‘I dream big’ – beauty brand Afri-berry owner, Relebohile Moeng
Relebohile Moeng’s organic skin and haircare brand Afri-Berry is a multi-award winning product. She talks about how her company came to life.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Kroonstad was infamous for its taverns. Back in 1990 we had a ‘welcome back home’ function for relatives who were in exile in Lusaka. I was astonished that my cousins – who were 4 and 6 at the time – spoke ‘nice’ English.. So I took them to one of the biggest tavern, had a meal and made everyone there listen to them speaking English!
What drew you to business?
As far as I can remember, I have always had an entrepreneurial bone; it was cultivated from a very young age. I used to make the kids in my area pay to watch McGyver and Mr T because we had a TV at home.
Have you always been interested in beauty?
In the 90’s I used to organise beauty pageants during the December holidays. I did to make money to spend during the holidays. It was a combination of my love for beauty and taking advantage of a money-making opportunity.
How did Afri-Berry come about?
After an accident left me with over a 150 stitches on my face, I looked for affordable solutions to reduce my scars. It was cold-pressed argan oil that yielded results. Following my retrenchment from work, my husband Fabian and I decided to do research on skin and hair products, this led to the launch of our company in 2011.
Did you expect this success?
If you had a dad like mine who always told you since the age of six that you’re going to contribute immensely to the economy of SA, and a husband who’s also just as encouraging, then yes. I think big and I dream big because I have amazing support.
What have been the challenges of having a black-owned cosmetics range?
We’re competing against international cosmetic giants, but we’ve employed the strategy of defending with the ‘home field advantage’. The key to our success has been to concentrate on the advantages we enjoy in our home market. In the face of aggressive and well-endowed foreign competitors, we frequently needed to fine-tune our products and services and ofter unique services to our customers.
How do you keep a balance as a business and married woman?
Balance is something you create. I love taking my kids to school and attending their extramural activities. I have the blessing of having my husband involved in our business – but we do not take any work home. We also schedule regular dates together as husband and wife, and love hanging out with our sons, Khumo and Tsebo.
What’s your favourite product and why?
I love the Moroccan gold argan oil, it’s cold pressed and contains over 90% of omega 3+6+9; it’s very good for collagen production. It works wonders for hair growth, aids in the reduction of scars, stretchmark and dark spots. If it were up to me I’d name it the 10th wonder of the world!