BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Zensations of Zen
A business idea sometimes stems from one’s need for a particular product or service that they cannot find in the market, or where one is not satisfied with what is available. This was the case for Zensations of Zen’s birth.
This new entrant to the skincare market is the brainchild of Thapelo Radikgokong, with her sisters and silent partners Boipelo Radikgokong and Boitumelo Mfolwe. Thapelo’s preference for skincare products that not only feel luxurious on one’s skin but also leaves one smelling good saw her explore the idea of producing sugar scrubs that exfoliate and nourishes the skin.
Zensations of Zen produces wholly natural scrubs using sugar, honey, coconut oil, vitamin E oil, scent oil and fresh juice of either a lemon or orange. The range of scrubs includes a regular scrubs and luscious scrubs. They also offer a range of Bath Bombs, Zen Bombs 😉
Thapelo had enjoyed using similar products while studying in Malaysia. Upon returning to Botswana after her studies she was disappointed to not find similar products that had become a habit for her skincare routine. She then thought of an idea to produce and offer such products to the Botswana market. She however encountered something that has prevented many from pursuing their ideas and dream – fear of the unknown. The thought of pursuing this business idea made her nervous about the probable difficult journey she would have to explore as well as the thought of entering an already highly competitive industry – the skincare industry. This saw her shelve her idea for years until 2 years ago when she revisited the idea and decided to take the plunge.
The team decided to perfect their products before taking them to market. A lot of time was spent testing and trying different recipes and formulas, with many trials and errors. Eventually they produced the products they had envisioned and decided to name the product range Zensations of Zen; Luxury for Your Senses.
Using their personal savings they launched the products, operating from their house. The choice to use their savings to start up rather than a grant or loan was to give themselves time to track the progress of the business in terms of market penetration and demand which would guide them on how much they require to scale production. “The vision I have for the business will need more financial assistance,” says Thapelo.
Having launched in November 2017, using social media as the main marketing tool and word of mouth, the company had sold out 50 bottles of Sugar Scrubs in 2 days of its inception. Being a cautious beaver (as she refers to herself) Thapelo had intentionally not made many bottles, only to realise people love their products.
Although they have recently launched they have already identified some challenges they will encounter in their entrepreneurial journey. Other than the need for financial resources that would enable them to produce a wider range of scrubs and products, another challenge is getting some of the ingredients. Some have to be ordered outside Botswana because either they are not available in the country or they are not available for bulk purchase in Botswana, which is costly for the business.
With readily available recipes and Youtube tutorials on the internet for anyone to make their own sugar scrub if they wish to, Zensations of Zen has made the efforts to produce products that are considerate to the climate in the country. Therefore offering their target market a readily made natural product customised to the Botswana climate. During the trial and error phase they discovered that many DIY recipes online where not conducive for, and considerate to, the weather and the climate conditions of the audience they were being created for – the global digital village.
With the aim to offer affordable luxury for your skin, Zensations of Zen products are intended to make your skin feel nourished and supple while its unique scents bring out different emotions depending on the products and scents. The company targets individuals who love their skin, and appreciate products that are “…luxury for your senses”.