For all those with skin challenges, help is at hand with a new organic skin and haircare brand from South Africa. Ostibel Africa, founded by serial entrepreneur Lebitso Ramphore, is giving hope to all those who battle dry skin and hair and who are looking for a natural, environmentally friendly solution.
LoA chatted to founder Lebitso Ramphore this month to find out more.
What does your company do?
Ostibel Africa is a brand that produces organic products for hair, face and body using natural ingredients.
“Our aim is to have range of products that target dry and sensitive skin problems from head to toe.”
What inspired you to start your company?
My daughter has had eczema since the age of two and it has been a challenge to find products that can alleviate the inflammation on her skin. All the medicated ointments prescribed by doctors only worked for a short period, but once you stop using them the skin flares up even more than before. I then started researching natural products and after several months of trying various products, a friend introduced me to Shea Butter. I immediately noticed how the skin easily absorbs it and her skin was well nourished eliminating up to 50% of the dryness. I started to research more about Shea Butter and learned more about its high moisturizing properties. I managed to get a sample of Organically Certified Shea Butter which is the best in the market and after using it for several months, I decided to trial it with other natural ingredients and was satisfied with the results. Fast forward to today, Ostibel Africa was born in 2018 with one hero product being Raw Organic Shea Butter. Ostibel Africa has a sister company called Nuel Lifestyle Concepts that distributes Bulk Organic Shea Butter to other manufacturers in South Africa. Our aim is to have range of products that target dry and sensitive skin problems from head to toe.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
We use raw materials that are organically certified, therefore there are no additional chemicals used during the farming process. People living with eczema on a daily basis will tell you that what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. This is why we sell Raw Organically Certified Shea Butter as a base ingredient and clients can use it at home as a DIY product. Organic Raw Shea Butter has high healing and moisturizing properties when used Raw. People with extremely flaky, dry and sensitive skin love it and know the benefits of this "African Butter".
“We use raw materials that are organically certified, therefore there are no additional chemicals used during the farming process.”
Tell us a little about your team
Ostibel Africa is a new brand and at the moment it is managed by the Founder, Lebitso Ramphore. We use a third party manufacturer to produce and package the products. Lebitso has business management and marketing skills and takes care of that task in the business. As the business grows, we will employ other people.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
My entrepreneurial journey started at a young age. I grew up in a family business with my grandfather and father owning supermarkets and I have been involved in business ever since. I pursued a Bachelor of Commerce qualification in Entrepreneurship and Business Management at the University of Pretoria and have since started four businesses. I later sold two to focus on Ostibel Africa and Nuel Lifestyle Concepts as they are both related.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
I want to expand the range with two more products and seek distribution in retail market and online stores. The plan is to really stick to organic ingredients that are gentle to the skin and only service that niche market.
“People living with eczema on a daily basis will tell you that what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. This is why we sell Raw Organically Certified Shea Butter as a base ingredient and clients can use it at home as a DIY product.”
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur comes with it's own highs and lows, but the lows are often tackled with resilience and passion. As an Entrepreneur, I enjoy the freedom of being able to brainstorm ideas and see them come to life and helping other people. Entrepreneurship is what I do best in my own unique way.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Start a business in the field that you love and have interest in. Have a plan of action and learn to adjust it with time. Be resilient and always remember why you started the business in the first place when challenges come. The WHY is powerful fuel to keep moving forward.
Contact or follow Ostibel Africa
Why LoA loves it….
More and more consumers are looking for effective, natural products that will address their skincare and haircare challenges without harming the environment or their delicate skin. It is good to see a new organic skincare brand emerging from the African continent that is not only creating world-class natural skin and haircare products, but also tapping into the wealth or natural raw materials that are indigenous to Africa. This is definitely a new brand to watch over the coming months and years. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa