Unqualified massager poisons your system — Pamela Bello-Olatunji

Pamela Bello-Olatunji has been in the world of beauty for over 20 years. She is still counting.

“I actually do not know what prompted my love for it and my insistence to be a major player,” the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Bnatural Medical Spa, both in Lagos and Abuja respectively, said.

At what point did she decide to do this?
“As a child, while still living with my mother in Enugu as a school leaver, I still hung around beauty salons helping out with whatever needed to be done. I actually started out in broadcast journalism, having studied Mass communication. I soon left Enugu and came down to work with the Nigerian Television Authority, Lagos as a news reporter and newscaster. This was way back in 1985. I left NTA because I wanted to set up a beauty and spa business. I have always done this since leaving Queens School, Enugu. I believe that once you do what you have always wanted to do, you will definitely find success in it.”

You won’t be wrong if you consider her successful going by the structure and services she has put in place — a replication of medical spas found in developed countries of the world.

Bello-Olatunji also runs the Spectrum Beauty Academy, a franchise of the parent school in Virginia, America and her reasons for running the beauty academy are not far-fetched.

“The industry is growing, a lot of people are getting involved but the level of education in the industry isn’t moving forward. Many of the people who parade themselves as beauty therapists do not actually study to become what they claim they are. The body of a human being is like the plumbing system of a house- everything has their ins and outs and the purpose of massages for instance is to be able to push toxins out of the body through a particular duct and it goes into waste.

“Unfortunately, most people who think they are giving massages actually push these toxins into the blood system. What should have been going through your kidney and out is being pushed back into the system. What would happen if you blocked all the outlets in a home? People would be drinking toilet water. So when you allow unqualified and uncertified massager to give you a rub down, you are actually killing yourself slowly and poisoning your entire system.”

With certifications from the National laser Institute of America, Advanced Medical School in Miami, the Enugu State born aesthetician considers the business as her greatest achievement.

“Having built this business and being alive to see all the various departments exactly the way I wanted them gives me unexplainable joy. Also the fact that I am able to meet my obligation to my staff every month in order for them to meet up with the needs of their dependents is another great achievement. I don’t take it very lightly.”

And her greatest challenge?

“Infrastructure, power and getting the staff to see your dream. Staff issue isn’t much of a problem because we are the trainers so the knowledge resides in us. So if I lose any employee, it doesn’t matter. But the fundamental issue is how much money I spend on diesel.”

She says she is a fulfilled woman. “I don’t know if there are people who are more fulfilled and happier than I am because I consider myself lucky. I am married to the best man in the whole world and I am saying it with such certainty and without any fear. My husband is a beautiful person, both inside and outside. I am also fulfilled at home.

“I don’t think I would have been able to see this level of success without the support of my husband, who allowed me make my dream happen. Whether I could or couldn’t afford it, he makes it possible. So I am able to dream and deliver big. I sometimes go to bed at night thinking of what to worry about and I can’t think of any. I thank God that I am only able to worry about my friends and family.”

She unravels the secret of her success. “When I first started, I couldn’t juggle, make the figures match, retain staff or prevent them from taking advantage of me or the business. Before Bnatural, I had a place called La Belle, a hair salon business which I did for a couple of years. It was successful but I was too young then to understand how to properly run a business. I was just about 22years and if I only knew what I know now, I probably wouldn’t have shut it down.

“Just six years ago, I found the secret. First, I invested heavily in the business such that it could now stand on its own. I also invested heavily in branding the business and finally, I put systems in place that rewards staff and took away the essence of the business from the staff and placed it on the business.”

Asked how she is able to juggle her role as a mother, wife and businesswoman operating in two cities, the lover of shoes replies, “I have been in this business long enough to put systems in place that is able to run itself. I didn’t start off like this. My husband doesn’t mind and is willing to play second fiddle for the business. With my children, I do not compromise, they come first. I know what is important and I do what makes everyone happy.”

Born in Plateau State, she recalls: “We didn’t understand hardship as my father was there to provide. My mother only took care of the home front. He was a successful man until he died and then my mother was able to send us all to school. It was tough.”

For someone who has been married for over 20 years to a Yoruba man from Ilesha in Osun State, she can hardly speak Yoruba.

“Probably because my in-laws are such wonderful people and I never felt that I needed to understand what they were saying. I was so comfortable in their company and never thought they could be saying something they didn’t want me to hear. But I now want to learn for fun. My in-laws have given so much, so I want to try to learn to speak it.”

Her dress sense is no doubt stylish but she is a lover of dark colours.

“I love black. In fact I wear it always to work. But whatever I wear has to be age appropriate. I am always in casual outfits- jeans, pants, shirts etc. I am also not a makeup person except I really need to dress up when it is absolutely necessary.”
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