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 stepmom, Modupe Agnes Sagay because her mom separated from her dad when she was eight months old. Her stepmom 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.
Tara Fela-Durotoye married her sweetheart, Adetokunbo Olufela Durotoye on the 12th of May, 2001, and the two love birds are blessed with three amazing boys; Mobolurin, Deilade, and Morolaoluwa. Fela-Durotoye. Her husband is a business strategist, motivational speaker, and recently a presidential aspirant.
Only a 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 on 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 makeup kits. They also specialize 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 her real motivation for choosing the make-up industry was stirred by her stepmother.
Tara Fela-Durotoye had this to say about her stepmother “My stepmom was a fantastic woman, very fashionable, so when you looked at her dressing table she had make-up products, she would paint her face in the morning, she never missed her hairdressing appointment, her nail polish was always perfect. I grew up seeing her adorn herself and I liked looking at her through all that process. I didn’t know that a seed was being sown in my heart.”
Tara Fela-Durotoye started the House of Tara International in 1998 at the age of 20 as an undergraduate at 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 makeup 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 labor, beauty bloggers, and a good number have gone ahead to work for international cosmetic brands.
Awards and Recognition of Tara Fela-Durotoye
1. Award for Excellence in the Beauty Sector by City People in 2006
2. Pioneer Award for Beauty by Fashion and Style Award in 2006
3. Young Person of the Year by The Future Awards in 2007
4. Africa SMME Award and Entrepreneur Award held in South Africa in 2007
5. Wedding Planner Honorary Award for Mentoring in 2008
6. Creative Business Award of the Year, Success Digest in 2008
7. Best Innovative Idea by Nigerian Event Awards in 2011
8. Forbes List: 20 Young Power Women in Africa in 2013
9. Nominated as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2013
10. YNaija Power List: 10 most powerful Under-40s in Business in Nigeria in 2014