Toke Makinwa is not just an entrepreneur, but is also an author, actress, social media influencer, and media personality, with over 5 million followers combined. Before getting into the entertainment industry, Toke worked in the banking industry for 2 years, however, she quickly realized this was not for her. Feeling unfulfilled and in search of a purpose, Toke took a leap of faith and auditioned for a radio job in 2010. After getting her first big break as a radio presenter, Television followed, and then her YouTube channel after that. From starting her YouTube Channel, “Toke Moments,” Toke has now built a lifestyle brand and launched 2 businesses, all within the past 10 years.
Toke currently runs 3 businesses – Toke Makinwa Luxury, a notable leather company that produces accessories, Toke Makinwa Beauty, a beauty brand, and lastly, Toke Makinwa Brand, which is a lifestyle brand. Toke lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria, and has become a sort of idol for women in Nigeria. When asked about her motivation to start her own business, Toke shares:
“I realized how much impact I had on women across Africa and I wanted to build a legacy that will live longer than my celebrity status, fame and all the glitz and glamour. I wanted to create opportunities and also inspire every young black girl who is starting out with nothing but a dream, which is all I had when I started out.”
By diversifying her brand and growing into much more than just a media personality, Toke wants to empower other women to be a better version of themselves and celebrate the different standards of beauty out there. As Toke says,
“To be truly successful, you have to impact lives, share knowledge and help someone else get on that journey too. It can be very lonely at the top and you truly haven’t lived until you’ve made someone else feel closer to their purpose.”
This is why the Toke Makinwa Foundation recently launched a support group, “Caleb and Rose,” to create platforms that support entrepreneurs and provide vocational training in the creative space for young individuals with dreams of becoming fashion entrepreneurs. They are also helping others, through education grants, to get an education or further their studies in Nigeria.
“I continue to pursue purpose with one goal, becoming a global brand and building a legacy that is beyond my celebrity status,” states Toke.
Throughout this year, Toke plans to expand her brands, TM Luxury and TM Beauty brands. In fact, globalization of the TM Brand is one of her main objectives, along with more pan African collaborations, more movies, and another book.
Having built 3 businesses from what at one point only seemed like a dream, Toke has learned the importance of maintaining a good mindset and learning from your mistakes. For those who are trying to start their own business, Toke encourages you to keep moving forward, despite the fears you may have.
“Be teachable, it may not happen as you have imagined it in your head, in most cases it doesn’t, obstacles will come, you will fail, the key is to fail forward and lastly start small,” Toke shares.
To learn more about Toke Makinwa and her different businesses, follow her on Instagram here.