As a seasoned businesswoman, Lola Denga has been in the beauty space managing her own business for the last nine years. She offers exclusive services that can be enjoyed from either her own home or that of the clients. Her services include Swedish Massages and manicures among others.
Over the years Lola noticed that these beauty treatments enhanced women’s self-esteem and decided to take a step further. Instead of just focusing on external beauty she decided to write a devotional called G.LO.W (God’s love overwhelms women) to help women intensify their inner beauty.
In a 7-day devotional, Lola helps women foster a deeper connection with God and in doing so, focus on their internal beauty.
She believes that beauty has to come from within and by connecting to the maker, God himself you will achieve wholeness.
What inspired you to open a beauty business?
From the time I was 14 years and went and got my first manicure, I have always wanted to be in the beauty industry. After going to beauty school, I’d go to certain places and see the standards were not the same as those taught in school.
That’s literally where my passion started; I really wanted to bring beauty’s standard and dignity back. I wanted to create an ambience where clients would feel like they are getting the best service and are relaxed.
Beauty school focuses largely on the outside. Why did you decide to go a step further with your devotional?
I realized that after speaking to more women, a lot of them were dealing with inner issues. Yes, they were coming to enhance their outside beauty which consequently led to a temporary sense of confidence. But, the truth is, only when the inside is in harmony with the outside, do you enjoy beauty to its maximum.
What has opening a business taught you about yourself?
It has taught me that I really love people. It has also helped me showcase my creativity and organization skills. I have managed to pick up a lot of other skills through this experience.
What setbacks have you faced while starting and continuing your entrepreneurial journey?
There’s been a couple. It has taken me longer to get off the ground as I personally finance everything. I’d be saving to try and buy equipment by doing other jobs on the side.
Also, people’s attitudes have also posed a challenge. They are becoming more receptive to luxury beauty but largely it is seen more as an unnecessary indulgence rather than a necessity. It has made me see a gap in the market for education.
Educating people on everything from the healing properties of beauty treatments like a massage. I also educate people on how a good regular self-care routine can help reduce stress levels and create a work-life balance.
Where do you seek encouragement during those moments?
I am fortunate to have a strong support system. I have my parents, my husband and my friends and definitely my relationship with God.When I feel like I am about to give up, I remember why I am doing this in the first place. - @lolaruZW Click To Tweet
How important do you think a relationship with God is to an entrepreneur?
Honestly, it’s very important. Number one, it will keep you sane! There are a lot of things you’ll come across that you didn’t expect to come across. Business competition notwithstanding, there are people you expected support from that disappoint you.
Having a strong relationship with God ensures you know that this is not just a business idea. It is actually a gift and you need to understand that you are using it to worship Him and to impact lives.
At this point, your business should have a purpose and should not just be to make money. The purpose part makes sure that you don’t give up easily.
What are your proudest moments during your nine years as a businesswoman?
One of them was when I published my book. I was very proud of that! Over the years I have been involved in numerous photoshoots as a makeup artist. Those were enjoyable experiences.
I think overall, every day has something that makes you feel like it’s worth it. Even the small things like when a client expresses their gratitude are enough for me.
Do you feel that in Zimbabwe there are enough structures put in place to assist women to open businesses?
Until recently no. But so far, it looks promising. There are quite a few women in business organizations that are starting. The government is also coming in with funding. I am excited to see how this will translate for future business owners.
As a seasoned businesswoman, what are you doing to support women in the entrepreneurial space?
I like to host prayer lounges. During this event, I keep in touch with women in business and keep encouraging them. I also offer career guidance tests if people are unsure of which direction they should be heading in.
I definitely do want to grow these ventures and I have intentions of being a facilitator and speaker in this year.
How do you balance it all?
I’d say time management, though I am not perfect at it yet! Prayer too, because that’s where I get my energy from. I also believe in incorporating things that you love to do even if it’s just reading a book. You need that time to distress and reflect.
That’s how you balance and you don’t end up breaking down or cracking. You have to make sure you get that allocated time for just being you and not thinking about business, not thinking about being a wife and just zoning out.
How do you unwind?
I like journaling, sometimes I’ll just journal for no reason. Occasionally, I enjoy either reading a book or watching a chick flick with a bowl of ice cream. I’m simple like that!
Definitely, I do try to spoil myself when I can. I go and get pedicures and foot massages done by someone else.
What are your top five tips for achieving wholeness?
1. You need to discover your strengths and weakness and accept them!
2.To realize your dreams, set goals and timelines for yourself.
3. Check your relationships with God, family and friends. Make sure that if there are any gaps, try to fix them. Also, let go of things that hurt as they will only hold you back.
4. Work on your self~esteem and general image. Once you find your personal style, you will avoid the pressure to follow trends and be a certain person.
5. Do stuff for others. Sometimes when we are hyper-focused on ourselves we can become closed off. Find something you enjoy doing that will bring impact to someone’s life.Check your relationships with God, family and friends. Make sure that if there are any gaps, try to fix them.- @lolaruZW Click To Tweet
What does success look like at the end of everything? How will you know you’ve achieved your dreams?
Tangibly, it will be when I can see that loads of people have been impacted and there are many beauty shops open.
However, for me, impacting people is more about having a legacy than shops. So when my following has really grown and people come to know who Lola Ru is, then I shall know I have had an impact.
Finally, I intend to take the beauty industry by storm and develop a range of products from beauty school, shops, spas and others.
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