Christine Wanjiru is the founder of Ayari Ani Cosmetics, an organic cosmetic line that caters to individual skin care needs. Wanjiru started her cosmetic brand in 2017 out of frustration by the lack of diversified and affordable Kenyan organic brands. According to her, the few existing brands hardly pay attention to what formulas work for different skin types and why.
The products by Ayari Ani Cosmetics are made with the consumer in mind, “We communicate directly with consumers, and more times than most, develop personalized skin-care regimes,” Wanjiru told Lionesses of Africa. Also, the products are organic, animal-cruelty free, gender neutral, and strictly use eco-friendly packaging. “It is really important that we pay attention to the planet and consumer habits without robbing pockets,” she said.
The brand was officially launched in January this year with a team of five people, all of whom are in their early twenties and passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals. Particularly Goal 12 and 17 that border on responsible consumption and production, and partnerships for goals. “Balancing school and work was no easy feat but we managed to hit a sweet spot and developed a team that contributes to the overall mission and vision of the company,” Wanjiru said.
The young entrepreneur plans to influence the cosmetic market by shedding light on and promoting organic and Eco-friendly brands, and by changing the general attitude about cosmetics being a ‘woman’s market’. Wanjiru also plans to keep Ayari Ani Cosmetics true to its goal of being a solution to an existing consumer issue of alleviating skin care problems.
In Botswana, budding entrepreneur, Mishingo Aaron has also created a handmade organic bath and body product range that includes luxurious essential oils, soaps, body scrub and creams that she supplies to hotels and sells to individuals. Her brand, Naga Earth, was born out of the bond and the journey she shared with her late grandmother when she was younger.
Aaron says as a kid, she and her grandmother would often go on trips to the bush in search of natural materials to mix with creams for her sensitive skin. “She would know a particular tree had a sap with nutrients that were useful for the skin,” Aaron said in an interview.
Aaron comes from an entrepreneurial household; she helped run her family business while in high school, hence the zeal and the skill she now possesses to manage her baby brand that is only nearly two months old. “I am the founder and product developer behind the brand… I am managing everything little thing alone. From sourcing, manufacturing and packaging of the product,” she said.
Her vision is to have showrooms around the world and to be in as many hotel rooms as possible, “So people (can) experience that love in each bottle of natural goodness.” For her, being free to do what she loves and working towards that passion makes her truly happy and satisfied as an entrepreneur. And her advice to women looking to establish a business is for them to believe in their ideas, work towards achieving it every day and for them to seek advice from a mentor.