Mampho Tjabane, an Electrical Engineer by profession says when she started her business in 2015 all she looked for was something special and unique to separate her from her competitors. She turned to two local plants that have often been dismissed as inconsequential, Aloe and Rosehip. The plants grow abundantly in the Lesotho Mountains and in South Africa.
Through careful study and experience, Tjabane says she realized that rosehip oil can have a soothing effect on human skin and so she began experimenting and using the product to produce capsules for skin and hair improvement.
Tjabane also began mixing rosehip oil with other oils extracted from other indigenous plants to make tissue oil for stretch marks, blemishes, scars to improve skin moisture levels as well as reducing wrinkles and fine lines.
The rosehip oils have also been used to make lip balms.
She is also using extracts from cactus to produce body creams and glycerines. Tjabane’s other products are made from aloe extracts.
All materials are harvested in Lesotho and create employment for many families in the Mountain Kingdom.
Rosehip oil, according to experts offers several benefits when applied externally due to its primary constituents such as essential fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin C and B-carotene, a form of vitamin A.
It also has the anti-aging characteristics due to the antioxidants and the oil’s ability to penetrate into deeper layers of skin. The vitamin C antioxidants stimulate collagen production. It also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin A improves the skin’s moisture levels and reduces wrinkles and fine lines. Ultra Violet rays of the sun damage the skin and cause ageing. This results in wrinkles and discoloration. However, the combination of properties in rosehip oil seems to combat the damage. The antioxidants and vitamin A, combined with the oil’s essential fatty acids, help improve skin tone, texture and pigmentation.
The cactus helps improve the skin, hair and facial appearance, according to the biochemical experts. It was on the basis of this research that Tjabane launched her cosmetics company, Florratt Cosmetics 5 years ago.
She says the company began operations from her home in Maseru East in 2014. From such humble beginnings, the company has now grown and now has Distributors and Consultants in all of Lesotho’s 10 districts as well as in all 9 Provinces in South Africa. The demand for her products have aided her to open a second factory in Johannesburg, South Africa where she resides. She currently employs more than 10 full time workers in that factory.
Tjabane says the company wants to become a centre of excellence in the production of high quality natural cosmetic products that meet customers’ needs.
In its mission statement, the company says it seeks to create results-oriented natural and scientifically formulated cosmetic products that give the skin and hair a consistent color, texture and hydration.
The company’s marketing strategy means that potential customers must register with Florratt Cosmetics so that they can sell to others in smaller packages. Tjabane says the company has started to rebrand its products to ensure they are sold in tubes. Florratt’s aggressive marketing campaign and this has seen more than 6 000 South Africans and Basotho join the company to make a living form the products and are also expanding their reach to Distributors in Botswana, Mauritius, India, China, USA and Australia.
“We manufacture cosmetics with aloe herbal products from Lesotho, we use natural organic extracts to rejuvenate our customer’s skin,” she says.
“Our aim is to trend globally since our products are well known in Swaziland, South Africa and Botswana. We are aiming to satisfy our customers,” Naha says.“So far we have no competitors because we are selling our own products which are different from other products.”