Siyemi Bodyscrub

BY LANJI OUKO Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so they say. But who is this beholder we speak of? Today, women are taught about self-love, and self-awareness. By empowering women to be aware of their worth, it is a silent message for women to tenderly take care of themselves. Self-love promotes appreciating and accepting one’s body despite any perceived flaws. Nobody trains one on how to love themselves however, a number of brands today provide women with a platform and products to develop the campaign on self-awareness. We are what we eat and drink, and what we do with our skin crucial to our body presentation. The market has recently been flooded with natural products owing to the congestion of exaggerated chemical compounds in the beauty industry. Skin care remains the key revenue driver in the beauty industry, with global sales exceeding $111 billion in 2015, and is projected to multiply immensely in China, Indonesia and India, which will be key growth markets by 2019. Skin care industry is indisputably successful and profitable but how many companies can testify their ‘rags to riches’ stories after using predominantly inexpensive natural ingredients? Skincare companies invest in research of botanical ingredients in order to switch the market from a chemical based market to a solely natural and clean industry, however, how does the government tackle the challenge of stabilizing and regulating green manufacturing practices or ingredients? Additionally, how does a client discern and ensure the skincare products are genuinely organic or natural? Organic or natural skin care products require significant investment in intellectual capital and ingredients to live up to their labels. During the Eden Yard Event, the Siyemi pop up store drew everyone’s attention, not only because of its colourful and unique display but also because of the innovation behind the first local body scrub. The Siyemi Skin Care Products was launched earlier in the year with the aim to provide skin care products that are safe, effective, affordable and most importantly, natural, to the everyday consumer. It was founded after Charlenne Obbo, the 25year old owner experienced a series of horrid bouts of acne and eczema among other traumatic experiences with over the counter medicine containing steroids. Charlenne, who is also a lawyer, comes from the Japadhola tribe in Uganda. She coined Siyemi, which means peace in Thupadhola. ‘Siyem’ and ‘mi’ to refer to one self, all together Semi means peace with yourself and most importantly one’s skin and loving the skin that you’re in across the board whether it’s your skins colour, texture or even the trouble it gives you. After countless visits to the dermatologist, Charlenne resorted to fumbling around with various essential and carrier oils and herbs in an attempt to improve her skin. Yes, invention is the mother of entrepreneurship and necessity. Today, Siyemi boasts a line of body scrubs that include a Raspberry, Honey and Vanilla. Each scrub has a delicious fragrance, which suits a different preference, including the recently launched naked scent that serves clients with sensitive skin and strong allergies. Starting up with an initial capital of Sh50, 000, Siyemi continues to grow in its inaugural year and has moved quickly to become a household name. Primarily, it is the only body scrub used for orders at a number of spas including the exclusive Crevit Mulier door-to-door spa. The company had difficulties finding a cosmetology scientist, but later managed to find a qualified specialist and despite the market embracing Siyemi’s natural products, a few clients underestimate the value of a body scrub in their skin care regimen. Body scrubs are a necessity and get rid of dry flaky skin, ingrown hair, maintain the texture and look of your skin and help get rid of blemishes, marks and stubborn scars that might have formed over the years. Scrubs are also great for dry elbows, and cracked feet, an issue that we so often see. For great skin, and to take care of yourself, one must scrub at least two times a week. To add to the challenge, the selection of naturally derived ingredients requires a whole new approach to research, development and manufacturing, which effectively, require resources and time. “Beauty is in the skin! Take care of it, oil it, clean it, scrub it, perfume it, and put on your best clothes, even if there is no special occasion, and you’ll feel like a queen. If society is hard on you, fight back by pampering your skin. Skin is political. Otherwise why would the imams order us to hide it?”  ― Fatema Mernissi

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