Shea butter entrepreneur catering to growing demand
Wandisa Nkosi is the founder of Just Shea Butter, a small business that specializes in the sale of shea butter to retail and wholesale customers.
Her hair and skin shea butter products cater to environmentally conscious consumers that prefer to use organic and sustainably sourced products on their skin and hair.
In 2017, Wandisa saw a gap in South Africa’s shea butter market and decided to start a business selling organic shea butter.
“People kept asking me what the secret to my healthy natural hair is and when I told them it’s shea butter, they struggled to find it in stores” she said. This inspired her to start a business selling shea butter to cater to the growing demand.
Running a shea butter business started off as a passion project but the more Wandisa researched the benefits of this natural product, the more she saw a business opportunity that will help many people struggling with hair and skin conditions.
“From my research I found that shea butter has many benefits; it traps moisture in hair and skin, aids in reducing the appearance of stretch marks, it keeps the skin soft and supple, treats nappy rash and it’s safe enough to be used by the whole family,” she said.
After doing all her research, Wandisa realized that South Africa does not have high-quality shea butter that she wanted for her business. Sourcing the best shea butter became a challenge.
After months of trial and error and testing various shea butters across the continent, she finally found high quality shea butter.
“I found an organic certified supplier in Ghana and even though it’s expensive sourcing from another country, it’s the price I have to pay for the best shea butter”, she said.
The shea butter that she packages, and sells is not mixed with anything, it’s raw and sold in its most natural form.
The natural hair and skin products sector is very competitive and there continues to be an increase of new products on the market.
“Competition doesn’t scare me because I love that black woman are taking ownership of the industry by not only consuming the products but by also creating products”, she said.
Competition is tough and since her marketing budget is limited, Wandisa uses social media to market her business.
She also uploads videos on YouTube as an information resource for clients that want more information about caring for natural hair using shea butter.
Despite the challenges that come with entrepreneurship, Wandisa believes she is on the right path.
“I’m happy that my business managed to stay afloat during lockdown restrictions and that my online store is growing,” she said.
Her dream is to educate more people about the benefits of shea butter and to employ women so they can have a safe working environment.
The growth of the self-care movement and the high demand for organic products is good for Wandisa’s business.
Nowadays consumers are conscious about what they put on their skin and this will lead to growth and market access opportunities for small businesses in the natural skin and hair products sector.