Having the desire to create high quality skincare products that were tailored for African skin, inspired Sarinah Matema-Morgans to create her own brand to meet those needs.
She harnessed Africa’s exotic ingredients to create a beauty and body care brand, Serenitii Luxury Body Care.
Serenitii Luxury Body Care is the result of Sarinah’s extensive experience in the beauty and cosmetics industry and her passion to create a proudly African skincare brand.
Before launching the brand, Sarinah spent years in the cosmetics and beauty industry, gaining knowledge and experience. She held several positions in globally renowned cosmetic brands such as Estee Lauder, Clarins, Chanel and Lancome to list a few.
She comes from a family of entrepreneurs, both her parents have been in business since time immemorial. Growing up, she sold it all, from ice blocks to cow milk and achar.
During her mid 20s, she opened her own cleaning company which earned her a six month contract with one of the newly opened malls in the South of Johannesburg. Three years later, she launched her cosmetics company.
“At the age of 27, I established Serenity Cosmetics. At that time I was importing from the USA unbranded, and then doing branding here in South Africa. It became very costly to import from the USA after the recession in 2008/2009. As a result, I let go of the business and decided to look for a manufacturer based in South Africa, which I did find but unfortunately I didn’t have enough money to start the process.”
It didn’t take long for her to get a job in the cosmetics industry. Even then, she knew she wouldn’t end up as an employee forever due to a nagging voice inside and also her entrepreneurial background.
Wanting to honour that inner voice and liberate herself, she decided to inquire on how to make body butter.
“But before then, as a cosmetologist, I worked on women’s skin and face most of my work life. Many women would confide in me about their body care struggles and how they feel so misrepresented by international brands.”
Through research and working with experienced chemists, she created the first prototype of the product but it took multiple rejections to finally get the approvals.
She named the product Serenitii Luxury Body Care because of two reasons; firstly for legal reasons, and secondly for family reasons.
“The name Serenitii came about after my IP attorneys advised that Serenity has been taken and it’ll get us in trouble as it is owned already. Subsequent to that I lost my grandmother whose middle name was ‘’Tii’’. She was the matriarch of the family, she loved education so much, and I was named after her as well. So it made sense to honour her for the role she played in my life without losing pronunciation of the word serenity.”
In 2018, after 20 years of being in the industry, she officially launched Serenitii Luxury Body Care
Today, the Serenitii Luxury Body Care brand can be found at South Africa’s leading retailers such as Pick N Pay and Clicks. The brand has also made global strides, exporting to the UK and Vietnam.
Advice to aspiring entrepreneurs??
It’s easier to establish a business from a point of knowing – when you know what you are passionate about, it becomes easy to shoot in the right direction. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Know your business/service back to back, become a PRO in your chosen industry. Find a business mentor. Be confident in your brand. Have faith in the process.
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