‘We have so much within, so much strength, ideas, so much to give. We understand ourselves, and that makes us a force.’ – Ayo Bassey

Meet Ayo Bassey, Seun Olusina and Violet Adesina, three women who have come together for beauty and a purpose.

Ayo Bassey is the founder & CEO of COC Beauty School. She is a serial entrepreneur, a wife, and a mother. A certified cosmetic formulator, perfumer, and biologist, she has over ten years of experience in cosmetic product formulation.

Seun Olusina is an interior designer with a passion for formulating natural skincare products that actually work. She began her journey with a B.Sc in Physiology from Babcock University, after that she proceeded to attend COC Beauty School’s Skincare Product Development Programme in 2018.

Violet Adesina is an Economics degree holder from the prestigious Covenant University. Her love for skincare made her pursue a second career in skincare product formulation by attending a course at COC Beauty School in 2018.

We had a quick Q&A Session with these Queens as we feature them on our digital cover for the month of November. Read and be inspired.

In Three Words, how would you describe yourself?
Ayo Bassey: Focused, Creative, Fun-loving
Violet Adesina: Fun Loving, Intuitive, Easy Going
Seun Olusina: Eccentric, Spontaneous, Determined

Share a little bit on your background.
Ayo Bassey: I grew up in Port Harcourt City, a close knit family with a very Christian background.
I studied Maths & Computer Science at Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) after that, I tried a couple of things like music, graphic design and more before finding my niche in Fashion and Beauty.
Violet Adesina: I’m from Rivers State Nigeria, grew up in Port-Harcourt and Studied Economics at Covenant University Ota. I’m currently married with two beautiful kids. In 2015 my passion for skincare got ignited and here I am today.
Seun Olusina: I live in Lagos Nigeria. I’m the only child of my parents.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your life so far?
Ayo Bassey: I can’t really place my greatest achievement so far but I’m happy about a lot of things in my life right now and I consider everything an achievement. Amongst everything, I’m very proud of how COC Beauty School has grown and how much people we’ve impacted. I’m proud of the platform we have built for others.
Violet Adesina: My relationship with God…It’s my truth. Everything I am today and all I have survived is because of the relationship I have built with Him over the years.
Seun Olusina: Creating my own Interior design company and executing large design projects.

What would you say are some of the practical steps you have taken towards ensuring consistent growth in your career?
Ayo Bassey: Investing generously in knowledge; Every month I have a budget for trainings, research and everything to improve my knowledge base. Visualizing; I paint pictures of my goals in my head first and design possible paths to achieving them. In the path I design, I visualize possible scenarios (both good and bad) then I create a plan that cushions bad effects whilst taking me to my destination.
Strategic work: I don’t work in vain, I work with strategy and conviction. I would say I’m not a hard worker, I’m a smart worker. I do less hours with more productivity other than many hours with less productivity. . . If I can’t visualize its success, I don’t put my weight on it .
Violet Adesina: One big push that got me here was getting a personal business coach.. I generally struggled with self motivation despite the passion I had for skincare… Working with my coach helped me tremendously to push towards my goals daily.
Seun Olusina: First thing would be learning. I believe the learning process never stops. I think of life as a never-ending learning curve. Send thing is, never be too afraid to take risks. You can’t find diamonds without a little mining.

Tell us about the COC Beauty School, the talk show and what it’s been like working with women to achieve a unified goal.
Ayo Bassey: COC Beauty School is an amazing institute, one of its kind in Africa. It’s an institute that raises beauty entrepreneurs by equipping them with standard formulation skill and business acumen. Our Tv show is called COC Beauty Lab, it is an exciting t.v show that aims to expand and redefine the definition of beauty. A show that is dedicated to all things Skincare, Haircare, Makeup & Perfumery. It will give you an inside look on how to create standard organic beauty products with simple ingredients. It airs every Sunday by 7pm on Dstv 262 , Startimes 116, Gotv 102 and Play 275.
Women are strong, creative and foresighted. It’s been great working with women as the creativity just flows. There’s a lot of warmth, and burning passion for our common goal when working with women, It’s beautiful.

Violet Adesina: Studying at COC Beauty school gave me the push I needed to launch out and go after my formulating career. Shooting the talk show was fun and it was interesting exchanging our views.. I loved working with all the women on the team. Everyone was quick to offer help and suggestions to help make the show better.
Seun Olusina: Honestly, the word women empowerment has been overused but COC really embodies this virtue. It’s created a safe environment for women to express their creativity with no judgement or barriers. It’s been an amazing experience.

Would you say you know your purpose in life? If Yes, how did you come to this realization?
Ayo Bassey: Yes, I believe I know my purpose in life; I believe I exist to bring light and life to people. I believe building lives is my core purpose, helping people see what’s available to become better versions of themselves.
I realized my purpose by the Holy Spirit and I have focused on it since then. Focusing on my purpose has been one of my best decision till date, my life simply turned a new leaf.
Violet Adesina: Well I’m still on the journey of self discovery and its gradually coming together… More of our purpose is revealed to us when we keep doing the little we know. The more I have explored and pursued my passions, the more its been expounded to me.
Seun Olusina: I don’t think anyone ever fully understands or knows their life purpose, except you have access to a soothsayer lol. We evolve and over time our purposes evolve as well. What I was called to do in 2017, probably isn’t my purpose right now. Basically, people change, and their purposes with it.

Who or What inspires you?
Ayo Bassey:
I’m mostly inspired by the Bible, also by success stories. I’m also inspired by a lot of African business women like Folorunsho Alakija, Mo Abudu, Tara Fela-Durutoye, and so many others. it’s amazing how they’ve stayed relevant over the years doing big things.
Violet Adesina: In the cosmetic formulating world, I am inspired by Susan Barclay Nichols a self made cosmetic chemist that has made waves in the cosmetic world. In general, I am inspired by the Tenacious hard working men and women fighting hard to actualize their dream with integrity.
Seun Olusina: Many people. I draw my inspiration from different sources. Friends, family, Successful people in different fields and beautiful women of course.

What advice can you offer to younger women looking to collaborate with peers on a project or business?
Ayo Bassey: Have a clear goal, be an excellent communicator and have all terms laid out clearly in black and white.
Don’t be over expectant, expect slip ups sometimes and have a plan b, plan c, down to plan z.
Understand your peers and accept them for who they are. Celebrate their strengths and figure out ways to cushion the effect of their weaknesses with love and diplomacy. Everyone has something great to offer if you give them room to be unique and ride on their strengths.
Violet Adesina: Be humble and always reciprocate evil with good.
Seun Olusina: My advice is to take it slowly. Don’t jump into partnerships that aren’t a good fit for your brand

What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far?
Ayo Bassey: Life is not by might, It’s not by your hustle or by starting first, it’s by “wisdom” and grace to finish well.
Violet Adesina: Love always wins…
Seun Olusina: The positive will always trump the negative so stay happy, stay healthy and remember to slow down and breathe once in a while.

Where do you draw strength on days when you feel no motivation to get things done?
Ayo Bassey: When I feel no motivation, I simply hibernate, I don’t force things.
In my hibernation mode, I think back and remember why I started doing things in the first place. I look back at how far I’ve come, and it gives me hope. Then I picture where I’m headed and the pictures of my destination inspire me to keep pushing. I always draw my strength from the word of God. I listen to a lot of faith messages plus, I have a collection of scriptures in my heart that motivates me.

Violet Adesina: I spend time with God…Watch a nice movie and take it easy generally. I usually bounce back good as new.
Seun Olusina: I just try to wind down, find my quiet space and there the ideas and motivation flows.

What is your take on “women supporting women”?
Ayo Bassey: We have so much within, so much strength, ideas, so much to give. We understand ourselves, and that makes us a force.
Violet Adesina: We are a strong force to recon when we support each other. God made us strong like that.

Time travel or teleportation?
Ayo Bassey: Teleportation, I like the idea of going anywhere I want to without restriction.
Violet Adesina: Definitely Teleportation.
Seun Olusina: Teleportation : I love to travel so I’ll like to be able to go wherever, whenever.

What would you like to be remembered for?
Ayo Bassey: Ayo Bassey motivated and helped me see greatness in my little”. .That statement summarizes how I want to be remembered.
Violet Adesina: I gave everything I had to offer to the World.
Seun Olusina: I’ll like to be remembered for being a positive influence to the people around me.

Read more about COC Beauty School here: https://cocbeautyschoolonline.com/homepage/

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