Meet Sandra Mwiihangele, the founder of Kiyomisandz Beauty Products, a Windhoek-based cosmetic and toiletry production firm.Kiyomisandz was formed in Mwiihangele’s mother’s garage in 2015, according to LoA.
Her brand now has international exposure and sells to people all over Africa. Furthermore, the company has moved into a new plant, where it currently manufactures on a vast scale.
Mwiihangele founded the company because Namibia lacked a third-party or contractual cosmetic and toiletry manufacturing company that specialized in this industry.
“I also began this business because I knew that I’ve always preferred to work for myself, because this gives me the freedom to creatively express and create my visions without limitations,” she told Moguldom.
Mwiihangele was inspired to start her business after winning the Namibian National Young Science competition at the age of 11 for co-developing a high-performance lipstick.
Despite battling with her speech and being a shy person, she did not settle for less as she grew older – friends made fun of her because she was always stuttering. She did, however, ultimately teach herself how to talk properly.
“That experience living with different people each time taught me how to deal and manage people’s different personalities, which is a key trait I try to keep and practice as an adult building an empire that deals with various customers and clients,” she told Moguldom.
Determination and a will to succeed have always been her hallmarks, as seen by her ability to teach herself to speak flawlessly and overcome the obstacles she encountered on her entrepreneurial career.
Mwiihangele recognizes the value of starting small. She had to complete a 12-month in-service training at an analytical lab during her final year at Cape Peninsula University of Technology in Cape Town. She learnt about cosmetic formulas, as well as research and product development, and saved approximately $1,500, which she used to launch Kiyomisandz in Namibia.
Her entrepreneurial career, she admits, has not always been simple. A big barrier for businesses like hers has always been a lack of capital, as has the difficulty of importing the majority of her raw materials.
Kiyomisandz has received the 2015 National Commission on Research, Science, and Technology innovation grant and the 2016 Development Bank of Namibia innovation award since its inception.