The Covid-19 pandemic has most certainly accelerated the ‘support local’ movement, a massive boost for many start-ups.
Voice Woman talks to two passionate entrepreneurs who’re making waves not only creating employment opportunities but also bringing much-needed solutions to women’s problems with their homegrown organic hair care products; Director of Beullah Cosmetics, Beullah Maponyane, and Wada Busani of Ludo Beauty.
Beullah Cosmetics – Rosemary Hairline Growth Oil
The Mochudi-born Maponyane, who holds a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) Degree from the University of Botswana, says indeed her company was founded out of a need to solve a problem she had with her own hair.
“I had a receding hairline due to prolonged use of wigs. I was searching for an answer everywhere, then I realised that many people around me had gone through a similar experience at one point or another in their lives. It was comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one, however, it was equally frustrating because of the lack of suitable solutions.”
It was this realisation that led the 32-year-old businesswoman to – in the absence of satisfactory products in the market – want to come up with a solution.
“I tried everything, to a point of wanting to import hairline growth products but I ended up being led by God to research and then formulating my own product from the experience I gained in my search for a solution. That’s when I came up with the first product in the Beullah Cosmetics line, the Rosemary Hairline Growth Oil.”
So, in November last year, she started working on the cosmetics startup, which she launched in March this year; so far she has over 600 followers on Facebook.
“I was inspired to act on my dream to start this business through God’s guidance and leading. My business is self-funded; I saved money from my previous part-time job and invested it into the business. We are still growing and I believe by the grace of God we will get to the place where God is leading us to as a business.”
Her Rosemary Hairline Growth Oil, which she says is 100% organic and has no harsh chemicals, is made from herbal oils, the main ingredients being rosemary oil and Kalahari melon seed oil.
She says the hairline growth oil has been formulated to assist people who’ve lost hair due to poor management, and she advises: “Restoring your hairline takes patience, commitment to the process and consistency. It’s also very important to identify the cause of your hair loss and work on avoiding the causes. Only then can one begin working on restoring one’s hair. For health reasons, we usually recommend a dermatologist.”
With plans to expand underway, the ambitious Maponyane is currently working on getting the product into various stores nationwide, “At the moment, we courier and sell it from our own outlet. We will be making announcements of stockists on our social media as we introduce it to different stores. We are on Facebook and Instagram ‘Beullah Cosmetics’. Our phone and WhatsApp line is +267 74 248354,” she concludes and adds, “I hope we’ve created a product that will positively impact the lives of people as well as bring solutions to problems that can be solved using cosmetics.”
31-year-old Wada Busani from Letsholathebe says she founded her company, Ludo Beauty, which boasts 24,960 followers on Facebook and 1,354 on Instagram, in 2017. The company has a staff complement of 6 employees, 4 permanent and 2 part-time.
Formerly in the financial sector, the assertive Busani was driven to create her range by a personal need for moisture-rich hair care products. “We are a young and passionate company that strive to make healthier hair care products more accessible and affordable for the African market.”
Located at Pilane Industrial, the company prides itself on manufacturing and developing plant-based, non-toxic hair care products specially created for the southern African climate, whose ingredients include marula oil and shea butter among others.
“Not only do we offer healthy hair care solutions but also our moisture rich products help combat hair issues such as dry, brittle and painful hair.”
Ludo Beauty’s tag line is “Choose Love”, as “Ludo” means “Love” in Kalanga.
The product line, which is suitable for all hair types, consists of Ludo Marula Gentle Cleansing Shampoo, Marula Hydrating Leave-in Conditioner infused with Marula Oil and Shea Butter, Ludo Detangling Conditioner and Ludo Marula Hairline Protector & Scalp Oil, “A 100% natural, lightweight oil blend that strengthens the hairline and promotes a healthy scalp.”
The bubbly go-getter says though Batswana can be skeptical of local brands, testimonials shared by clients via social media have helped reassure potential customers.
She laments the downside of operating during a pandemic, “It was hard to do deliveries at first, however, the upside is that because a lot of people adhere to set protocols, they now avoid going to the salon therefore have become self-reliant, caring for hair at home. We share tutorials on Facebook and offer hair tips and advice via WhatsApp.”