Adebukola Salau also known as Arewah is a mother to two beautiful girls but beyond that, she is a professional makeup artist and a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about the empowerment of women of colour. She started Her Connect Hub out of a strong desire to see women especially those in the black community across the UK succeed and thrive in business.
Our founder started MakeemStare first as a WhatsApp group to share her beauty and fashion expertise with women. While running the group and interacting with the women on board, she observed that a lot of them were entrepreneurs who had the lack of exposure their businesses needed to succeed and thrive. They were on the verge of throwing in the towel on their businesses and this motivated me to create an avenue to foster and promote business connections.
In 2018, we hosted our maiden Makeemstare business show exhibition. The event had over 25 registered exhibitors and 22 confirmed exhibitors present on-site. The first event was a success. However, like Oliver Twist, she wasn’t satisfied. She knew something was still amiss. As women, we tend to put ourselves on the back burner and every other thing and everyone always comes first. From our spouses, kids, careers, businesses, and families to daily activities. Our schedules are always chaotic and by the end of the year, we are drained and burned out. In a bid to make sure women had time for themselves outside the lines of work and business, she created MES Christmas Ball as a strategic event held at the end of the year when most women feel overwhelmed to take time off and recover from the stress of the year. It is an annual intimate event to foster conversations, and meaningful connections beyond business while learning and networking in a glamorous, relaxed, and enchanting fine-dining setting.
The following year, we went bigger and hosted the second edition of the MES Business show at Hatfield House, an iconic venue where the Queen was raised as a toddler. Over 35 exhibitors were present. Like every other business in the UK, MES was also affected by the pandemic but that didn’t stop us either. In 2020, we launched the MES Business Directory and held the first largest virtual exhibition in the UK with 22 exhibitors and over 150 attendees. The Christmas Ball however could not be held due to the Covid restrictions. Post-Covid in 2021, we held our first physical exhibition as a family-themed Business exhibition to give exhibitors and their families a breather from being cooped up indoors for a long time.
Since 2017 we have grown with the help of God, focus, determination, hard work, resilience, and a committed community. However, her dream was to have a global presence where women begin to think beyond wealth acquisition to creation, sustainability, investment, economic development, self-improvement, and legacy. Like the Jews, our communities will be behind to keep our money within.