I was humbled to be part of the SEED Entrepreneur camp in January 2017 as a guest speaker. Sharing my journey about growing up in the townships and starting my own business, Indoni Skincare, was a great experience. I believe that many of the girls there could relate to my story, because of our similar backgrounds growing up in disadvantaged communities as a young woman. I am excited to participate as a mentor in 2018 Entrepreneur Program and I hope to continue to motivate young girls to stay inspired to pursue their dreams of being entrepreneurs.
Here is my story on how I started Indoni Skincare.
I was born with a skin condition. It wasn’t severe, but my skin would peel off and no one knew why. The condition eventually got better, but then during my teen years I suffered the onslaught of acne. This led to very low self esteem. Like any teenage girl, I wanted flawless glowing skin. I wanted to fit in and be seen. I tried every beauty product on the market but none gave me the results I wanted.
My dream of being a medical doctor was thwarted by my family situation and financial limitations, however I was fortunate to receive a learnership to study marketing and customer management at college. During my college years my acne stayed with me, as did my low self esteem. I wasn’t popular and was never asked out. I was now certain that nothing would heal my skin.
After graduating, work was not easy to find. I spent time as an intern on a short term contract then found myself unemployed. I spent my days handing out my CV’s any chance I could get, or staying at home. My frustration grew, until one day I saw Dr Oz on television talk about good nutrition and how it heals and develops the body from the inside out. He spoke on power foods and fruit and vegetables that are great for the human organs and the skin. That was my light bulb moment. I remember that night I prayed to God, asking for help and inspiration. The next morning I woke with the idea of developing a skin care range from food.
It took me almost two years of research to figure out the perfect formulations, the right essentials oils, the food compounds to use, and the type of edible oils to mix. In 2014 I gave out samples of what I had formulated to friends and family. The feedback was positive. By 2015 word had spread and people started buying my products. I realised I needed to raise capital to develop further so in 2016 I entered several competitions and won The Sabskick Start Ignite and The Innovation Hub Gate/Gap Awards. For this I am very grateful as now I sell and distribute my skin care range in various provinces. I have also started a hair care podcast plus a mobile spa and I host educational skin care/workshop camps once a year. I look forward to bringing these workshops to SEED this year and teach the girls about making natural skincare products for themselves.