As Tara Fela Durotoye turns 41 today, we celebrate her life, family and business.

Tara is a pioneer of modern beauty industry, and her brand; House of Tara is a leading brand whose success has inspired other beauty entrepreneurs to launch beauty businesses.

We shared an excerpt from her exclusive interview on building an enduring brand to celebrate her birthday.


1. The first thing I will say has been responsible for keeping us in front is the passion we have for makeup. We didn’t come here just to make money – we came here because making women beautiful truly excites us. So that’s the most important thing – the quality of the product, the colours that make us happy, the package when it comes in with the indigenous names that remind us of our history, and the satisfied women who keep coming back.

2. Mentors, I take my mentors very seriously, learning from their success and their challenges especially in the complicated Nigerian business space, and I continuously engage directly and have them teach, guide and challenge.

3. It’s the early understanding of structure – we have a very active board of authorities in their fields, from whom we tap knowledge, expertise and a depth of ideas; and the board which is chaired by Mrs Ibukun Awosika is properly developed in line with global best practice.

4. Personally I am very actively driven to seek knowledge – the latest being the incredible few months I spent on the Stanford SEED programme; you will find me everywhere from INSEAD in the UAE to Ghana, hungrily devouring the world’s best case studies and principles that can help this small girl from Warri build, sustain and aggressively expand this business.

5. Finally, the team we have is what is what drives our savvy. We have gone across the world to curate some of the brightest minds you can find from across Ivy League schools to drive our strategy and our growth. People like our Commercial Director from Imperial, our Marketing Head and our Retail Experience Manager from Nordstrom and others who bring unique insight, have helped make it possible to build a business that is made to last.

This excerpt is from the May 2014 edition of Genevieve Magazine, to read the full interview place an order to get a copy.

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