Having an appreciation of the need to create high quality skincare products that are tailored to meet the specific needs of African skin, inspired entrepreneur Sarinah Matema-Morgans to create her own brand to meet those needs. Serenity Luxury Body Care is the result of her extensive experience in the beauty and cosmetics industry and her passion to create a proudly African skincare brand.
LoA found out more about this new African luxury beauty and body care brand and how it combines its natural philosophy with social consciousness.
What does your company do?
Serenity Luxury Body Care® creates, produces and distributes globally-inspired spa and retail products which blend exotic ingredients from the African continent into socially-conscious offerings for professional use and total relaxation. The genesis of Serenity Luxury Body Care® lies in our desire to celebrate indigenous beauty rituals with natural products you can feel good about using.
"The genesis of Serenity Luxury Body Care® lies in our desire to celebrate indigenous beauty rituals with natural products you can feel good about using."
What inspired you to start your company?
Besides the fact that I've been in the beauty space for the past 17 years and worked for various international cosmetics brand, I always wanted to contribute substantially to our local market by way of creating decent jobs. I also wanted to create a superior product and service, always acting in the best interests of women. I realized that most of the international cosmetic brands landing on our shores do not really understand an African skin or, in particular, an African woman’s skin. As consumers, we tend to take anything presented to us without questioning what goes into products in terms of formulations. I then appreciated that Serenity has the benefit of being located in close proximity to the actual raw resources, and therefore it would be wise to distribute African wealth within the continent by incorporating our own African indigenous plants and oils into our formulations.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Serenity Luxury Body Care has three luxurious blends:
OCEANIC RANGE – (main ingredient Baobab Oil) a crisp, refreshing range of personal and beauty care products for a fresh feel and beautiful skin. For that clean, free feeling.
REJUVENATION RANGE - (main ingredient Palm Kernel Oil - tropical oil. A healing and revitalizing range of personal and beauty care products to make you look and feel your best. For that lively skin glow.
AFRICAN VANILLA RANGE (main ingredient Ori Oil – 100% organic West Africa Oil). Intensive care range to moisturize and lift thirsty, cracked and dry skin, using natural moisturizers. For soothing, enriching skincare that creates a warm glow.
At Serenity Luxury Body Care® everything starts and ends with a smile. We offer a convenient service; we build relationships by listening to you and your expectations; we don’t impose, we diagnose; we offer affordable, quality and luxurious products with real body care benefits.
"I always wanted to contribute substantially to our local market by way of creating decent jobs. I also wanted to create a superior product and service, always acting in the best interests of women."
Tell us a little about your team
As a start-up business I decided to outsource our manufacturing facilities, but we continue to use our approved formulations.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs; both my parents have been in business since time immemorial, in my formative years I sold ice blocks, cows milk, and achar at school and in our community. At the age of 24 I opened my own cleaning company which earned me a six month-long contract with one of the newly opened malls in the south of Johannesburg in South Africa. At the age of 27, I established Serenity Cosmetics. At that time I was importing from the USA unbranded, and then doing branding here in South Africa. It became very costly to import from the USA after the recession in 2008/2009. As a result, I let go of the business and decided to look for a manufacturer based in South Africa, which I did find but unfortunately I didn't have enough money to start the process. The banks didn't want to listen to me as a start-up, and I realized that I would have to scratch the surface harder. Whilst searching for other ways to raise enough money, I was involved in a car accident. I wasn't harmed but I suffered whiplash, and after 2 -3 years the RAF (Road Accident Fund) paid me out. It was through the cleaning business and the RAF pay out that the Serenity Luxury Body Care brand was birthed.
"Serenity has the benefit of being located in close proximity to the actual raw resources, and is therefore able to distribute African wealth within the continent by incorporating our own African indigenous plants and oils into our formulations."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I want to establish the brand firmly in South Africa and on the African continent, however our brand has also gained likes and won many hearts in the USA and Germany. We endeavour to empower African women even as we nourish the global market. We are in the process of searching and forging strong collaborations with the right distributors around the world.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
To wake up and have the courage to live my childhood dream, knowing that I’m carrying other women with me to the top.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
It’s easier to establish a business from a point of knowing - when you know what you are passionate about, it becomes easy to shoot in the right direction. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Know your business/service back to back, become a PRO in your chosen industry. Find a business mentor. Be confident in your brand. Have faith in the process.
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Why LoA loves it….
Africa has a wealth of natural resources and unique ingredients that can be harvested and harnessed to create world-class products, particularly in the beauty and skincare sectors. Sarinah Matema-Morgans is one entrepreneur combining her vast experience and knowledge of what African women want from their skincare products, to create her own brand to meet those needs. Serenity Luxury Body Care Pty Ltd is a testimony to her passion for her products and her vision for creating a proudly African skincare range that can compete with the best in the market on the continent and beyond. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and CEO of Lionesses of Africa