To own a house of beauty products especially made for African people, that is a dream Portia Mngomezulu plans to make true.
After nine years of working an IT engineer Mngomezulu took a leap of faith that would see her becoming a rising star in the business world.
The 33-year-old founder of Portia M skin solutions is visibly happy with the success her company has enjoyed over the years as she sits down for an interview with us.
“If you’ve seen what the end result of your business initiative is, you will have no problem getting up in the morning to chase your dreams, says Mngomezulu who sees her company becoming as big as brands such as Elizabeth Arden.
Her company manufactures skin care products using Marula oil as a primary ingredient.
Armed only with advice from her mother in law, Portia started her company in 2012.
“I discovered the power of Marula after I had my first child and was dealing with stretch marks. My mother in law advised me to try Marula oil because that’s what they used when she was younger.”
Mngomezulu tried the Marula oil and was amazed at the results.
“I got it for myself, tried it and saw a major difference in the improvement of my skin tone and the stretch marks,” she says.
That’s when she spotted a business opportunity.
“I then did more research on Marula oil and found that it’s rich in natural fatty acids which hydrate your skin,” she says.
“I started selling the oil to friends. They loved it and kept coming back,” she adds.
Knowing that selling bottles out of her handbag was not going to give the success she wanted, Mngomezulu decided to get some expert help.
“I decided to get a scientific view on it and help on how I could make proper tissue oil,” she says.
She approached a third party manufacturer and laboratory called Brunational in Sebenza.
“I told them the types of products I wanted. We made tissue oil, body cream and facial products,” she says.
The products were then taken to the SABS to be tested.
After getting the stamp of approval, Mngomezulu still had the tough task of convincing big retailers to stock her products.
“I approached retailers such as Makro, Clicks and Game for them to list my product,” she says.
Eventually, after knocking on doors, Mngomezulu received a positive response from Makro.
“We got a listing with Makro this year. We started supplying them at the end of June and the product is doing very well,” she gushes proudly.
“We have trade terms till 2015,” she adds.
Portia M skin solution products are now available in almost all the Makro stores across the country.
“They started us on five shops in Gauteng but now we are listed in almost all their shops,” she says.
The young businesswoman still has big plans for her brand.
“The next step is to add a range of products for men and to introduce hair products”, she says.