Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Irene’s Sophinita dream

TIME is 2pm. A young lady walks in to the beauty parlour on the first floor of Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos, and starts acknowledging greetings from everyone around. You wonder who she is. The good-looking lady owns and manages Sophinita, the beauty parlour she just entered.
She offers her hand for a shake. A warm human pleasantness follows. Hmmmh!... She smells beauty. She does not only speak the language, she lives it. That’s Irene, wife of the executive director of Silverbird Cinemas, Jonathan Murray-Bruce.

Sophinita, what a name, you allowed your mind to ask. As if on cue, she says, “It is a combination of a Greek name ‘Sophia’, which is also the name of my daughter,  meaning wisdom. Nita is the suffix of the word, ‘Bonita’, a Spanish word for beauty. Sophinita means ‘wisdom of beauty!’”
Irene has every reason to believe she possess ‘wisdom of beauty’ already. In fact, she is introducing Nigerian ladies to new beauty techniques and procedures that can only be experienced in the best beauty parlours around the world.
“I have always had a passion for beauty ever since I was young. At my free time, I would practice on myself. I was always reading and acquiring knowledge on the best practices in enhancing beauty. I have gone to expert beauticians to gain a firm foundation on quality beauty services. I strive to stay current on styles and trends and pass it on to my staff,” she says, warmly.
According to Irene, “beauty creates self-confidence for individuals. My undying passion for beauty inspired me into the beauty business. It is something I see myself doing for a long time. I would love to expand my experience by offering services to people who seek it.”
Irene continues, “we cater for all women as our mainstream, men and even kids. We offer hair and nail services. Hair cutting, too. We also offer service package such as Sophinita pedicure and manicure package for women and men. Our trademark service includes the use of Natural oils such as raw shea butter, virgin coconut and Argan oil. Another package is the foot spa package, which is mostly ideal for women on high heels. Clients have opportunity to relax their feet while making their hair. Also, the kids are not left out! We have the kids’ package. We use “just for me” product which is specially formulated for kids, they get to wash, condition, treat and braid their hair all at one price... and it’s very affordable.”
Challenges faced running Sophinita
“It has its ups and downs just like any other business. No matter the situation my main concern is to make sure clients get maximum satisfaction on any service they want,” she muses.

SO, who is Irene?                                             “Well, Irene loves to live a very active and healthy lifestyle. She enjoys spending time with family, reading, writing, and dancing... there is quite a number on the list but I will top it off with... I’m a huge make-up junkie. I am also a very private person; a people’s person and I always apply a hands-on approach to any task I undertake,” she says.
Fashion, to her, is a way of life. “It defines one’s personality,” she says. “I’m always flexible when it comes to fashion; it all depends on my mood.”
Her best perfume is Givenchy. “It is irresistible,” she says. And for make up, she goes for  a lot of brands she loves. “I am a makeup junkie... Estée Lauder, Givenchy, Urban Decay, Lancôme, Nars, NYX ...”
What is a normal day like for her?
A gleam of her teeth flashes, as she smiles. “Normal day life...?” she asks rhetorically. “Well, if you insist, it’s a 3-in-1 routine: part time housewife, entrepreneur, and super mom! It’s all about family. The support I get from them keeps me on track. I am so blessed to have a lot of them around me...also not to forget, the firm believe that ‘God got my back’.”
Philosophy of life?
“No one is perfect. Every disappointment is a blessing. Every mistake is an experience that makes you a better person in life,” she explains.
Her role models?
“I have so many... it depends. I can’t say I have one role model because there might be some qualities that I might not like about them. Though no one is perfect, I just pick out what I feel is flawless about the person. I think it is fair to say I have a lot... hmm... but one person, I definitely see as flawless in the music industry is Amy Lee of Evanescence,” she laughs.
Her dream for Sophinita
“To expand to greater heights beyond my expectations. My plan is to make Sophinita a one-stop shop for all beauty needs. I also see myself expanding the business beyond hair. Remember, I mentioned that I was a make-up junkie, I appreciate all aspects of beauty and I strive to offer the best in products and customer services. Eventually, one day I’d love to offer the best in make-up services and products.”

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