We are delighted to bring you our very first #bossbabe feature. The idea is to inspire other women to start their own businesses and empower women to empower themselves.
Women empowerment is something very close to our hearts and something we are extremely passionate about.
Introducing the gorgeous ladies from Mesh & Bone Skin Co.
Introduce yourself and tell us about your business.
Hi – we are Kezia and Jana and we are the owners of Mesh & Bōne Skin Co. We are a natural skincare company based in Stellenbosch and we are passionate about skin health. We believe that skin care should be natural and effective, and that wellness really starts from within. We are also passionate about education and we want to build up a community of women who are empowered and mentored.
What made you start your business?
We are both passionate about skincare, especially consumable skincare. We wanted to create a product that would ultimately provide us with a platform and opportunity to give back – we are empowerers of women and we want to help them succeed.
What is your background? Education, Work Experience.
Jana is a digital designer and works at an ecommerce platform in Canada, Kezia has a science background but is currently working in systems at a higher education institution.
How long have you been in business? In this business? In other businesses?
Mesh & Bone launched in March of 2019 so it has been going for a little over a year.
We have been in business together since 2016, just testing the market and refining our ideas.
Our first business was a drop shipping company which wasn’t very conducive to the South African market because of the logistical situation here.
What are the advantages of this form of business ownership?
Each person has their specific area of speciality and they are very complimenting – this makes the partnership easy and very well suited.
How do the social, economic, environmental, technological, legal and political environments impact your business?
Come to think of it, these have a huge impact on a business, especially one that has “only online” presence. The way people see and interact with your business can have a massive impact on how your brand message is conveyed as well as creating credibility in an online world. Skincare is usually considered a luxury product and with trying economic times this definitely has an effect on how willing a customer is to buy. Because our product is multi-use you get a little more out of it than a single use product – we also try to ensure that the client is educated as when you know more, you do better.
As an online business I guess the main element that we focus on in terms of tech is that the experience is user friendly and that the client feels safe. The human element of an online business comes in strongly here (especially in SA where online shopping is a relatively new experience).
How do you market your business?
Instagram is by far our favourite way to engage with our audience and is also our main source of marketing, it’s an easy way to beautifully portray your brand image as well as educate in a more informal manner. We also use email marketing as it’s a free (and can be made really beautiful) way to convey information. We love an educational element to shopping – it ensures that people make informed decisions which encourages a more sustainable product, lifestyle and environment. When you know more, you do better.
Does your business have a stated mission statement, the reason that this business exists?
Not a mission statement per say but we have a very good idea of what we want to achieve and who we want to reach. Simply put – a range of medicinal beauty products that beautifies from the inside out and feeds back into our mentorship and incubator network.
What are some of the challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
I think most small businesses are facing the same challenges at the moment with Covid, namely limited resources, logistics, and uncertainty of the times but with that also comes new opportunity and space to reinvent. There is definitely a level of tenacity that is needed in starting and running a business. Challenges are bound to come up but through this it’s important to remember why you started – these reasons and goals should be your underlying push. I also think it’s helpful to reflect on the wins – there are always wins! But if this doesn’t work, sometimes a nap is the cure.
Advice for any woman considering starting a business?
Please just start! As intimidating as it feels, the timing will never be perfect and you are never going to feel ready – so just start and you can iron out the creases as you go (– even the most ready have creases!) Also support each other – there is enough space for us all to succeed and it makes the experience so much more fulfilling, exciting and real.
How/where can we get hold of you?