9. TOPE MATTI, 21
School: University of Nottingham
Course: Economics & Econometrics (BSc)
Grade: First Class
The internet age has allowed many a young makeup and hair enthusiast to showcase their talents and wares to an audience who can’t get enough. But when it comes to longevity and consistency the numbers start to dwindle.
This is why Tope Matti makes our Top 10, as she is a great example of how someone’s passion can become a thriving professionally-run business, and all while keeping her first-class grades at a Russell Group university!
Beautylockshair.com is an online store which sells top-quality hair pieces and lashes. It was the brainchild of Tope and her sister (who runs the business with her) and has built up a strong international clientele to the tune of £4,000 a month, a nearly 9,000-strong Instagram following and endorsements from popular bloggers including Breeny Lee and Shope Delano. Tope says: “We started really small and have built it up over time. There has always been a thing about black people and the products we use.
“This business came about because I wanted to buy some hair for myself and I thought ‘well, if this is something I use, why aren’t I buying it from someone like me?’”
In her role as Radical Youth choir leader, meanwhile, the keen gospel singer organises weekly rehearsals for the 15-strong chorus, as well as singing engagements across the UK and planning the song list for various events. Tope is also welfare officer and assistant leader for the Radical Youth mass choir that comprises groups from 20 different universities, ensuring RY visitors to the founding university, Nottingham, are well looked after and cared for.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Working in banking with a future view to teaching.