Organic Beauty Products from Mombasa

Beauty industry is growing daily, every day we are introduced to a new brand that caters to our skin type, skin tone and etc. Every products boasts to be the one that will work to clear our face, even out our skin tone and/or make our face glow. Most of these products have chemicals that are harsh to our skin type even though they claim to help us. As the industry keeps growing, some women have come up with organic products that are less harsh to our skin, purely natural and actually works for all skin types.

There are several women in Mombasa, who have created organic products that are essential for many women, most of them natural and pure. Some are from traditional ingredients that have been used for years generation after generation. Below are a few brands that are in the market in Mombasa:

Name of your Brand?

We are skincare by ROZaNa

An online based skincare brand that’s bringing back traditional recipes using natural ingredients with some aspect of the Islamic Sunnah (Based on the way of life of the holy Prophet Mohammad PBUH)

What is the purpose of your products? (IE body wash, hair oil etc.)

We specialize in Karafuu, a herbal clove based face & body scrub made from 5 natural ingredients with no preservatives and no chemicals, it’s suitable for all skin types. It exfoliates, helps to heal and prevent acne and has anti-aging properties.

Name of your different products.

We stock Karafuu face & body scrub,

    – Qasil powder which is locally known as mkunazi

    – seaweed bar soap

    – castor/ baobab oil blend

What inspired you to start your business?

My inspiration came from my own need for a lifestyle change due to health issues. I started reading ingredients on products instead of looking at packaging and brand loyalty and was surprised at all the harmful chemicals we use on ourselves daily. I decided to take inspiration from our ancestors and started to research ancient health and beauty traditions and was hooked! Now I’m hoping to encourage the people of Mombasa to embrace ancient beauty secrets and ditch the chemicals.

What are the challenges faced?

I know my products are not for everyone but I wish people would just give them a try before judging. It’s challenging to convince people to give up sweet smelling skincare products In packaging that’s probably more expensive than the actual ingredients and use natural alternatives instead that are not as attractive but contain much safer, skin friendly ingredients.

Also getting good quality plastic free packaging is very important to me but quite costly as we have to import.

Name of your Brand?

Mama’s Organics

What is the purpose of your products?

Most of products are for body and Hair

Name of your different products.

Shea Butter for body and hair:

Restores elasticity to the skin

Helps to heal cuts and burns without scarring

Minimizes stretch marks

Natural sun protector

Strong antioxidant

Prevents premature aging

Promotes healthy skin

Moisturizes

Rich in antioxidants

Hair sealant

Stop scalp irritation

Offers protection from heat

Reduce UV damage

Hair softener

Green tea body scrub:

Full of antioxidants and vitamins your skin needs, anti-inflammatory to reduce redness and irritationSugar: Gentle exfoliation to remove dead skin cells

Hair growth stimulator:

promotes hair growth

strengthens hair

prevents hair breakage

reverse damaged hair

eliminate dry frizzy hair

restores shiny

conditions hair

dandruff remedy

What inspired you to start your business?

I myself love beauty products. For this reason, whenever I travel I always find myself in search of natural and effective beauty products that are out there.

As family and friends abroad would notice my interest in beauty products, they kept requesting me to bring them unrefined shea butter from Africa whenever I intended to visit them. This triggered an interest in shea butter for me and to go a step further by trying to find out the best ways of using it as well.

What are the challenges faced?

Being a small batch producer we face quite a number of challenges:

• logistics i.e. delivering products outside of our city on time and at a reasonable cost.

• finding raw material in small batches.

• sourcing the same packaging material consistently.

Name of your Brand?

Salummy Beauty Products

Slogan: Modernizing Traditions

What is the purpose of your products? (IE body wash, hair oil etc.)

My products are 100% organic and the main purpose they serve is to grow, moisturize and nourish hair of all kind and type. So far, all my products serve that purpose except the soaps which are used to treat eczema, pimples, acne and any skin-related issues.

Name of your different products.

  • Salummy’s Ayurvedic and Lavender Hair oil
  • Salummy’s Moisturizing lavender butter
  • Salummys’ Beard oil
  • Salummy’s Organic Conditioner
  • Salummy’s Sulfate-free shampoo
  • Salummy’s Sheabae powder
  • Salummy’s Deep conditioning Magic
  • Salummy’s African Black Soap
  • Salummy’s Weekly Deep-conditioning Programs- 20 slots available for homemade deep-conditioning masks each Friday.

What inspired you to start your business?

My main motivation was to create awareness on the side effects of chemicals on hair. Studies show that they cause life-threatening ailments like reproductive problems, heart diseases, different forms of cancer, early puberty, fibroids, and even mental health disorders. Relaxers are able to disrupt the chemical balance of our bodies by entering our system through cuts and burns. I also wanted my brand to remind other African women that they are beautiful. Their hair represents their identity, culture and self-love. When African women and men know their value and are not influenced by trends or misconceptions about their identity, they flourish.

What are the challenges faced?

One of the main challenges is being able to maintain the growth of clients and ensuring that both the old and new clients can still come back to purchase my products.

The other challenge is sometimes scarcity of a particular raw material can delay the production process and because I work with herbs, I have to ensure that they are ready for use and the rains favor me.

As the business progresses, there might be a need to increase production more than the normal rate and this can demand a lot of money-I call it a good problem and I am still trying my level best to understand how to effectively manage my finances, keep proper records, and not let the market down.

The other challenge I experience is adjusting with the business when I travel. Apart from this business, I am a Civic leader and writer and I therefore travel quite frequently and this sometimes affects my business. I might leave enough stock to last my suppliers and personal assistants for the time I am away but people would still want to communicate and consult me with regard to various products and this sometimes makes me so overwhelmed when I am back from my trips.

Name of your brand?

Afroganics Essentials Limited

What is the purpose of your products?

We have a range of coconut-based products for different uses in the home, divided into two categories;

  • Beauty and cosmetics
  • Edible products

Under our Beauty and cosmetics range we have the following products;

  • Coconut oil

100% organic cold pressed coconut oil which contains anti-aging properties that can be used as a daily moisturizer for your hair & skin. A very gentle makeup remover, it is also suitable for use as a carrier oil in mixing with other products such as essential oils, scrubs and masks for both hair and skin. Its gentle on baby’s skin & is great for dental hygiene through oil pulling

  • Coconut scrub

Our coconut scrub is made from amazing all-natural ingredients including coconut flakes, sugar, virgin coconut oil and some essential oils. The scrub exfoliates your skin to help improve elasticity and blood circulation which aids in collagen production. It is guaranteed to hydrate & rejuvenate your skin to give an overall smoother, brighter, more youthful appearance.

  • Coconut Jelly

The Coconut jelly is a sensational product which is a client favorite due to its versatility. We have 6 different types, (eucalyptus, pine, lemon, rose, strawberry & natural). It can be used on babies to prevent diaper rash. Great moisturizer for hair and skin and is easy to carry around for everyday use.

In our edible products selection, we have the following;

  • Coconut vinegar

Afroganics Coconut Vinegar is made from the sap of coconut which is fermented naturally to preserve its nutrients, which have the same benefits as apple cider vinegar, and then some! It is therefore a good source of probiotics, minerals and vitamins, including potassium (which helps balance electrolytes, control blood pressure, and process sugar), vitamin C and certain B vitamins, particularly B2 or riboflavin (an important vitamin that is essential in the body’s energy production, cellular function, and metabolism).

The Afroganics coconut vinegar can be used for various functions in the home such as your favorite salad dressings, marinades, and sauces for an extra pop of flavor.

It is also great for the skin as it reduces dark circles and can be used on your hair for that extra shine. A truly versatile gem, this product is worth a try by everyone in the family.

  • Coconut nectar

Afroganics Coconut Nectar is a low fructose natural sweetener that is a nutritious alternative to use for both raw and cooked recipes. A great alternative to honey or maple syrup, it has a very pleasant sweet mineral flavor, with a hint of floral. Its neutral flavor does not alter the taste of the food it is added to, unlike other sweeteners and it can be used in various recipes in your cook book.

Our coconut Nectar is extremely healthy too, it is high in mineral content, a rich source of potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. It also contains vitamin B1, B2, B3 & B6

It is completely natural, unrefined and preservative free.

  Name of our different products.

  • Afroganics coconut oil
  • Afroganics coconut body scrub
  • Afroganics coconut jelly (eucalyptus, pine, lemon, rose, strawberry & natural)
  • Afroganics coconut nectar
  • Afroganics coconut vinegar

What inspired you to start your business?

To explore the potential of coconut which is vastly available on the coast and spread awareness about its effective and efficient use.

What are the challenges faced?

  1. Brand awareness. Our brand is yet to reach a level of awareness to the general public that we would hope for. Especially since we have such a unique range of product such as the coconut vinegar and nectar
  2. Saturated market. The market is full of similar products which may not be as good of quality as ours but since we produce the same kind of goods, it is easy to get lost in the sea of options available.
  3. Difficulty in accessing mainstream market through facilities such as supermarkets and large retailers.

Name of your Brand?

SUWIS

What is the purpose of your products?

Suwis herbal hair Oil and Suwis herbal hair Food are for Natural hair only and Suwis handmade Tumeric body soap is for skin.

Name of your different products.

Suwis herbal hair Oil

Suwis herbal hair Food

Suwis handmade Tumeric body Soap

What inspired you to start your business?

To be Self-employed and to be role model to young people on being creative and business minded.

What are the challenges faced?

Most of the time competition is High.  Convincing customer to purchase the products sometimes it’s a bit hectic, other customers are very rude.

Many Wholesalers they don’t pay Cash, sometimes it’s very difficult to get hard cash to continue with another Batch.

Name of your Brand?

Well that’s going back to the memory lane!  RANNY is the name of the brand. But before we go into more detail about RANNY, I would like to give people a little tour of my company. Originally, I started as SVERIGE.

Why SVERIGE?

Sweden as commonly known in the western world is a Scandinavian medieval kingdom in the eastern part of Scandinavian Peninsula. In Swedish language “Sverige” means Sweden just here in Kenya we call ourselves Kenyans. I am Kenyan born. Sweden is my second home. Initially when I started, I chose the name Sverige because of my deep roots and connection during my time living in Sweden. Happy memories and one of the best times in my life. To appreciate my adopted country, I chose Sverige.

Now back to RANNY. Why did I change from Sverige to RANNY? As the business started to grow and my fan base started to get bigger and bigger I realized that my customers were having difficulties in pronunciation. After careful consideration of customer’s reviews and feedbacks I decided to change it to RANNY.

To avoid confusion, the name of the brand is RANNY under the license of Sverige enterprise limited.  Sounds confusing, well life is like a multiple-choice question. The choices will confuse you not the question. I believe someday everything will make perfect sense. So, for now let’s laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears and keep reminding ourselves that everything happens for a reason.

What is the purpose of your products?

To be quite honest to say the purpose of my products is just Oil, Shampoo and Conditioner will be a lie. RANNY was a journey of self-discovery. During my stint in Sweden I was struggling with hair loss. As you are aware the European weather can be horrible thus it can have some drastic effects on your wellbeing and more importantly the hair. Statistically, over a third of the women say hair loss leaves them feeling depressed. It’s not surprising that it has the potential of affecting our mood and self-esteem.

In Sweden the emotion of hair loss took its toll and unfortunately, I was a victim of severe depression. Lack of good quality hair supplements and oil related products in Sweden I was forced to take matters into my own hands. Back to Mombasa, the coastal people were well known to have beautiful natural hair. In 1980s and early 1990s when I was growing up in Mombasa, my charismatic grandmother used to prepare, cook and herbally extract “pojo” to make hair oil for us the grandkids and much to the extended family. Back then there was hardly supermarkets or the likes of “Loreal” in Mombasa homes. In the old days, it was part of the “Swahili” culture and tradition to cook and prepare hair oils.

The hair loss in Sweden forced me to use local herbal remedies previously taught by my grandmother. Therefore, the purpose of RANNY isn’t just business and producing oils. Our objective was to get cure and help thousands of women in Sweden and now in my hometown “Mombasa”. Mine is to give women the sense of belonging and boost their confidence. I wanted to help women who were struggling with hair lose. Yes, it’s a business but it’s more of a personal fulfilment rather than profit and sales.

Name of your different products.

At first, we started with RANNY oil and now few years later we have expanded into Shampoo and Conditioner & hair food. We have few more end products on the horizon but we are not in a rush to be a commercial interested company. We want to treat women not to retreat them with endless money-making schemes. It took us more than two years to carefully taste our latest shampoo and conditioner before it was released to the public. RANNY is a firm believer of excellence. Excellence comes when one balances quality with quantity. Quality takes time and reduces quantity, that’s why RANNY’s quantity is less than its competitors but in sense its more efficient and precise.

What inspired you to start your business?

At first, it was fun and self-healing. I was losing hair in a dramatic fashion and that’s why I resorted back to old fashioned herbal extracted grandmother’s “Swahili” remedy. I asked her about the recipe and cooking of the RANNY oil. 

Like I said it wasn’t for profiteering at all. It was purely for my own needs just wanted to save my hair. Slowly and gradually my hair started to become stronger and more replenished. My Sverige white friends started to notice the difference and I was happy to share my RANNY with them. Days, weeks and years past I became a perfectionist in cooking RANNY at home. More and more mutual friends came for RANNY due to recommendations and positive reviews.

Well that’s the birth of RANNY. I started to cook more oils and packaged them into a tiny little bottle and the rest is history. RANNY isn’t a business. It’s the passion and the love to cure women’s number problem i.e. hair losses. I had an idea and a vision and fortunately I decided to do something about it. I call myself an entrepreneur because I am doer not a dreamer.

What are the challenges faced?

Our primary challenges at RANNY is how to cure hair loss in women. How to protect receding hairline and thinning of hair etc. At RANNY we want to get treatment for Alopecia and baldness amongst men population. Honestly speaking through challenges, we have found opportunities. Our motto in RANNY is very simple. Challenges are opportunities and that’s what make life interesting.

Yes, it wasn’t easy when we first started. It was rough and exhausting. On the business side of things yes there were so many challenges and setbacks. For example:

As an entrepreneur it is nearly impossible to convince women out there. Most women will prefer to use the world famous brands i.e. L’Oréal. But being a pessimist, I just pushed and overcame those barriers. We are anticipating more challenges in future as we plan to expand our business and products. But being challenged in business is inevitable, being defeated is optional.

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Jammy

Jammy is professional communication specialist in Mombasa, founder of Life in Mombasa she has vast experience on Social Media marketing. She holds a Bachelors degree in Arts emphasis on Interpersonal communication from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota (USA). Jammy is experienced in understanding human interaction as well as creating a stronger relationship between consumers and companies.

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