Earlier this year, we met with Ify of STM Magical Creations in Enugu. We are glad to have her share about her business & the wedding industry and give great advice for couples & vendors. Read the wonderful interview to be inspired.
Please tell us about yourself and your business?
My name is Barr (Mrs) Ifeoma Stella Okoye. I am a Global Event Planner/Coordinator based in Enugu, Nigeria, a Professional Makeup Artist & Makeup Educator, a Lawyer, mother of 4 lovely kids, loving wife and a lover of God.
I’ve been a creative nerd for as long as I can remember with particular flare for all things weddings & beauty. I’m the Creative Director CEO of STM Magical Creations (formerly Pastel Creations) an Event & Beauty Company based in Enugu.
How did you start STM Magical Creations? What inspired you to get into the wedding industry?
How did I start? Informally, I’ve been doing this as a hobby since high school. I would paint and draw; loved playing with makeup and planning weddings for friends & family. I took it seriously as a business about 5 years ago after I left active Legal practice and my job as a full time Human Resource Manager for a US based NGO funded by CDC. What inspired me into the wedding industry? Well I would say the industry chose me. It gave me a platform to explore my creativity and passion. It’s also one of the most gratifying industries.
Would you start STM Magical Creations if you were to do it over again? What would you do differently?
Oh yes I would still start the same business if I was to do it all over again. What would I do differently? Well probably I would have spent less years in active legal practice and started earlier.
What has been your greatest motivation?
The feedback & smiles I put on my clients’ faces, that’s what drives me the most. Also my hope & faith in God, my passion for the art and the fact that I have an emotionally supportive husband.
What do you think of the Nigerian/Ghanaian wedding industry? Has it changed over the years and how?
The wedding industry in Nigeria & Ghana has definitely exploded over & beyond the worlds’ expectations. With the most colourful and richest cultural celebrations and so many skilled vendors, the rest of the world want to be us right now. The industry does not only generate great revenue, it tackles unemployment and fosters tourism.
What do you like about STM Magical Creations and working in the wedding industry?
Everything actually. The fact that I am doing what I love and making people happy. Also at the same time getting paid to do what I love. The wedding industry is a happy place and it’s an honour for me to be part of one of the most important & happiest days in a persons’ life.
What differentiates STM Magical Creations from others in your line of business and location? What are your greatest strengths?
I work with my heart. I treat every job and client like my only one. I don’t put money first. I have a sense of God because I put all my trust & hope in Him plus I have great passion for my job.
What do you expect from your clients (brides and grooms)? What don’t you expect?
I expect honesty and commitment. I also like very realistic and supportive clients. I love easy-going clients who know what they want and don’t make a fuss about every little thing. I don’t expect pettiness and dishonesty.
What are the most rewarding aspects of providing your service? What are the most frustrating aspects?
Most rewarding are the feedback, the results, and the emotional, spiritual and financial gratification. For frustrating aspects, it’s not all rosy all the time. I would say mostly when vendors disappoint or fall short last minute. Thank God for plan B and C.
What advice do you have for future brides and grooms regarding your type of business?
My advice is to hire a planner/coordinator. It’s not overrated. You need one. Family and friends can only do so much but a planner would make you truly enjoy your big day. Get a good makeup artist and cheaper isn’t always better. The goal is to be an effortlessly beautiful YOU on your big day, not a painted transformed YOU.
What advice do you have for up and coming businesses in your line of business?
You can’t do without God. Also make sure you’re in it for the right reasons; you have a passion for it & not for the money. That’s what will sustain you in the business: your skill & passion. Be approachable and humble, have a great personality & attitude, and provide a great customer service. Continued skill improvement, business & personal development is a must. You can’t be stuck in one place. Keep equipping yourself. Be out there and not under a rock. You need to associate and identify with your colleagues in the industry. You need a solid team to build a sustainable brand. Lastly never give up.
What award(s), if any, have you received?
The Experience Womanity Awards for Makeup Artist of the Year 2016
Visit STM Magical Creations’ page to learn more or contact vendor.