Africa is brimming with a generation of entrepreneurs and innovators who are constantly establishing new businesses and developing new technologies to meet needs, solve problems, simplify lives and transform societies. Mrs Suleiman is one such entrepreneur. The lawyer and aromatherapist launched her health, wellness, and beauty hub, SIB Imperial, in the second quarter of 2019 following constant complaints of migraine by her mother.
“My passion for the love of herbs started because my dad is a lover of nature, of wellbeing. Then the passion grew when my mum had issues with migraines; my mum always complained of headaches… She’d take drugs but they’d return worse than they were before, so I decided to do some research and take diploma courses in aromatherapy to find a soothing remedy for her,” Mrs Suleiman told Ventures Africa.
But she didn’t stop at creating a health remedy, she proceeded to the UK, Turkey, and Cyprus to learn to formulate skincare products to tackle another issue of dry, itchy skin that her mother and kids shared. “It took me a year to get my formulations right and it was worth it,” she said. Her products have helped over 500 people overcome skin disorders like dermatitis and eczema.
Sib Imperial also creates a broad range of products for stress, anxiety, insomnia, and products for pregnancy care. “We have specially formulated remedies for joint and backache, wrinkles, dark circles, and puffy eyes. These products not only help you relax, they also make you glow,” she said, further adding that she’s yet to find a beauty brand that’s as focused on tackling extremely dry skin like hers.
Sib Imperial’s products are made with carefully sourced herbs, are a hundred percent organic, and are clinically tested. Also, these products are priced based on the active ingredients used in their formulation and are often marketed by word of mouth and social media. The hub also provides cupping and massage services to walk-in clients.
“Starting a business is tough, but with resilience, putting in work to create effective products, and prayers, one can be successful.”
Mrs Suleiman runs her budding business with three other people; a social media manager that handles online marketing; an account manager that checks the organization’s finances; and a production/salesperson that takes account of product stock. Speaking on the challenges of being an entrepreneur, Mrs Suleiman said having to shoulder everything that happens within the business including profits and losses is no fun, not to mention unfriendly government policies and a lack of basic infrastructure like stable power.
When asked if she’d have done anything differently while starting out, she said she’d have taken courses in business management and pricing. “Although I took these courses mid business, I should have taken them from the onset, it’d have helped me,” she explained. Mrs Suleiman plans to take her products global in a couple of years, “There is nothing as good as having your products in stores worldwide,” she said.
According to Mrs Suleiman, the mission of her budding brand is to be an authority in the beauty and wellness space and to broaden the knowledge of organic skincare and health care, by creating effective products that sell globally.