This is the story of Mkamboi Mwakale a lady who is passionate about natural beauty and keeping it real. She is the founder of Saru Organics a company that aims at changing the Afrocentric narrative encouraging africans to embrace their nappy kinky hair unapologetically!
“What that means is, we translate any hair related challenges be it hair loss, weak thinning hair, dry brittle hair, damaged or no hairline, super tangled ends, frizzy ends and offer a proven working solution. It’s not just about flossing our fluffy twist outs, but are your friends asking you how you got it going? That’s what Saru does for you.”
She got into the business by accident. Several events that she believes were well calculated by God led her to begin this venture. She is a mother to a 6 year old daughter and in 2015 her daughter had just started school when she kept on contacting serious flu viruses. Mkamboi tried antibiotics prescriptions but realized it was not working. Then a Nigerian friend introduced her to Moringa tea and her problem was solved. Her baby could now fight the virus and more importantly stay in school. This inspired her to look more into this moringa plant and that is when she discovered it could do more than just cure a flu virus
“My research into the plant led me to discover it’s potent abilities on beauty care and to cut a long story short I knew I had to come up with a hair product from the seeds. Using my savings from a previous business I bought a few Moringa seeds, looked for a machine to extract the oil, and booked an appointment with a chemical engineer.”
The mother of one says her venture is not yet profitable as It will take some time to break even because of high startup costs involved in a manufacturing but she states that they are in a positive trajectory.
When it comes to challenges Mkamboi says there are quite many!
“I think only the dedication to see lives impacted kept me going. We met hurdles such as very high minimum order quantity for everything we needed to purchase. Ingredients were being sold in very large quantities this would mean tying so much money in raw materials that would take time to be used up bearing in mind we were testing the market then and yet to carve a niche. But what won’t break you, makes you stronger. I must say I had to learn how to negotiate as much as I could with some suppliers and striking a balance.”
Saru organics keeps their clients coming back by taking time to treat a customer like the only customer they have and this builds a bond that not only sees them coming back for a refill but also let’s their circle know about their brand. Their growth is highly backed by customer oriented approach.
“We are not just a beauty care line but one that meets the very needs of our target clientele and surpassing their expectations. We answer the very questions that may make a customer think managing natural hair is hard work Truth is, it’s not you just have to find the right products that will make you go aha! “
Mkamboi attributes her success to God, “He ordains my steps and equipped me. Anything that I am or will ever be I owe it to God, even the people I meet and get to work with, I believe He had that in His plans for my good.”
Advice to upcoming entrepreneurs she says is for them to not be afraid
“Make mistakes as early as in your twenties because you can afford them, then learn from the mistakes and no matter what keep going and focus on the vision it becomes clearer as you make those steps. Every new dawn is another chance!”