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Esosa Ighodaro: ‘Have a good meal often & find someone to laugh with’

The founder of COSIGN, a social media startup, on building a business and the best face masks

A Brooklyn native, Esosa Ighodaro started her career as many finance degree holders do, working for a bank on Wall Street. However, she quickly realized her life’s calling was elsewhere. Ighodaro met future business partner Abiodun Johnson on a subway platform en route to a party. He asked her about her dress, they struck up a conversation and he ended up joining her at the event. Thus, their joint passions for fashion and tech created the foundations for their company, COSIGN.

COSIGN allows people to easily tag and find product information within a photo on a social platform, making the post “shoppable” and allowing the tagger to earn money from their social posts. With COSIGN, now anyone can earn money from their selfies.

We asked Ighodaro about her journey from finance guru to entrepreneur and the little things that keep her going.

Name & Title:

Esosa Ighodaro, co-founder & president of COSIGN

Age:

30

One-sentence description of your business: 

We turn products within photos into shoppable posts on social media.

What is your morning routine?

After I hit snooze twice, I wake up and thank God and say a little prayer. Then, I think about three to five things I am grateful for. This helps start the day on a happy note. Then I prepare for my day and decide what to wear.

What is your work uniform?

My go-to style consists of jeans, a blouse and flats.

What apps can’t you live without?

COSIGN, of course. I am also always on Facebook and WhatsApp.

How would you describe your workspace?

My workspace is the world’s smallest office on Wall Street, but it does the job for now. It fits about three desks and a three-in-one printer.

The founder of COSIGN, a social media startup, on building a business and the best face masks
Image: Esosa Ighodaro

What do you wish someone had told you when you were just starting your business?

I wish someone told me that finding the right talent will be hard, so start now. Also, raising money isn't a cakewalk, so save as much as you can and find alternative fundraising options.

You can have a business meeting with any three people, living or dead. Who do you choose?

Oprah Winfrey, Mahatma Gandhi and Michelle Obama. They are geniuses.

What is the key to balancing work and nonwork, business and play?

The key to balancing work and nonwork is to enjoy the ride, have a good meal often and find someone to laugh with. Also, try to take a vacation, even if it’s a staycation, at least twice a year.

The founder of COSIGN, a social media startup, on building a business and the best face masks
Image: Esosa Ighodaro

What do you do to relax?

It’s really tough for me to relax, but I try to watch a movie or binge a TV series. If I want to splurge, I treat myself to a day at the Turkish bathhouse for a massage and heated saunas.

Any beauty or health secrets?

I have a thing for face masks. I try to do a mask weekly and see the difference when I get lazy or forget. Honey masks are awesome! Put natural honey all over your face for 10 minutes and rinse [it] off. Your skin will be more even and so soft.

What was the last trip you took?

South Africa was one of the most amazing places I have ever visited. It is truly one of the world’s most beautiful cities and people. I visited Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban last month.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Building a business is not easy, so plan to go through a few storms along the way. You can’t avoid tough times; you can only get through them by taking care of things you can control.

The founder of COSIGN, a social media startup, on building a business and the best face masks
Image: Esosa Ighodaro
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