Many women entrepreneurs in Africa are inspired to create businesses as a way of not only fulfilling personal ambitions and goals, but also of creating solutions or products that can help others. Binti Naturals is one such company that is looking to make its mark on the African beauty scene and provide natural beauty solutions for women who want an organic alternative.
LoA found out more about this innovative company from its founder Thiitu Karega.
What does your company do?
Binti Naturals is a beauty company that makes organic hair and body products from natural oils and extracts found on the African continent. All our ingredients are sourced from organic farms in Eastern Africa. Our desire is to give value to our customers and remind them that Africa has always valued its natural beauty which we must reclaim. What started as a product for African women has grown into a well-loved product for both men and women because healthy hair and skin belong to us all.
"Binti Naturals is a beauty company that makes organic hair and body products from natural oils and extracts found on the African continent. All our ingredients are sourced from organic farms in Eastern Africa."
What inspired you to start your company?
After a terrible experience that left my hair damaged, I decided to go natural. At the time there were no natural hair products in Nairobi. I started to mix natural oils which I would then test on my myself, my family and friends and eventually it became the thing I did when I wasn’t working - the natural progression was for me to start my own brand.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
Binti Naturals is 100% natural and organic, it nourishes and heals hair and skin leaving it well moisturised and protected throughout the day. Our products are paraben, sulphate, petroleum, mineral oil and cruelty free. They are also pregnancy and baby friendly. Binti Naturals Hair and Body Butter is a tips-to-toes moisturising balm that keeps your entire body moisturised. Binti Naturals Hot Oil Treatment is roots-to-ends deep conditioning oil treatment that locks in moisture and softens any hair type. Binti Naturals Edge Control is a moisturising edge gel that tames those fly-aways while still keeping your edges moisturised and cared for. Binti Naturals Whipped Organic Shea butter is a great addition to any hair or beauty regimen used alone or mixed with your favourite natural oils.
"Our desire is to give value to our customers and remind them that Africa has always valued its natural beauty which we must reclaim."
Tell us a little about your team
I am the owner and Chief Worker bee at Binti Naturals. I have partnered with other small businesses to maximise the company’s potential and focus on the core function. The partners include a graphic designer who handles the design work, a printing firm that handles branding and two part-time assistants who come in during production, as well as lots of friends, family and loyal customers who continue to market the brand.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I dabbled in various small businesses over the years from jewellery making to wedding planning and fashion design. I am a creative by nature. The company was registered in 2015 but the idea was born in 2012 when I started thinking about leaving my job. Before I started the company, I worked for a bank for 8 years in various posts including management. In 2013 I decided to make a change in my career and set a target to start the business by end of 2015. From there I did my research, saved up and finally got started. While there are challenges that come with running your own company, I’m enjoying the journey. I’m a student of life now and every experience is an opportunity to learn something new. I am trained in International Relations and Management and worked for 10 years in the corporate world before I left to start the beauty company.
"While there are challenges that come with running your own company, I’m enjoying the journey. I’m a student of life now and every experience is an opportunity to learn something new."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
Our goal is to be a premier organic beauty company through steady product development, growth and expansion. We want to cater to the body from head to toe. We want to reaffirm the value that African beauty is historically known for.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
My greatest satisfaction comes from the small steps every day that cumulatively add up to the big goals. I’m excited to wake up every morning to work towards those goals.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
- Start as you intend to finish. Too many times we cut corners in the beginning so that when we finally succeed we are embarrassed by things we did when we were just starting out. Register your company, pay your taxes, and leave nothing to chance.
- There is never going to be a perfect time to go after your goals. Start small but start now. I fail more times than I’m willing to admit but at least I’ve tried.
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Why LoA loves it….
At LoA, we love those entrepreneurs that take a passion and a personal desire to find a solution to a key challenge and turn it into a business. Entrepreneur Thiitu Karega is doing just that, and her business is not only solving a challenge in her own space but providing a great solution to so many others. By harnessing the power of local resources and ingredients, she is building a sustainable and proudly African business that is also supporting other entrepreneurs along the value chain. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa