Young and vibrant entrepreneur Paula Maseko (27) is making a name for herself and her successful organic haircare business Buhle Bomqhele, which she launched in October 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maseko launched the brand to make caring for natural hair easier, as she knows the struggle that women with natural hair go through.
“Preparing for work or school takes hours, only for women to be told their hair is unprofessional or too untidy. I want to help more women embrace their crowns,” she explains.
The Buhle Bomqhele range includes a shampoo and conditioner, hair cream, and growth oil.
“We will also launch a leave-in conditioner and beard oil soon.”
Maseko has been part of the Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub for 18 months, benefitting from mentorship and completing a business course.
In July 2021, she was able to assure customers of her range’s quality when she received R21 505 from the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) to have her hair cream and hair growth oil tested.
“The results came back compliant,” she confirms.
While the haircare range is produced in her mother Loretta’s garage in Lonely Park, Mahikeng, in the North West, she hopes to find a factory soon.
“We have purchased a mixing machine to produce products on a bigger scale,” she says.
Maseko learnt her skills from her aunt Rosemary, who used to help her with her hair when she was young.
The herb rosemary is now one of the natural ingredients used in Maseko’s products, along with thyme, ylang-ylang and moringa.
Before launching her business, Maseko was studying and receiving an income from tutoring students. She holds an undergraduate degree in environmental science and an honour’s degree in chemistry, both from North-West University.
“I am completing my Masters in Chemistry and, in a few months, will be pursuing a PhD in Chemistry (drug discovery).”
To aspiring entrepreneurs, she says believe in yourself and start that business.
“You can do it. That idea you think is too silly could be the next big thing. Apply for funding if you need to, and use the money you’ve been saving to build your dream company.”
As for the future, Maseko aims to release more products and launch a Hydro Comb that she’s inventing at the Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub. “Our customers can also look forward to a haircare accessory line,” she says.
The company now employs 10 people, including eight sales representatives and two ambassadors.
The Buhle Bomqhele range is available online at www.buhlebomqhele.com
For more information about Seda contact 0860 663 786. If you need assistance from the Mafikeng Digital Innovation Hub call 087 153 2141
Written by Allison Cooper
This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk’uzenzele.