We’ve been nourishing your bodies and souls for the past couple of weeks and will continue to do so in the coming week. Today, however, we’d like to nourish your body from the outside.

KiyomiSandz is a proudly Namibian cosmetic brand specializing in exfoliating scrubs, bath products, lip products and lotions. Made from natural fruit extracts that including the indigenous Namibian Marula Seed Oil. We sat down with KiyomiSandz owner and founder Sandra Mwiihangele to find out about this truly Namibian Brand.

We sat down with KiyomiSandz owner and founder Sandra Mwiihangele to find out the story behind this truly Namibian Brand.

What product(s) do you offer/manufacture? Exfoliating scrubs, bath products, lip products and lotions.

How did you come about the name “Kiyomisandz”? I love my Namibian culture, and I also have an obsession with the Japanese culture. Kiyomi means ‘’pure beauty’’ in the Japanese language and Sandz is derived from my name Sandra.

What made you choose the cosmetics business? My most defining moment was winning the Gold medal from the Namibian Expo of Young Scientist Competition in the year 2000, with my best friend for developing a high-performance matte Lipstick at the age of 11. I had so much fun developing the lipsticks, that’s how my passion for cosmetic science was birthed. We then went off to win the bronze medal in Pretoria, South Africa to compete against other African participants that same year. I don’t think I would’ve discovered my passion if I had not entered that competition. Since winning at that young tender age, I gained some confidence in myself and believed in my ability to start up my own manufacturing business when I grew up. Years later, I did. I became literally obsessed with making cosmetic products for years. I love cosmetic science because it is the ability to be artistic in a scientific field. The art of cosmetic formulation or product development is an exciting process where I always learn and discover something new and therefore it never gets boring.

How did you get your idea or concept for the Kiyomisandz Summer Rain Collection?This collection was inspired by the botanical gardens in Japan. This set of products is our first range of skincare products produced in-house and it is called the Summer Rain Collection. My products are proudly Namibian made and are cruelty-free, meaning we do not test our products on animals. We use certified cosmetic grade ingredients which are safe for our consumers. The Summer Rain Collection is heavily rained with nutritious fruit extracts which are rich in anti-oxidant properties and the native Namibian Marula Seed Oil. It is designed to entice consumers to want to eat fruits which improve your skin and healthy diet overall, hence why our packaging design reflects on what is inside the product. We currently have the following fruit extracts: Apple, Kiwi, Watermelon, Guava, Strawberry, Lemon, Mango, Cantaloupe and Blueberry

What are your favorite products from the Summer Rain Collection? It’s hard to answer because I love them all but currently I love my facial exfoliating scrubs.

Which product would you suggest first-time buyers try? My Exfoliating Scrubs which are soap free and turn into a lotion when massaged onto your wet skin; and my Rich Body Butters which contain Organic Shea Butter, Namibian Marula Seed Oil & Cocoa Butter; these are the most popular and the best-selling products currently.

What made you take the leap into entrepreneurship? I started this business because there was no 3rd party or contract cosmetics & toiletry manufacturing company in Namibia that is specialized in this field. I also began this business because I knew that I’ve always preferred to work for myself because this gives me the freedom to do creatively express and create my visions without limitations.

What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them? Funding. In my final year at university studying Analytical Chemistry at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town, we had to complete our 12-month in-service training at an Analytical Lab. Although my salary was little, I managed to put money aside monthly with the aim of returning back to Namibia to follow my dreams of starting up my own cosmetic manufacturing company. It was a bold move to not further my studies at university but to rather follow my dreams and passions after completing my training as a cosmetic chemist in order to successfully gain technical skills and knowledge to run a cosmetic manufacturing company. However, as you can see it has paid off well. The money I put aside, which was about 20 000 ZAR while working, is what I used to buy a few raw materials and packaging, and some basic kitchen supplies, payment for company logo, the website set up, label printing and design, to create an innovative product at the beginning of 2015. My unique exfoliating scrubs is still my most top-selling product till date.

What is unique about your business? I’m the only kind of business offering these kinds of cosmetic production to potential clients who also want to own their own brand of products. I’m the cosmetic company owned by a young woman who has managed to achieve international recognition in my field. My company creates products for people who love themselves enough to take care of their skin. We believe that what you put in your body is just as vital as what you put on your body.

Where do you see Kiyomisandz in the next 10 years? I see Kiyomisandz being the first Namibian cosmetic company grow into an empire as great as Garnier, LÓreal and Revlon

The KiyomiSandz Summer Rain collection is available at SUPERSPAR Grove Mall, MEDICINE WORLD PHARMACY at the Eros Shopping Center and Maerua Mall as well as the Health & Aroma Wellness Center in Swakopmund.

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