“If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” – Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.
It is true that when you support local, you support a dream. In South Africa it is even more important to support entrepreneurs that might one day be responsible for creating more jobs.
I recently (email) interviewed Sarah, a young entrepreneur, that started making beauty products – and that sells at markets. Read her story…
- What is the name of your brand/company? How did you decide on the name? When did you start off?
The brand is called Cliché bath and body (done over, but so good!). I decided on this name as there is Rain, Lush, The Body Shop and other places selling the same type of product. I started in November 2016 when my mom told me work on a hobby for the school holidays, and I kept going from there.
- What do you manufacture/make/sell?
We buy in the ingredients and make the products, and sell them as best we can.
- How involved are you in the manufacturing process? Do you design/make it yourself – or import?
“The designs are fairly simple with the soaps, it’s the standard round and square bars for now. Designs for the bathbombs changes often from round to square or flower shaped with embedded stars or flowers. We try to keep up with the trends when making the products so that it is a product for everyone. I would not be able to have the range I have today without the help of mom, she spends all of her free time helping me.”
- Do you sell online, have your own shop or sell through other stores? Where do you market/sell your brand? Do you have a specific space dedicated to your brand in your house?
“We are busy with creating a website for online orders. Currently we are market hopping as it’s still in the beginning stages. We make everything in our Kitchen and my mom has all my products displayed in the front room in eyes view in a cabinet that no one can miss. “
- What are your expansion plans? Are you just starting out or already planning to expand beyond SA borders?
“We are just starting out, everything we have purchased in thus far my mom bought out of pocket. I would like to have a store someday soon and expand within Africa first and one day have stores abroad. Local is my first place to venture.”
- What was the best advice you read/heard while building your brand? Or do you have any advice for someone else just starting out?
“The best advice I got was my mom’s friend Aunty Majda who came to see the products as she is a graphic designer/photographer. She created the logo and phrase for the brand. She said to work slowly, and work with love. It’s the only way to get the perfect product and she is right. My advice to upcoming youngsters, anyone really, is to never give or sell to someone something that you will never use yourself. When you use your product it shows that you are proud of your product and that you are 100% comfortable with its quality.”
- Do you currently have employees – or are you the heart, soul and runner of your brand?
“For now it is just my mom and I. My cousin Azrah sometimes helps on a Saturday when we sell at the market. I hope to have more employed under the Cliché brand in the very near future.”
- What have been the biggest hurdles/obstacles in your brand journey?
“The biggest trial is the money, I started buying ingredients when I earned my first R800 shredding paper at my mom’s office. We didn’t make a loan, everything we buy is cash from the sales so it is going very slowly. People are still two minded about buying the products as we standing at markets and not in a shop.”
- Tell us about you – do you have a family at home (be it human or animal)?
“Yes, I live with my mom and dad and our cat Chewy. “ I am very afraid animals but I love Chewy. I am 13 years old and looking forward to going to high school. I love make-up and reading, and music, and sneakers too.
- What do you do when you are not at school?
When mommy and I are not selling at the markets on a weekend I spend time with my cousins as I am an only child. Mom and I will go shopping or I will help her bake as she bakes as well, or we just spend time together. Or go to the movies.
About your products…
- What is your favourite product?
“I love the lipbalms, I like all of my products but if I had to choose one, it would be the lipbalms”
- What has been the best-selling product? (attach pic)
“The soaps definitely sell well, especially the lemongrass fragrance.”
- How much of your material/wares are sourced locally in South Africa?
“All of my products are sourced locally, from the oils to moulds, and packaging as well.”
- Do you create new products on a seasonal basis/every 2 months…?
“We create new looks with the soaps, different colours and shapes inside soaps, of course there are lots of fragrances to choose from. So I would say when the idea pops up we rush to make it. “
- Which product is the must-have product – and why?
“All of them is a must have, definitely the lipbalm. No one wants to have chapped or dry lips. It is moisturising and very soothing. And they smell great too.”
To support Sarah you can WhatsApp or phone her to place an order: 0736940024