Sandra Aburime, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lucious Virgin Hair built her first house and bought her first car while in the university. Having been in business for many years and standing shoulder to shoulder with the menfolks, the hair care expert and merchant has certainly arrived. But annoyance comes from how Nigerians in particular and Africans in general perceived successful beautiful women.
To her, it is sad that a woman with beauty and brains cannot be accorded their deserved respect and regard.
“ There are so many advantages and disadvantages of being a beautiful woman, especially a beautiful and successful woman. It is sad to say in a country like Nigeria and probably in Africa it has been a major issue. Ladies complaining of harassment either vocally, physically or even online. We, in Nigeria, believe once a beautiful lady is successful she is either a prostitute, or she got her money illegally,” she said in a recent interview where she was speaking as a hair care expert and an entrepreneur in a male dominated business world.
Recounting her journey so far and the sacrifices she has made along the way, she said, “Just like every entrepreneur, I have had to make a lot of sacrifices for my business to stand. It hasn’t been an easy ride, I had to sacrifice time, spent countless hours working without no sleep, I have been duped, I have lost money, sometimes I have even gone broke to make sure the business does not die. I’ve had doubts, rejection and disappointments. When I just started my business in 2012, I decided to travel to India in search of human hair, as there were a lot of temples where human hair is donated and sold to factories to process. I had previously gotten hair from India online, which was really good. I decided to see more factories and get more partners. In search of a new factory, I met with a dealer Mr. Maju .
I showed him my samples and he told me he could deliver and after making all arrangements and paying the sum of twenty thousand dollars he told me to return after 10 days. So I travelled from there to another state called Mumbai to get some Indian fabrics, then I requested that my goods be sent to Mumbai as I already made plans to travel from Mumbai to Lagos. Only for me to get all the products worth 20,000 dollars all fake, I almost died that day, I had to leave India as my visa was going to expire and I didn’t want to be blacklisted for overstay so I came back to Nigeria with nothing . It was a very bad experience for me. All efforts to retrieve my money back was fruitless and impossible. I almost gave up on my business but it was part of learning and looking back I must say I am glad I made those sacrifices because it has taught me a valuable lesson in business.
Sandra Aburime founded Lucious Virgin Hair in 2012. Her journey into entrepreneurship began far back in her university days.
She said it all started as fun because she enjoyed shopping then realized she could actually sell and make extra money for herself and that was it, the rest was history as they say. After graduation she had made a lot of money and was already a millionaire.
“I had gotten a good car and built my first house, at that point there was no need to look for a job. I was already self-made and my brand was thriving,” she said.
Sandra Aburime hails from Ewu Local Government in Edo State, Nigeria. She attended Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), in Benin City, Edo State. She had a diploma in computer engineering and a Bsc degree in accounting from University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria.
Her Lucious Virgin Hair, over the years has grown exponentially not only in staff strength but also in size. She has branches in many States across the country with a great turnover rate. Her dream, according to her, is to have branches all over the world and to create more employment opportunities.
“I would also love to create a platform for young and new entrepreneurs to thrive in, create a free skill acquisition scheme to empower youths who would love to go into hair business and styling,” she stated.