Meet the brains behind Hermosa Flor Cosmetics, Mbali Sebapu

Mbali Sebapu
Mbali Sebapu

How did your beauty range Hermosa Flor Cosmetics come about?

My job at the South African National Defence Force (SA Navy) was no longer fulfilling, and my side hustle as a social media influencer was providing a decent income. It was also generally easy, and didn’t feel like a job. I wanted to make money from doing something that I truly loved, and that was make-up. So, I quit my job at the beginning of 2019 to fully focus on building my beauty brand. 

READ MORE: Love the skin you’re in

Hermosa Flor Cosmetics
Hermosa Flor lipsticks

How did the idea evolve into a viable business? 

Two years before quitting my job, I started saving some of the money I was making as a social media influencer. I used that, along with my pension fund, to build a relationship with some reputable international manufacturers. I travelled to those manufacturers to view their factories and manufacturing processes, and compare the different suppliers. I also contacted Ndamee Group to help me establish web presence and our current online store. Then, I did all the marketing with the experience I had gained influencing for different brands. We planned a great campaign leading up to our launch, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Who is your target market? 

All women and members of the LGBTIQ+ community. 

READ MORE: One-on-one with Modiehi Thulo

What makes your products unique, and what does the range include? 

What sets us apart is the value for money we offer when you buy our products. We give an exceptional level of quality, and far more than the market standard when it comes to quantity. Our range includes eyeshadow palettes, five liquid matte lipsticks and a highlighter palette with four shades to accommodate all skin tones.

Hermosa Flor Cosmetics
Hermosa Flor eyeshadow palette

What are your highlights and challenges?

We’ve already sold out some of the products twice, which we don’t take for granted. We were able to contribute towards the fight against unemployment by hiring five young women to carry out various roles within the company. The biggest and only challenge we’ve encountered was with our shipping, which had constant delays. 

READ MORE: 10 tips to look great without make-up 

What lessons have you learnt through this journey?

You should always be prepared for unexpected expenses on your road to starting a business; you always need a little more than your initial budget. Secondly, you need to be consistent in the effort you put into the business, even when everything is running smoothly. Keep the same energy you had at the beginning. Lastly, the impact and importance of good customer care, with an added personal touch, goes a long way.

What are your future plans? 

Hermosa Flor Cosmetics is currently working on launching more products, and expanding the product line. We plan to break into the retail market, and create more jobs as we grow.

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