Diana Kasunga, Tazania’s very own Pioneer of Natural Skin Care Products
Natural skin Care products have risen to wide acclaim over the more recent years. This Law Graduate saw an opportunity to create a monopoly in Tanzania’s growing beauty market and never looked back.
Who is Diana Kasunga?
- My name is Diana.D.Kasunga, I am the co-founder of Amaris cosmetics. I am a Tanzanian citizen, born from a family of 3 children. I have 2 older brothers and I am the only girl.
Please introduce us to your brand.
- My business name is Amaris Cosmetics. My entrepreneurship journey has been challenging because I was new in the industry. It has also been very rewarding because I get to learn so much every day.
Did you always plan on becoming an Entrepreneur?
- Entrepreneurship was never a path I was planning to take. It all started when I came back from South Africa where I had been doing my Law degree and to keep myself busy during the holidays, I decided to bring products like bags, cosmetics and make-up and sell them to my small group of friends who I added onto a Whatsapp group i created. From then on, I felt that I needed to invest more into it and that’s where Amaris was born.
Tell us a little more about Amaris Cosmetics
- Amaris is a natural skin care brand that caters to the needs of African women with a focus on giving results to skin problems such as hyper-pigmentation, oily skin and acne which tend to be the most common problems that women want solutions for.
Currently, we have products such as masks, Black soap, Shea butter whose raw materials are imported from Ghana and South Africa. I’m also in the finishing process of launching a moisturiser and even-tone treatment.
What prompted your entrance into the natural skin care industry?
- My skin developed some acne and I was searching for solutions from different brands. I tried a few famous products but they didn’t work. So, I began my research to find products that could bring real results and I found out that natural products were the answers to my problem. To my surprise, my friends were also suffering from the same skin problems that I was. In the process, I realised that there was a gap in the market for products that are targeted towards the African woman’s skin.
Has Amaris been well received?
6. Yes, because most women when coming to us would complain about having to spend a lot of money on products that wouldn’t work. My brand, for many has come as a breakthrough to them.
What are some of the Factors that have contributed to your success?
- I was willing to invest time and resources in research to buy different products and applying them on my skin to understand what works and doesn’t work. I also invested in getting information from industry experts such as cosmetic formulators to understand the ins and outs of the cosmetics industry. I also started giving samples to different women which was a new concept in Tanzania since most cosmetic brands never invest in providing samples to people.
What’s the entrepreneurship landscape like in Tanzania? Are there loans available for small and medium business owners?
8. In Tanzania ,the majority of people own small informal businesses and there is an influx of online businesses due to the increase of social media usage in the country .This does not have a big impact on big enterprises that are owned by few individuals who still control the majority of the industries. The government and different financial sectors like banks are trying their best to support upcoming entrepreneurs but still the conditions to get a loan for small businesses are a bit difficult.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learnt on your journey?
9. I have learnt to place my focus on the quality of my products and customer service. Consistency in service and product quality is key. People expect the product to be the same way as they bought it before. Another key thing is that you should put yourself in your customer’s shoes and do to them how you would want to be treated if you were the one to spend your money. The last thing is that customer feedback is important since it can make you understand where you are winning or going wrong therefore easily rectify your mistakes.
Is mentorship an important factor in business?
- Yes, I believe it is. I have a mentor named Joel Nnauka, he is the CEO of Africa Success Academy, an author and also a training expert in areas such as employee motivation, customer handling to name a few. He has been offering me advice and challenging me to think beyond my situation especially in the time where i was flabbergasted with the whole process that I needed to pass through in order to start a cosmetic brand in Tanzania. He kept me on check and told me to take one step at a time and take things as they come. I believe that this was very helpful for me. Having someone you can look to who’s walked in your shoes and become a success is that constant motivation any young entrepreneur needs when the road gets tough because trust me, it will.
Diana is an avid believer in the principle that life is simply what you make of it. Never one to shy away from challenges, she took on a new idea and ran with it making a name for herself in an industry that was previously sparse and providing women in Tanzania with skin-care solutions that previously plagued them.
Diana also advocates job growth in Tanzania and has since gotten involved with other business projects in a means to create jobs within her home country. Her focus and can-do attitude have both contributed to Amaris’ success. In 5 years, she wants to become a leader in the cosmetics industry providing real results to women in East and Central Africa. She hopes that in the process, she will be able to empower women by creating jobs for them in the process.