Everyone needs to have a distinctive smell, especially one that is pleasant. This is what drove Kgomotso Twagirayezu to start her own fragrance line about four years.
Shedol Fragrances and Cosmetics produce perfumes, soaps, body cream and body scrubs. The flavours include honey and oats, tee tree and moringa as well as morula and shea butter.
Doing it on her spare time, she started off with some research on the Internet and also inquired from people who were already in the industry about perfume making.
“My love for smelling good really inspired my business venture. Everyone wants to smell good, but mostly it is not cheap hence the reason why I decided to venture into the market and accommodate the middle and lower class by giving them affordable perfumes,” she said. Getting the first product on the market was not easy as she nearly gave up her dream. Twagirayezu said she started off buying the required ingredients from South Africa, got bottles ready for packaging and also printed some stickers to brand the bottles.
“By then I did five fragrances and had 100 bottles to package my product. After mixing as per the requirements, I had to leave the mixture for three months because they said the longer it stays the better the smell. There was a time when I got anxious and wanted to open (the mixture),” she said.
After three months, she was pleased with the outcome and took her product to the streets.
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The determined Twagirayezu bounced back with an aggressive marketing strategy. She invaded the social media landscape opening Facebook and Instagram pages for her business. She also rebranded her products to make them more appealing.
Her aggressive marketing paid off as she started meeting her targets. Apart from delivering using her car, she would also have stalls at Game City shopping mall every month end.Late last year she managed to open a Kiosk at the same mall and also introduced her body lotion range. The sky is the limit for Twagirayezu who said she is currently pursuing to have her products in retail stores across the country adding that she is already in talks with some.
“I am also for empowering other small businesses, most of the ingredients I use are locally sourced and even I get the lemon from my grandmother’s garden,” she said.