By Beatrice Mokwunye
Oke Maduewesi is the founder and CEO of Zaron cosmetics. A premium beauty brand in Nigeria which focuses on manufacturing and distribution of skin care products, make-up and hair products suitable for dark women (Africans).
Oke was a top manager in Zenith Bank Plc before she lost her husband to a tragic Sosoliso air crash, in December 2005, leaving her bereaved with 7 months pregnancy and a 2-year-old infant.
Struggling with the agony of loss coupled with loads of single parenthood and a demanding job, Oke decided to step out of the “comfort zone” of the banking world. She resigned from Zenith Bank, sold her properties including her Port Harcourt home where she lost her husband and enrolled for Masters in Business administration at Leeds Business School with the intention of sharpening her professional skill.
When she got to Leeds, her perspective changed from aspiring employee to an influential entrepreneur. There, she discovered the techniques of producing and synthesising cosmetic products and decided to apply the knowledge in making skin-care product that nourishes dark skin tones without bleaching.
In 2011, Zaron Cosmetics was launched in Lagos with the aim of meeting those needs. Within three years of creation, Zaron competes with international brands like Avon, Vogue, Olay and others.
The brand has retail outlets in countries like UK, USA, Ghana; about 26 outlets in twelve cities in Nigeria, and over 800 distributors in Nigeria.
Top Lessons from Oke Maduewesi:
- No matter how hard, we must build our mind to overcome whatever challenges that confront our peace.
“I told myself never to wear the typical face of widowhood. In my tribute to my late husband, I promised to do him proud…that promise I made kept me strong in the face of every adversity I faced.”
- Engage yourself no matter how small.
“If I was not working when I lost my husband at 30, I don’t know how I would have coped with two children.”
- The best happens to us when we find the courage to step out of our comfort zone.
“I believe that when you get to your comfort zone, and there are no more challenges in store for you, then it means it’s time to move on because you will start going down remaining there.”