Pastor (Mrs) Deborah Omale is a woman of many parts. Apart from leading the woman ministry of the Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International founded by her husband Prophet Emmanuel Omale she is also the founder of Beauty Secrets. Beauty Secrets is a Spa and Beauty Saloon where women can get all their beauty needs met under one roof. Lets learn more about this beautiful and very hard working woman.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Well I grew up in a loving inter- tribal family, My father is from Oyo State while my mum is from Kogi . I was born in Kaduna and I can speak Hausa, Yoruba and Igala . My father was in the military so we moved around often and experienced living in different places, which was fun. In University I studied Mass Communications and specialised in Public relations, and even from my University days I always sold things to other students. My mum was a business woman and had a saloon where she also sold different hair products, so growing up it was common for us to hang out in her saloon after school. It was from her store that I picked up my love for business especially in the area of beauty.
Your flagship store is well laid out, how were you able to put everything together?
I already had a plan to open a place like this many years ago so I started visualising it early. As someone who loves to plan I have hard cover books where I was writing all my ideas down and my whole vision for beauty secrets , even down to the products I would buy. I just didn’t wake up and start spending on different items, rather I took my time to patiently recognise things I would find useful and would buy and store. Whenever I travelled and I saw something useful on sale I would buy, and even now I have stuff I still haven’t used. This strategy saved me a lot as I was not piled up with the pressure of buying everything at the same time. Also, in terms of how I wanted the shop organised I thought of myself as a woman and how I would go to one place for my facials, another place for my nails , somewhere else to buy cosmetics and so on. I decided it would be good to have a place where all I have to do is go upstairs or go to the next room, so part of my vision was to make it as convenient as possible, a one-stop shop of sorts.
Beauty Secrets has gained a huge following in a short time.
Yes, this month will be exactly 2 years of business and Gods hand has truly been in it, that’s all I can say really. Though its a relatively new business, but people always come and think we have been here for a while. It has just been a lot of planning and praying and I told God I wanted His hand on it because even if it’s a 5 naira business once Gods hand is on it He will multiply it, and He has done just that.
How supportive has your husband been through the whole process of starting and running a business?
My husband has been extremely supportive from day one. He always encourages me and there are some ideas he would give me and I would say to myself “ what does a man know about beauty” but once applied the advice will prove to be invaluable. Apart from ideas, he has given me spiritual, physical, financial and emotional support. I truly do appreciate him and it’s because of his unwavering support that I can have a business of this standard, I am grateful.
Some people are afraid to empower their wives because they feel she will stop respecting them, what do you think?
The issue is that some men have this wrong notion that their wife is competing with them. Also some of them have been conditioned by the society to feel she won’t respect you anymore once she makes money. Some men who would have been supportive have been affected by such conditioning and even their friends will warn them to not to invest too much money on their wives businesses. So if you have such a husband it’s something to pray about and if you have a supportive husband please appreciate him.
Regarding the notion of a woman changing because of money or not really depends on the woman. Even if you have money your husbands role should not be undermined, once you have it at the back of your mind as a woman and believer that your husband is the head it won’t go to your head. Infact, when you have money or are succesful you actually need to go out of your way to sure that you respect and honour him so that there will never be any question of you disrespecting him because of your money or success. The older women should also be a good example so that other men will see their attitude and empower their own wives. If you understand your husband role then you will be careful and treat him well. There are also some Men who test their wives in different ways,for instance he may give you a little financial support and want to see your reaction, so we need to be careful, calm and prayerful. God will give us the wisdom we need to pass such tests.
Being a Pastor’s wife do you get any criticism regarding owning a spa and saloon?
There are certain notions and things that a pastor’s wife isn’t supposed to do but gradually when it comes to things concerning beauty such notions are fading. Some will judge we have this notion of a pastor wife not acting a certain way or doing certain things but they forget that we are human and its because of all the pressure to be a certain way that some pastors make mistakes . Rather than judge them pray for them more as its really not easy to shepherd different people. Its really not possible to except perfection. Sometimes you just have to ignore some of those things and to be honest regarding running this business I haven’t really received any criticism.
Still on the topic of being a Pastor’s wife did you ever see yourself marrying a Man of God?
No I didn’t but when he came there was no hesitation and I didn’t even think twice about saying yes. He is not just your regular man of God . I think what made it easy was the fact that I was a new convert to Christ and just wanted to know more about God. He saw me for me, he was never judgemental and he was first of all my friend. I saw it as a divine arrangement and I knew it was not ordinary.I just knew meeting him was Gods way of taking me to another level, and use me to do more. My family was also very receptive of him despite them not being Christians at that time. Funny enough the first time he saw me he knew I was his wife.
How are you able to manage your role in the Ministry , the Spa and being a Wife and Mum? How do you do it all?
Like I have said before I am a planner , I love to plan, so the days I have church I am fully in church and the other days I am at the Spa. I also have a good team in church and in the Spa, In fact the reason why its somewhat easy for me is the deacons, pastors and workers who make the work easier. Then naturally I am someone who just loves to work, I do not believe in being lazy . The truth is that God has deposited so much in us that we are able to do so much and a lot of get lazy its totally ok to push ourselves and blow our own trumpet and other people will play the drums and other things. God expects us use the gifts he has given us. Sometimes, until you push yourself you don’t know how much you can do.
Being a Mum is a lot of work. What has helped me again planning, I make a plan and I stick to it. I also use alarms a lot to help me keep on track. Thankfully my Mum , Dad and everyone family is in Abuja so they help a lot and are very involved. As much as I can I try to be very involved with my son and when I can’t be with him he stays with Mum after school and until I pick him up after school. When my son was younger he used to come to my office in the Spa a lot but these days he wants to run around so spending time here isn’t fun for him.
With how busy your schedule is how do you unwind?
I stay at home, read a good book and sometimes I watch movies and just relax.
What challenges have you faced running a business of this type?
One of them is the high rate of dollar its affects pricing and you can’t just keep changing your price. Sometimes it may make things operate at a loss at that time . Another challenge is getting products but we have tackled that be ensuring we source supplies from the source where possible to be sure of authenticity. Infact I source 80 % of my products directly, even down to herbs for my hammam I get directly from Morrocco, with local products I also get from source. I go the extra mile and always ask myself for every product I stock can I use it because if there is any issue with fake products the criticism will be harsher.
Still on challenges, hiring commited staff is a major challenge faced by many, what has helped you in this area?
Firstly, I make sure I and my staff go for training once a year , this ensures they are up to date with new trends . The role I have as a mum at church has helped me with staff. When they know you are interested in their welfare and you care if they have a headache or feel unwell it helps. When it comes to salary I make sure I don’t owe I do not engage in any funny tricks when it comes to paying them their salary. I have heard people say pay salary late so they don’t leave but I ask such people why keep a person who doesn’t want to stay?
There is a lot of pressure on women, look nice, super mum, good cook. How do we deal with this pressure as a woman?
Be yourself and be real! Everyone is free to suggest and give recommendations but don’t pretend to be who you are not and don’t allow anyone mould you into an image , what they see is what they get. Never try and be who you are not as it will end up stressing you, just be yourself as long as you aren’t being offensive. Pressure will always come but don’t let it dictate who you are. Also don’t let people discourage you from that idea they may tell you a particular business is not viable but who knows God may use you as an example of how that business can succeed.
Thanks so much Pastor Deborah it’s been great talking to you!