From Investment Banking to Beauty: Doyinsola Afolabi, Founder of Didi Beauty

Few individuals embody the spirit of innovation and resilience as Doyinsola Afolabi when it comes to thriving in beauty and entrepreneurship.

From Investment Banking To Beauty: Doyinsola Afolabi, Founder Of Didi Beauty

Few individuals embody the spirit of innovation and resilience as Doyinsola Afolabi when it comes to thriving in beauty and entrepreneurship. Known to many as Doyin, she has made a name for herself as a trailblazer in the beauty industry.

From Investment Banking To Beauty: Doyinsola Afolabi, Founder Of Didi Beauty

As the founder of Didi Beauty, a brand that champions inclusivity and empowerment, Doyin has redefined beauty standards for women of color. In this exclusive interview, we delve into her journey from being  to becoming an influential beautypreneur.

From Investment Banking To Beauty: Doyinsola Afolabi, Founder Of Didi Beauty

We will explore her vision for Didi Beauty, her inspirations, and how she breaks barriers in the beauty industry. This conversation promises to be a compelling narrative of ambition, creativity, and the power of believing in one’s dreams. So, whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, a beauty enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates inspiring stories, this interview with Doyin is a must-read.

1. Doyinsola, you transitioned from being an investment banker to a beauty entrepreneur. Can you share with us what inspired this career shift?

From Investment Banking To Beauty: Doyinsola Afolabi, Founder Of Didi BeautySeveral aspects of my background and work experiences contributed to my decision to leave the world of investment banking and enter the cosmetics sector. I was exposed to two major influences as I was growing up: my father’s love of learning and makeup and my mother’s business savvy. My love of numbers led me to a career in finance, where I used the analysis of financial papers to learn important lessons about how businesses operate.

Throughout my work in finance, I was unable to ignore a critical vacuum in the cosmetics market caused by a lack of options for people with different skin tones, problems with currency conversion, and a lack of high-quality products. These findings further cemented my desire to enter the beauty profession. To make beauty affordable for women of all colors, I launched Didi Beauty Co. in 2018, formerly known as Beautyline by Didi.

My knowledge of finance enabled me to study market trends and develop a business plan for a company that provides high-quality beauty products while also embracing diversity. Additionally, I was specifically prepared for this journey by my passion to make an impact.


2. Your father introduced you to makeup at a young age. How did his influence shape your perspective on beauty and ultimately lead to the creation of Didi Beauty Co.?

Where I’m from, there’s a perception that attractive women aren’t intelligent and that intelligent women shouldn’t care about seeming attractive. A male friend of mine once claimed to have ended a relationship with a girl he was in love with because she stated that her dream job was working at Sephora or Mac, while another advised me to give up running my own beauty line if I wanted to live happily in America. I have vivid memories of the gift bags full of cosmetics from companies like Mac, Sleek, Rimmel, Dark and Lovely that my father would always bring home from his travels. These considerate presents showed how much he cared that my mother, sister, and I looked beautiful.

My view of beauty has changed thanks to my father. He demonstrated to me that I was capable of being both intelligent and attractive, that the beauty industry wasn’t subpar, and that it was possible to be a beauty queen and be both bright and brilliant. His unceasing compliments about how beautiful I am helped me gain confidence and motivated me to go into the beauty industry. My father had a significant impact on how I saw beauty and his influence still shapes who I am now.

The foundation of Didi Beauty Co.’s mission has been formed by this upbringing and the ideals established by my father. In our opinion, cosmetics should enhance rather than entirely transform one’s natural attractiveness. We are committed to diversity celebration and women’s empowerment via makeup. The fact that our brand’s philosophy is still being guided by my father’s wisdom and appreciation of beauty is a tribute to him.


3. Didi Beauty Co. is known for its inclusivity and diversity and has a strong presence in Africa, the U.S., Europe, Canada, and India. Can you tell us more about how your products cater to women of all ethnicities and financial means?

Diversity and inclusivity are basic ideals that are strongly engrained in the brand culture of Didi Beauty Co. They are not just trendy catchphrases. We take pride in providing a wide selection of products and shades that are appropriate for a wide range of skin tones. One of our best-selling products, The Browgasm Brow pencil, comes in one shade and works on all skin tones. It has received a lot of favorable feedback.

We also debuted another best-seller, the All Nood Here Lip Gloss, in addition to The Browgasm Brow pencil. Our dedication to diversity is demonstrated by this line of lip gloss. We are aware that every person has a unique set of undertones, so we have developed a wide selection of nude hues and tones to suit everyone. Because of this, every woman can choose the ideal nude lip gloss to accentuate her individual attractiveness, regardless of her ethnicity.

Additionally, we are also committed to keeping prices at reasonable levels so that women of all income levels can afford high-quality beauty items. Our goal is to make beauty accessible to everyone and to celebrate beauty in all of its manifestations.


4. As a socially responsible brand, all your products are MSDS-certified, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and vegan. Can you explain why this is important to you and how you maintain these standards?

We pride ourselves on upholding strict ethical and environmental standards as part of our brand identity. We cannot compromise on being MSDS-certified, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and vegan. We take great care to guarantee that the formulations we employ are devoid of dangerous substances that could be detrimental to the health of our clients.

We place a high emphasis on closely inspecting our products to avoid any exposure to toxic substances in an industry where formulations with potentially harmful compounds can occur frequently. We adhere to the notion that prevention is preferable to treatment and are dedicated to offering healthy and safe cosmetics. We invest the time and energy required to uphold these exacting standards because we think that everything we put on or put into our bodies should always put health and well-being first.


5. You’ve impacted over 10,000 women in the beauty industry by providing makeup products and classes. Can you share more about these initiatives?


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A post shared by Didi Beauty Co. (@didibeautyco)

Through a number of programs, we’ve reached over 20,000 people and had a tremendous impact on the beauty business. One of the core tenets of our purpose is our dedication to giving back. As an illustration, during the height of COVID, we collaborated closely with our distributors to offer products and cash worth more than N1,500,000 to beauty fans all over Nigeria.

Additionally, we’ve hosted a number of free master classes in association with well-known makeup artists and educators, like Yetini makeovers, Abigold beauty, Glitz, and Foy, with a noteworthy online attendance of over 5,000 people.

Additionally, we actively funded those who were interested in taking master workshops throughout Africa taught by renowned makeup artists including Tola Banks, Glam by Omoye, Edens Glam, MakeupDeVi, TayDow, and Glam Drop.


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Our influence, however, goes beyond just giving them free things. By giving people a means of support through our distributorship program, we’ve also had a good impact on lives. Our distributors have enhanced both their own and their family’s quality of life in addition to becoming prosperous business owners. We take delight in having contributed to their success stories. They sell our items for a considerable profit.

We participate in numerous seminars and events by providing our products and web presence to further assist learning and development in the beauty industry. The learners are given more authority as a result, and their visibility is also increased.

Over the years, we’ve also consistently held Christmas giveaways in collaboration with other beauty brands, demonstrating our love for collaboration and our unwavering support for the beauty community. These initiatives are designed to not only sell products but also reflect our dedication to giving back, fostering collaboration, and improving society.


6. You won The Future Awards Africa 2020 prize for your excellence, innovation, impact, and inclusiveness in the beauty industry. How does this recognition reflect your vision for Didi Beauty Co.?

For us, winning the The Future Awards Africa 2020 was a turning point. It confirmed our dedication to the beauty industry’s values of excellence, innovation, and inclusivity. This acknowledgment acts as a strong motivator, encouraging us to keep breaking barriers and establishing new benchmarks. It supports our mission of empowering women through beauty and supporting diversity.


7. Didi Beauty Co. started with eyebrow pencils and beauty blenders and now offers a wide range of products. Can you share some of the challenges and successes you’ve experienced in expanding your product line?

Expanding our product line has been an exciting journey, though not without its share of challenges and successes. We faced challenges such as navigating complex product development, setting up efficient distribution networks, and gaining acceptance in the market. However, our unwavering commitment to delivering top-notch quality and staying closely connected with our customers allowed us to overcome these obstacles. Today, we’re thrilled to offer a wide variety of products that our customers love and resonate with.


8. Lastly, what’s next for Didi Beauty Co.? Are there any upcoming projects or products that you’re particularly excited about?

Exciting opportunities are in store for Didi Beauty Co.! We are developing cutting-edge beauty solutions supporting our commitment to sustainability and diversity. We can’t wait to share these upcoming launches, which will broaden the product offering for our company and support our objective to appreciate beauty in all its forms.

With our planned launches, we’re also preparing to investigate skin and complexion products. It’s an exciting step for us, but rest assured, we’re taking the time needed to maintain the high-quality standards that you’ve come to expect from us.

Furthermore, we’re actively working towards making our products more accessible to you. In the near future, we plan to expand our presence into more retail stores, ensuring ease of access to our products. So, stay tuned for what’s coming next – we think you’ll love it!

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