Happy Women’s Month, Unlocked.Me ladies! We have some inspo coming at ya to help you unlock your potential during this important month!
Dig into this tasty Q&A about how a lost make-up bag led Nomfundo on the greatest adventure of her life. The adventure? Starting the award-winning, proudly South African beauty empire Chick Cosmetics.
We love Chick Cosmetics because it is run by a #LadyBoss with a bright idea and a dream, whom we can all look up to. Chick Cosmetics was created to challenge the way South Africa and the world thinks about the beauty industry with products that break the traditional style. Chick Cosmetics creates safe and effective beauty products using cruelty-free ingredients, ethical marketing and sustainable practices. Chick Cosmetics is known for their colourful schemes and innovations that have been used by industry favourites and well-known beauty influencers. Yep, some serious #GirlPower!
Ready for an insightful Q&A with Nomfundo to catch some inspo and learn about how she unlocked her potential?
1.Tell us a little bit about Chick Cosmetics.
We are a beauty brand looking to break the mould and norm of the stereotype about local brands. We have diversity and inclusivity at our heart. Our online audience happens to be Gen Z and millennials who love expressing themselves through beauty and content creation. These groups of people have been very particular about brand ethics lately, especially when it comes to ingredients and sustainability. We gained a lot of traction by creating simple and easy-to-use products. These products are usually offered in limited quantities and selling time frame, which has helped our online cult status.
2.What does Women's Month mean to you as a South African and successful businesswoman?
Women's Month is a global conversation around female roles and opportunities. It's a celebration as well as a chance to reflect on how far we've come and what's left. It's a day to celebrate women's achievements and help create equality and raise awareness against bias. The fundamental purpose of obtaining complete gender equality for women in the world has still not been accomplished. A gender pay gap persists across the globe. Women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally the lack of education and impact on the wellbeing of, as well as violence towards, women are still more severe than in the case of men. And South Africa is highly ranked in violence against women; a crime against a woman is committed every three minutes. I think a day is still not enough to appreciate what women go through just to stay alive. I hope that this Women's Month will be the start of a greater shared understanding and action on behalf of all women.
3.Tell us about your dreams and aspirations as a young South African girl, before you became the businesswoman we see today.
My parents wanted me to be a dentist, or anything in the medical field. I remember getting a doctor Barbie for Christmas. I studied law for a year before switching and graduating with training and skills development majors.
4.At Unlocked.Me, we are all about unlocking your potential and helping the youth start successful and sustainable hustles. What was the inspiration and story behind Chick Cosmetics? How did it all begin? What made you take the plunge?
During a short stay abroad I ended up losing my make-up bag and found myself in one of the biggest department stores in the world. I was amazed by how many indie brands were available in other countries. I knew right then I wanted to be a part of this. The name ‘Chick Cosmetics’ occurred to me while I was walking around. At the time, I was playing around with abstract words – I wanted to create something that didn't have a specific definition and that wasn't too complicated. Ideally, it'd be something light, airy and quick to say. No fuss. I knew that Chick Cosmetics was the right name when I realised how easy it was to pronounce. It just rolls off the tongue and feels nice to hear out loud.
5.How has becoming a businesswoman changed your life?
The first thing was having complete control of my schedule. I get to decide what I'm going to do for the day and what time I take meetings. This is not the case when you have a nine-to-five schedule. It has also helped me grow as a person to confront my fears, and to become a more confident person.
6.What advice do you have for the young women of South Africa who want to unlock their own business or side hustles?
I think trusting your intuition is important. It's been proved to me over and over again that you always sort of know the right answer. Don't give up, don't take anything personally, and don't take ‘No’ for an answer. There's no 'magic pill' that effortlessly launches you out of your cubicle confinement and into the free world of entrepreneurship. The people who told me 'No' were the people who eventually told me 'Yes'.
7.When did Chick Cosmetics go from a side hustle to a fulltime empire, and was it difficult to take that step?
I worked for a gaming company in Durban. Launching a beauty brand is the hardest thing I've ever done. But the largest barrier has been growing a new business with a tiny budget in an overly saturated marketplace. It has been challenging and rewarding. The industry thrives on newness and has fierce competition. You have to create a good product and know your customer better than anybody else. We built a brand based on community, so it's always great to hear what our customers want first.
8.Do you have financial advice to give the young women of South Africa?
Spend mindfully. Maintain a stable credit history because you will need it in the future. Always save because emergency funds are a must. Learn to invest sooner than I did – don't keep so much in cash.
9.What are your top five tips for becoming a successful businesswoman?
- You need a sense of purpose, and dare to be different.
-Life is a journey, and you need to have the humility and willingness to learn and learn every day.
-Be your own biggest fan: If you don't truly love your own product or believe in your own brand, people will know.
-Focus on building organically.
-No matter how business-savvy you are, communication and networking skills are what you will need.
10.What is important to understand before you start your own business?
Pick your niche and dominate it. Be as specific as possible about who your audience is. Identify your ideal customer and which communities they are a part of. Network with other women business owners. Find a solid mentor or mentors to coach you, introduce you to people and bounce ideas off. I didn't have a mentor when I started out, and I wish I did. I have a few now who always give me great insights that I wouldn't have thought of myself.
11.Leave us with your favourite quote.
'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' – Maya Angelou
Need more sauce on this #BossLady?
-Instagram @chick.cosmetics | @nomfundo_njibe
Find her on the interwebs @ www.chickcosmetics.com