Meet Tara Fela-Durotoye; CEO House of Tara International

Tara Fela-Durotoye is a Nigerian top beauty entrepreneurs. She is the founder and CEO of the prestigious make-up brand, House of Tara International.

Tara Fela-Durotoye is one of the pioneers of bridal makeup and has risen to a respected height in the make up industry. She is a role model to most make up artists and mentors young business owners across Africa through many platforms.

Tara Fela-Durotoye was born on the 6th of March, 1977 to John Ejegi Sagay and Felicia Omaghomi. Her father, John Ejegi Sagay was a commissioner at the Federal Civil Service in Nigeria and a polygamist.

Tara was raised by her step mom, Modupe Agnes Sagay because her mom separated from her dad when she was eight months old. Her step mom turned out to be her inspiration for venturing into the Make-Up business because she always looked elegant with her make-up made.

Tara Fela-Durotoye attended Command Children School, Victoria Island and proceeded to Nigeria Navy Secondary School, Ojo for her School Leaving Certificate. She is a lawyer by education and an alumna of Lagos Business School.

Only few women have been able to hold both the home and business front together and Tara is one of them. From what we can see, she has a good grip of both the home and business front.

House of Tara International is a company that is spread across three main streams – The Make-up Studio, The Make-up Academy and the Tara product line which comprises of product lines and make up kits. They also specialise in the distribution, retail and channel management of cosmetics.

She got the inspiration to be an entrepreneur by a speech she heard in secondary school by someone in advertising. The speaker was very creative in his speech delivery about entrepreneurship that he caught Tara’s attention and bore a seed that will germinate to bear fruitful fruits. Although that seed had already been planted but her real motivation for choosing the make-up industry was stirred by her step mother.

Tara Fela-Durotoye started House of Tara International in 1998 at the age of 20 as an undergraduate in Lagos State University. Like I mentioned, Tara Fela-Durotoye is a lawyer by education and a makeup artist by vocation who later trained at Charles Fox. Tara came to limelight when she was featured in the Ovation Magazine as the make-up artist for Jumobi Adegbesan’s wedding to Richard Mofe-Damijo. The society wedding brought her previous 3 years of entrepreneurship to spotlight.

The beauty entrepreneur introduced the first bridal directory in 1999 and also set up international standard makeup studios. Tara Fela-Durotoye dedicated her time to building House of Tara to an internationally respected African brand with 26 make up studios and more than 8,000 beauty representatives across the country. Her company has grown beyond Nigeria and has branches in Senegal, Benin and Ghana.

House of Tara Academy has graduated over 1500 students who are employers of labour, beauty bloggers and a good number has gone ahead to work for international cosmetic brands.

In her desire to see women succeed, she started some initiatives; Tara Fela- Durotoye (TFD) Series, TFD Mentoring Programmes and TFD Bride Grooming Academy. These initiatives are to empower, mentor and support women.

In partnership with First City Monument Bank, she launched a new economic empowerment initiative ‘Beauty Business on the Go’ which is aimed at empowering women to become entrepreneurs.