By Christine Onwuachumba
Beauty, they say, inspires confidence. With so many grounds to cover in the business of looking good, charming and beautiful Irene Murray-Bruce has cultivated her interest in the beauty business. She owns and manages Sophinita, a world-class beauty parlor that equally boasts of world-class beauty facilities, located on the first floor of Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, Lagos.
A firm believer in nature, Irene, who is married to Mr. Jonathan Murray-Bruce, first son of Mr. Ben Murray-Bruce, strongly advocates the use of natural products. She explains that Sophinita is a Greek word that means ‘a marriage of wisdom and hair’. She went further to affirm that Sophinita is here to introduce Nigerian ladies to new beauty techniques and procedures that can only be experienced in the best beauty parlors in the world.
TS Weekend spent time with Irene at Sophinita. It was a moment of long chat and beauty experience. Excerpts:
Tell us about your foray into the world of beauty?
I have always had a passion for beauty ever since I was young. At my free time, I would practice on myself. I was always reading and acquiring knowledge on the best practices in enhancing beauty. I have gone to expert beauticians to gain a firm foundation on quality beauty services. I strive to stay current on styles and trends and pass it on to my staff.
What services are you going to offer that will capture the attention and devotion of prospective customers?
For the ladies, we offer hair and nail services, which include the basics such as hair extension installation, braiding, hair relaxing and other hair treatments, manicure and pedicure, nail art, gel nail polish and other nail extension services. We use high quality and top rated products that are linked with natural oil on our clients to maximize their satisfactory results. We also offer service packages such as the ‘Sophinita Pedicure and Manicure Package (for women)’, which is known as our trademark feet and hand care. Clients can have their hands and feet wrapped in a cocoon of our natural deep hydrating blend of 100% blend of raw shea butter as our key ingredients alongside other natural and essential oils.
Also, we have the ‘Foot Spa Package’, once again our trademark that consists of a holistic relaxation method while engaging in any hair service. I highly recommend this package for clients who fall in the static category of women on high heels on a daily basis. Clients are opportune to give those stressed feet a moment of pamper together with rejuvenation and relaxation while getting their hair done. And of course, these packages can be acquired at an affordable price. We do not only practice the art of beauty but also believe in good customer service at all cost, and the conscious practice of hygienic method such as sterilization of all implements and products to avoid cross infection, for the safety of our clients.
Do you also cater to men?
Yes we do! The men are not left out. We offer barbing services, pedicure and manicure for men, that is Sophinita Pedicure and Manicure Package (for men). As we all know, men have a short list of services in beauty parlors compared to women. Despite the simplified basic beauty concern, we concentrate more on the hygienic care of all implantation to be used on our gentlemen, which we believe is the crucial and first step in the beauty service.
Why did you go into the beauty business?
Beauty creates self-confidence for individuals. My undying passion for beauty inspired me into the beauty business. It is something I see myself doing for a long time. I would love to expand my experience by offering services to people who seek it.
What is a normal day in your life like?
Normal day life…(laughs). It’s a 3-in-1 routine: part time housewife, entrepreneur, and super mom! It’s all about family. The support I get from them keeps me on track. I am so blessed to have a lot of them around me…also not to forget, the firm believe that ‘God got my back’. I’m married to Jonathan Murray-Bruce, the Executive Director of Silverbird Cinemas with a lovely daughter who is the masterpiece and inspiration to the name of my salon.
Tell us a bit more about yourself?
Well, Irene loves to live a very active and healthy lifestyle. She enjoys spending time with family, reading, writing, and dancing… there is quite a number on the list but I will top it off with… I’m a huge make-up junkie. I am also a very private person; a people’s person and I always apply a hands-on approach to any task I undertake.
Coming from a successful family, what is your dream for Sophinita?
My dream is to expand to greater heights beyond my expectations. My plan is to make Sophinita a one-stop shop for all beauty needs. I also see myself expanding the business beyond hair. Remember I mentioned that I was a make-up junkie, I appreciate all aspects of beauty and I strive to offer the best in products and customer services. Eventually, one day I’d love to offer the best in make-up services and products.