There is a tendency to equate products by blacks with low quality - Liz Letsoalo
Refiloe Mpakanyane on Weekend Breakfast speaks to Masodi Organics founder Liz Letsoalo on what to make of the sudden rise in the demand for locally produced cosmetic products and the future of the beauty industry.
We do products for hair and skin. We focus on the ethnic market which has been hugely underrepresented. There is a huge opportunity for innovation especially when you consider that a lot of the products that we're consuming were not created for brown people.Liz Letsoalo, Founder - Masodi Organics
The brand is named after my mother, Masodi. The organic part of it was just something that I wanted to use to emphasise the quality of the products and the essential oils that we're really ahead with in terms of making products and the number of natural ingredients that we use.Liz Letsoalo, Founder - Masodi Organics
The more you look into product formulation, especially within the South African landscape, the more you start to realise how long we have to go until black people are given quality premium products. There is also a norm of equating black products with low quality.Liz Letsoalo, Founder - Masodi Organics
My intention with this brand is to elevate the experience of using black products that are dedicated to the black skin and black hair.Liz Letsoalo, Founder - Masodi Organics
Letsoalo says when one looks at how the sector is fragmented at the bottom, it is telling that the barrier to entry is not very high as in other industries. Of course, money is a big issue and funding is limited, she adds.
There are still issues that we can tackle using platforms and brands such as Masodi Organic. We - the likes of Masodi Organic - need black female-owned organisations to come in and lobby for black women issues.Liz Letsoalo, Founder - Masodi Organics
She says local brands have received more trust and local consumers treat them with respect. You cannot enjoy a product you do not trust.
Your buying power depends on what happens in the market. As much as you believe that there are these big guys in the market that are pulling strings, I don't know how much of that is truly responsible for what we see in the market. Black-owned products or locally made products - black or otherwise - often find themselves, even in retail, at the bottom of the shelves.Liz Letsoalo, Founder - Masodi Organics
Buying local products not only ensures the livelihood of local people because then they employ locals, but it also elevates, quite literally, a product from the bottom of the shelf to the top.Liz Letsoalo, Founder - Masodi Organics
Letsoalo says social media has been a leveller in that she can do what big organisations can do from a marketing perspective.
Listen below for the full interview ...
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