“Chase your dreams and money will chase you. Don’t do a course because of money, do it because it’s what you love to do.”
You have probably heard this advice from somewhere before, that you should focus on what you are passionate about and the money will follow. Lydia is a living example of the truth to this statement. She discovered from the young age of 12 years old that she had an interest in beauty. She nurtured that passion, through the highs and lows, up to where she is now. Today, Lydia owns a successful spa in Parklands that focuses on skin technology, makeup, nails, and all things beauty.
Things were not always easy for Lydia. Her journey, as you will see, has been a rollercoaster. However, she was guided by her love for the industry and focus on what her heart desired until she finally made a breakthrough. From earning 3,500 shillings a month, Lydia now makes this amount in just one hour.
We sat down with Lydia to find out more about her journey to where she is today, to draw some advice for upcoming beauticians, and to learn from the lessons that she has learnt in this journey.
- Who is Lydia?
I am a child of God who loves Jesus, a beauty therapist, a skin specialist, and an entrepreneur. I am the CEO of Flawless by Lydia. I am 28 years old and the firstborn of a family of 4.
- Take us through your journey from the beginning up to now.
I grew up in Machakos County. When I was in class 6, at age 12, I discovered that I loved braiding hair. I joined a mixed secondary school and did my KCSE in 2011. All along, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I saw excellence in my gift and passion rather than studying at university. The problem was that my parents didn’t support my idea of joining a Beauty College at first. I found a job as a house help in Nairobi and my monthly salary was 3500 Kenyan shillings. I worked as a house help for 2 years and then I decided to try out something different.
In 2014, I went to Kamukunji downtown to sell baby clothes. This is when I realized that God was calling me to the business industry. In 2015, my parents agreed to pay my college fees at Ashley’s Hair and Beauty Academy. The course was to take 7 months, but I did it in 5months. I was so good at it that my teacher found me a job in Westlands. God blessed me with a great boss who is still my mentor in the beauty industry. She advised me to learn more about skin technology and so I took an international level course for 3 months. I later graduated as the best student at Ashley’s, worked for one and a half years, then opened my first company Heavenly Joy spa. My main issue was starting capital, and so I decided to work with a business partner. The spa was in operation for 8 months then we shut down. I left everything and started another business on my own. So Flawless by Lydia spa was born in 2019.
- You said that from the beginning you weren’t interested in joining the university, but that was against your parents’ will. How did you manage to change their minds to the point where they paid for your fees at Ashley’s?
Actually, it’s not me who changed their minds, they did. They realised that I was not ready to give up on my dream. In fact, they didn’t know the college and yet they paid my whole school fees at a go.
- What advice would you give to parents who put their vision before their children’s desires?
Inspire your children to follow their dreams, rather than your dreams for them. Motivate their talents whether it be playing football, cooking, dancing, fashion, beauty, or any other. It’s not your plan as a parent but God’s plan for them. Your work is to pray, support, and encourage them because it’s not easy.
- Who/What inspires you?
First and foremost, I inspire myself. When I look back to where I have come from it gives me hope for tomorrow. My clients also believing in me and supporting me is an inspiration. I love beauty and this is where my purpose is. Knowing this drives me with a passion to make it happen. This is God’s gift to me and what I do is my gift back to God.
- What would you say is the main challenge is this industry?
The biggest challenge in the industry is the increase in the production of fake products that sometimes have a bleaching effect. Secondly, there is a lot of unprofessionalism in this industry. Many people who call themselves beauty therapists are unqualified and this might have effects on the client’s health in the long run.
- Your biggest achievement?
For starters, I was the best student of the year 2015 at Ashley’s Hair and Beauty Academy. I have advanced in my beauty career and become a skin specialist. Lastly, being a CEO of Flawless by Lydia spa and creating Employment for young persons is among my biggest accomplishments.
- Recently, there has been a lot of controversy when it comes to the issue of using makeup. There have been instances where people are bashed online for not looking the same when they’re without makeup. What is your take on the perception that makeup is for ugly girls trying to hide their flaws?
I don’t believe that any of this is true. I believe that no matter your flaws make up only boosts your features by enhancing them, but at the same time, it doesn’t make you who you are. I’m a strong believer that inner beauty matters. I am blessed to have gone through a lot and my story shows that if you work on your personality first the rest will follow.
- Is it possible to maintain good skin on a low budget? Why or why not? If yes, how do you do so?
Yes, it’s possible. You start by knowing your skin type and skin condition for you to get the right products. I would advise you to first consult a skin specialist who will help you understand your skin and help you work on your budget.
- What would you tell the younger you?
To be purpose-driven and patient. Everything will work out in the end.
- Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Ten years from now, I will have set up branches for the Flawless Spa. I would also like to open up a beauty school where I will hold beauty training and especially in skin technology. I would like to see boys and girls achieve their dreams just like I have in this industry.
- What advice would you give to young girls trying to penetrate the industry?
I would say that purpose drives you into doing what you love. Chase your dreams and money will chase you. Don’t do a course because of money, do it because it’s what you love to do. I used to earn 3,500 shillings a month. Now I earn that in less than an hour.
The Flawless by Lydia Spa is located in Parklands, Ojijo Road next to Kobil petrol station.
You can also reach her on 0702901848 or follow her Instagram business page here.
Liked this interview? Read this one as well: Rita Okuthe Talks About Her Journey To The Top And Safaricom’s Investment In Women’s Leadership