WINDHOEK - Local businesswomen, Maria Lisa Immanuel, is expanding her locally manufactured range of cosmetic products called Onature Cosmetics.
Onature Cosmetics is a Namibian cosmetics brand that was formally registered in 2017. The company initially started with the manufacturing and selling of its home brand, Onature Hot Oil Treatment, for natural hair. With the fast growth of the cosmetics industry in Namibia, Onature Cosmetics is now also expanding into other products such as shampoos, conditioners and soon to be released Marula Oil.
The company is also venturing into sourcing unique Namibian made and African made cosmetics to sell on its online store and distribution channels.
Presently one of Onature Cosmetics’ most popular products, Oil Treatment, is basically a secret blend of oils for treating the scalp to stimulate growth and healthy hair. According to Immanuel, the treatment works different on people due to different type of hairs they have. “For some people it helps with itchy scalp, dandruff or moisturizing hair,” explains Immanuel.
She says that under the Onature Cosmetics, they also have Onature Marula Oil which is used for multiple purposes such as body, hair and face. “Marula Oil offers good sun protection and can actually treat acne and dry skin,” says Immanuel.
She added that the idea of the local products came after she went through a phase where she had cut off her hair seven years ago. “I didn’t know what to use to grow my natural hair so I started doing research and found out that one can do a hot oil treatment regime to promote hair growth,” she said, adding that for the treatment, one had to mix different oils and realised there was no suitable product which could just be bought ready for use.
“I started mixing my own oils and my friends and family would ask what I use in my hair (as my hair probably looked so good). I would then offer them my secret blend of oils. Before I knew it, they were coming for more. That’s when I realised that I could commercialise it and run it as a business. As they say, the rest is history,” she stated.
Immanuel recently exhibited her Onature Oil treatment and promoted her company at the Intra-Africa Trade Fair in Cairo, Egypt. “This was also an opportunity for me to network for potential business,” she noted.
Commenting on Namibian products entering export markets, Immanuel stated that Namibia has unique products and because of that, business people need to create niche markets abroad where premium prices are offered. “Namibia is generally a small market in population and for us to compete globally we need to think out of the box and take our products to international markets. Namibia also has so many international trade agreements with many countries and this presents opportunities for exports which in the end earns us forex,” she said proudly.
Some of the notable achievements for Onature Cosmetics is winning the Gold award for the Namibian Exhibition Stand in Gaborone last year at the Botswana Global Expo. “We have also started to export to South Africa and we are busy with other countries such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.”
When she returned to Namibia, Immanuel finalised her shampoos and conditioners. “I also need to revamp the online store to stock the new products from other manufacturers and invest much more into marketing,” Immanuel concluded.