BY VICTOR ADAR
There is a new reality in town. It goes that entrepreneurship is rewarding. Most young, hype and trendy are coming to terms with the new norm and the latest release by 21-year-old Halima Hussein sums it all. She has started her own cosmetic line, H.H. Glam, which stands for her name Halima Hussein. The company launched its first product in June 2019.
The law student at Brunel University, London says that her goal is to have her products on all major shops locally and internationally and looks forward to working with various social media influencers and media personalities such as Wabosha Maxine, Sheila Mwanyigha, Chebet Rono, Nancie Mwai, Fashionable Step mum, This Is Ess, Yvonne Okwara Matole, Amina Abdi Rabar and Lulu Hassan. Her products target not only the confident and independent, but also strong, educated and career driven women from all walks of life.
“My brand offers a unique function for each product and its 100% made in Kenya. Our focus remains to promote and support Kenyan owned business, talent and craft in all that we do. We are so happy to be launching the Sanguine Kisses to the market and it’s my hope that it will be well received. This is a dream come true for me,” she says.
Ms Hussein narrates how her love for natural and organic products prompted her to venture into the exciting world of cosmetics. Her inspiration is 21 year old Kylie Jenner who started her own cosmetics line years ago. She hopes to have various all-natural cosmetic products from eye shadow to foundation that will cater for different markets. At the moment, H.H Glam is based online with prospects to have physical locations around the country and across the East African market.
It can be resource intensive to break new frontiers but a majority of entrepreneurs bank on loans, equity, or part of their savings as far as capital financing is concerned. The good thing about beauty industry, though, is investors do not need colossal amount of capital to start. There are still unmet needs in the beauty and cosmetics industry so much that Ms Hussein cannot hide the joy of the great milestones she has achieved despite Kenya’s tough investment environment. Not everyone can dare venture into the beauty and cosmetics business unless you have the chops for the business.
“We started with a capital of Sh130, 000. It was mostly personal savings with one angle investor,” she says. “I think the investment environment in Kenya is still fairly small for youths with entrepreneurship aspirations. I have had the pleasure to know of a couple of young people who embrace entrepreneurship and hopefully as the years go by more of these business opportunities can be available in Kenya.”
A makeup enthusiast, she keeps on re-inventing herself to thrive and remain relevant in a volatile market. The company’s products have been embraced in the market as they are healthy and natural, sulfate and paraben free, thus “clean”. With two employees under payroll and the rest of essential services done under procurement contracts with several companies, the company is seemingly on a roll.
“We don’t have a physical store… we are Instagram based and hope to expand later with our own website. Our main market place is on Instagram, where we share all our information, take orders and deliver all over Kenya, East Africa and occasionally worldwide,” she explains.
The special thing about her all-natural gloss products is the ingredients used. For example, one of the elements include vitamin E which contains antioxidants which helps the skin retain water, resulting in soft, hydrated and healthy skin. It absorbs UVB light protecting your skin from sun damage. Avocado oil on the other hand, heals chapped lips, replenishes dry skin and acts as sun block while cocoa butter is high in fatty acids, hydrates and nourishes the skin. It is rich in phytochemicals, which improve blood flow to the skin and protects the skin from UV rays. At the same time, shea butter contains vitamins A and E which soothe and moisturize chapped or dry skin, castor oil (known to fight dry lips and chaps due to its soothing and moisturizing properties while acting as a sunblock), beeswax,which is known to provide a protective layer between lips and environment without clogging pores, are other important ingredients.
How she continues to give back to society, too, will not certainly go unnoticed. Towards end of June, she launched three ply reusable Kenya Bureau of Standards certified Covid-19 masks through her H.H Glam brand, which is also currently supporting ‘For the Love of Girls’ by providing them with reusable pads.
The future holds great tidings for her especially in this era where buying and selling over the internet has been associated with fraud cases. To her, going digital is the beginning of good tidings. Ms Hussein says that H.H. Glam’s experience in terms of e-commerce has been superb and she has no regrets.
“Thankfully, we haven’t experienced any fraud situations. Our protocols when it comes to customer services and all our transactions ensure such cases do not occur,” she says.