What started out as a way to make the salon experience more comfortable for women has morphed into a thriving business for Clicks supplier and owner of Masodi Organics, Liz Letsoalo.
“My journey started when two of my best friends and I decided to create a mobile hair salon,” Liz recalls. “It takes an average of six to eight hours to braid your hair in a hair salon. It’s usually very uncomfortable because you’re not in your own space.
The business didn’t work out as planned, and coming out of it, I thought that there was definitely something more that I could do. I wanted to create a product range that could be used by people of all races and hair and skin types, but that wasn’t shy about putting forward black faces.”
Firstly, she wanted them to contain authentic ingredients so that they could be used by the whole family. Secondly, she wanted to buck the prevailing trend of exploiting women’s innate insecurities to market her range. And lastly, she was adamant that her products would live up to all of the promises that they made.
She threw herself into researching beauty product formulation and found that using natural ingredients was the easiest way to get the outcomes that she wanted. This was where the idea for a natural range was born.
She began mixing different products in her kitchen, using normal kitchen tools, and thereafter sent them through to laboratories to be tested. Much to her own surprise, her products were approved, so she created an online store and started marketing Masodi Organics on social media and by word of mouth.
‘Stalking’ the perfect retailer
Clicks were the first retail chain to stock Masodi Organics. Liz admits to ‘stalking’ the Clicks buyers on LinkedIn. “A buyer from Clicks finally contacted me, so I flew to Cape Town in January 2020 to meet with her, and she was quite impressed because I had a manufacturing plant. So she said yes!” Liz says.
It took Liz about a year and a half to secure the funds to get her products onto Clicks’ shelves. She continued working alone until October of that year when she hired someone to help her with manufacturing. Since she started selling at Clicks, she has been able to employ 10 full-time staff members and two freelancers.
“We’re part of the Clicks Supplier Development programme, and we also get marketing support from them. I’m very aware that if we were part of another large organisation, that would have come at a huge cost,” Liz enthuses. “Just the association with Clicks alone helps us from a brand legitimacy perspective. The main question we always get asked is, ‘is your product available at Clicks?’ and when we say yes, people’s eyes light up.”
The Masodi Organics range is available at selected Clicks stores and countrywide via clicks.co.za.