Although her real name is Remilekun Talabi, everyone simply calls her Ashabiade. She loves looking good all the time. And she loves to make other women look good.
Mrs. Remilekun Talabi (fondly called Ashabiade) is one of the most sought after beauticians in Lagos. She is also the M/D CEO of the Grace Group, which has a perfume store with exclusive fragrances, Couture and a Spa in the heart of Ikeja, Lagos State. Her glowing skin and beautiful stature would make any man want to turn his neck and give her a second look. Her beautiful skin would make any woman run to her exclusive spa which has a Unisex Salon, Nails Studio, Gym, Dance Club, Facials, Make Up Studio, Weight Loss Programme to mention but a few.
She recently spoke to City Peoples Society Reporter, TITILOPE OGUNLEYE and revealed why she went into beauty business.
It seems looking good is your business?
Yes, more like fashion is a business.
What were you doing before you delved into fashion business?
Fashion line is in born and it is something I love and I think I took that from my mum. What I am wearing now is from Grace Couture. But I still have a 9am to 5pm job. Even before I started selling perfumes, I have always been a fragrance wearer. I can remember the least I use to have on my table is eighty bottles.
So how do you juggle your 9-5 job and business together?
It has just been Grace. It has not been really easy I must tell you, It takes the Grace of God and I think that is why all I have rolls around Grace.
So how long have you been running the spa, couture and the perfume store?
In all, we are 3 years now. We are just growing.
What was the response and acceptance like?
Initially, it was unstable. It was picking and dropping. But you know it is business and Nigeria is a little bit on the slow side these days. But we are still moving on fine and doing well. The Couture Line is really moving. We are doing a lot of easy to wear which are very affordable and it is really moving.
You look so good I must say. Is that the reason why you went into the fashion business?
Yes, looking good has always been my hobby. In fact my kids call me Fashionista Mummy. At Grace Couture we do both male and female adult outfits. We have not started children line, but I know quite a number we have done few for their children when they come.
You are married with kids; you run a brand with 3 businesses and you also have a 9-5 job? How you manage all?
Seriously, I owe it all to God. How I do it I don’t understand. I have been doing it for a while and God has been helping me.
For how long have you been married?
I have been married for 16 years to a wonderful husband, named Tope Talabi and blessed with two beautiful girls and it is Grace that has sustained us.
Any reason why you named your brand Grace?
I named it after my mum. My mum’s name is Grace and she died quiet early for me and everything I am today has just been my mum. My Mum puts me on this line because she was a fashionista too and that was why I took up her names as my brand name.
It has been 3 years and you are not doing badly in the business. Within that space have you had any challenges?
There have been challenges. Like the Spa I run, there is competition. And the thing is what I have in my Spa are very exclusive and different from what you find in other spas around my competitors but the challenges is that people want to pay the same price for different quality and it has been a little bit challenging for me you know and I know it is happening to so many out there. You want to give people the best but because they get something lower on the other side and they get something better here, they tend to want to pay equally knowing that your facilities are exclusive and that is the big challenge.
What is the secret of your success story as a business owner?
It is God o and God alone. I give it up to God because he is the secret of our success.
Can you tell a little about your educational background?
I went to like 5 different Airforce Primary Schools in different states because my father was a Police Man and we ended up moving to different places. Then, I went to Federal Government Girls College, YabaTech and Kwara Polytechnic for my Diploma and Lagos State University for my M.B.A.
A lot of People are going into the Spa business, any reason for that?
That is because everybody needs the therapy. When you get back from work the best therapy you can give yourself is going to the Spa. It is actually very good. You can have a massage, body scrub or go into the steamer etc. It rejuvenates your system and cells unlike you going to take medicine.
Your skin is glowing, what is the secret?
Having a good body scrub once in a month, drinking a lot of water, eating a lot of vegetables and I take a lot of glut atone.