Gwen Zwane

Lafezeka

What does your company do?

Lafezeka offers a comprehensive range of organic hair care products, including shampoos, conditioners, hair oils, and styling products. Our products are formulated with natural ingredients such as botanical extracts, essential oils, and plant-based proteins to nourish and strengthen hair from root to tip. We also offer educational resources and tutorials to empower women to embrace their natural hair with confidence. Not only that we offer clean, high-quality and affordable hair products but our brand also adds inspirational, motivational and empowering value to help women or young girls in my community to turn their difficult situation into achieving their dream (“Lafezeka iphupho”). Our mission is to promote confidence and embrace natural beauty by offering safe and effective hair care products that address the unique needs of natural hair while supporting sustainability and caring for the environment.

What is your biggest success?

My biggest success over the past two years with Lafezeka Cosmetics has been our profound community impact, particularly in educating young girls and women about their hair and building their confidence. Through workshops and seminars, we've empowered women with knowledge about natural hair care, boosting their self-esteem and fostering pride in their natural beauty. This initiative has improved hair health and transformed lives, creating a supportive community focused on self-love and empowerment. Our achievements include media features in prestigious magazines, participation in the Natural & Organic Expo, During Women’s Month, we were proud to be featured by Takealot, South Africa’s leading online retailer. This recognition celebrated our founder, Gwen Zwane, and highlighted the impact of our products on women’s hair care, and being a finalist in the Standard Bank Top Women Awards in Cape Town. These milestones reflect our dedication to providing outstanding natural hair care solutions and our commitment to empowering women.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Our biggest hurdle at Lafezeka Cosmetics over the past two years has been overcoming the challenges posed by limited resources and intense market competition. As a small, emerging brand, gaining visibility and establishing a foothold in an industry dominated by larger companies was daunting. Securing funding for product development and marketing initiatives was a constant struggle. We faced rejection from major retailers, lacked resources for adequate marketing, advertising, and PR, and often found that potential customers struggled to find our products locally. Despite these challenges, we have remained resilient, relying on community support and our commitment to quality to build a loyal customer base and achieve recognition in the industry