When you discover the skin care products you use are anything but caring, you probably go looking for a different product or try another brand. But what happens when all the available products let you down? This is what happened to Kafui Awoonor, who is the founder of Kafui Naturals.
She noticed most products on the market started lightening and bleaching her skin due to the chemicals in them. So she took matters into her own hands (literally). She started making her own chemical free beauty products in her kitchen and tested them on herself. Kafui soon realised she wasn’t the only person who was disappointed with the in-store products.
One thing led to another and soon she was making body butter, hair masks and soaps using natural butter and oils for other people. In 2015 she left her 9-to-5 job and took on the 24/7/365 job of being an entrepreneur.
We caught up with this inspirational entrepreneur to learn more.
Q: As the founder of Kafui Naturals, what are you most proud of?A: I am proud of the fact that as a black African woman, I can provide a natural alternative for people of colour. That I can be a part of this movement of people being more conscious of what they are putting into and on their bodies. I am also proud of the fact that I have been able to keep going despite the difficulties that inevitably come up when you have your own business.
Q: Entrepreneurship has highs and lows. What has your favourite moment been since you started Kafui Naturals?A: There have been so many! To be honest, I love the face-to-face interactions with customers and potential new customers. The conversations we have that start with questions about the products and quickly go much deeper than that. Those are my favourite moments. When people come to see me and walk away with a greater awareness about the products and why it’s important to move away from chemicals and preservatives.
Q: Running a business is extremely hard. What has the most difficult part of running your business been?
A: I think for me the most difficult moments so far have been the times when I have wanted to give up and go back to a steady paycheque and a nine-to-five job. But… I have the most amazing support system. My cheerleaders – who always remind me of why I’m doing what I do, and convince me not to give up.
Q: What advice do you have for women who want to follow in your entrepreneurial footsteps?
A: That’s a good question… I think there are so many resources out there. I think the problem is that most women simply don’t know where to find them and how to tap into them.
I had the same issue. It took me a while to find them and make them work for my business.
I’m now part of Brownsense which is an excellent community on Facebook for meeting other entrepreneurs. The CCDI (Cape Craft and Design Institute) is also a great source of information with a number of affordable courses on offer. It’s also important to build up your own network. I’m extremely lucky to have other entrepreneurs in my circle of friends and I get a lot of support from everyone.