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Meet Christine Wanjiru, the Kenyan Entrepreneur Addressing the Challenge of Finding Home-grown Organic Cosmetics Brands in the Country

They say in business that if you find a pain-point in the marketplace and one that is not being adequately serviced, then you have the basis of a business opportunity. For entrepreneur Christine Wanjiru, founder of Ayari Ani Cosmeticsin Kenya, that pain-point came in the form of not being able to find quality, hand-made, organic cosmetics to alleviate certain skin conditions and needs. 

 

LoA chatted to founder Christine Wanjiru this month to learn more about this fledgling young brand with a big vision.

What does your company do?

At Ayari Ani Cosmetics, we produce hand-made organic cosmetics to aid and alleviate skin care concerns.

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“I was frustrated by the lack of diversified Kenyan organic brands within the affordable price range. The few existing brands rarely pay attention to what formulas work for who and why.”

What inspired you to start your company?

I was frustrated by the lack of diversified Kenyan organic brands within the affordable price range. The few existing brands rarely pay attention to what formulas work for who and why. I soon realized that I wasn’t the only person who felt that the market needed more than just a handful brands whose formulas are easily found in blogs and tutorials. At some point, you feel cheated and hopeless. I decided that enough was enough and carried out extensive research concerning aestheticism and cosmetology.

Why should anyone use your service or product?

Our products are made with the consumer in mind in that we communicate directly with consumers, and more times than most develop personalized skin-care regimes. We are organic, animal-cruelty free, gender neutral, and strictly use eco-friendly packaging. It is really important that we pay attention to the planet and consumer habits without robbing pockets.

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“Our products are made with the consumer in mind in that we communicate directly with consumers, and more times than most develop personalized skin-care regimes.”

Tell us a little about your team

The Ayari Ani Team is made up of 5 people. We take pride in the fact that we are in our early twenties and are passionate about the Sustainable Development Goals. Especially Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals. Balancing school and work was no easy feat but we managed to hit a sweet spot and developed a team that contributes to the overall mission and vision of the company.

Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?

The Ayari Ani brand started towards the end of 2017 but was officially launched in January 2018. I’m grateful for the thirst of knowledge and innovation that is passed down through my family, as well as the business ventures and volunteer projects I’ve been fortunate to be a part of. Being armed with a business management related course has surely helped me navigate the entrepreneurial world. This, I have to say, is my second business venture.

What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?

I plan to influence the cosmetic market by shedding a light on organic and Eco-friendly brands as well as changing the attitude about cosmetics being a ‘woman’s market’. The brand started as a solution to an existing consumer issue and I want it to stay true to the goal of alleviating skin care issues and producing even greater results.

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“We are organic, animal-cruelty free, gender neutral, and strictly use eco-friendly packaging. It is really important that we pay attention to the planet and consumer habits without robbing pockets.”

What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?

Seeing my contribution to the market in impacting lives, solving problems and inspiring my peers to pursue their ambitions.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?

Question your reasons for why you want to start a venture, ensure that your heart is in the right place, do your research and brace yourself for what may come. Finally just do it.

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