said  “She was a fantastic woman, very fashionable. I used to love looking at her dressing up. On her dressing table, she had all kinds of make-up products, she would paint her face in the morning, she never missed her hairdressing appointment, her nail polish was always perfect. I grew up seeing her adorn herself and I liked looking at her through all that process. I didn’t know that a seed was being sown in my heart.

Tara has now grown her brand, House of Tara to a leading store, distribution channel, management company, and centre for beauty education in Nigeria today. It also boasts over 150 employees and 4,000 networks of reps dispersed around the nation and 14 locations around the world.

Her business has also expanded to produce about 270 different products.

She is regarded as a major force in the Nigerian community of female entrepreneurs because she founded a company that has had an influence on hundreds of thousands of beauty entrepreneurs through the Tara Beauty Entrepreneur initiative, which helps them become financially independent while strengthening their entrepreneurial skills for a change in the country.

Photo: Instagram/@taradurotoye

Tara is married to Fela Durotoye, a business consultant, leadership expert, and motivational speaker. Their union is blessed with three sons. 

  • Mobolurin
  • Demilade
  • Morolaoluwa.

Below is a glimpse of her awards and recognition

  • National Recognition award for social impact and job creation
  • African Economy Business Awards
  • African Makeup Icon 
  • Leadership Award for Entrepreneurship by Harvard Business School Association of Nigeria
  • Forbes’ 2013 list of 20 Young Power Women in Africa
  • Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum


The information in this article was curated from online sources. NewsWireNGR or its editorial team cannot independently verify all details.

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