While the cosmetics industry is often associated with women, Thapelo Chalatsi has always been fascinated with chemistry. And combining his drive to create products and solve problems propelled him into the cosmetics industry with his business, Venus Meets Mars, in 2019. Speaking to Vutivi News, Chalatsi said that his love for chemistry came from his university days.
“I was always fascinated by chemistry and product development, and while in university my favourite subjects were organic chemistry and analytic chemistry,” he said. “After studying, I wanted to work in an environment where I could do product development. I then applied for work at Tiger Brands, but there were no positions for product development. so I was taken to quality control, where I was exposed to product manufacturing, quality control and cosmetics manufacturing.”
It was during this time that he got involved in the cosmetics business. His company manufactures hair care products that work for both natural and straight hair. They include shampoo, conditioner and hair food. He also manufactures makeup such as lipstick and liquid foundation. His company was currently working on skincare products that were undergoing testing,” Chalatsi said.
He told Vutivi News that his products were tested by the University of Limpopo and Sefako Makgatho University and were approved by the South African Bureau of Standards. Chalatsi said that he worked under the Chemin Incubation Hub that was based in Edenvale in Ekurhuleni.
The products were sold on the company’s website, social media and takealot.com. Chalatsi said that he was thankful for receiving funding for testing from the Small Enterprise Development Agency, which had also helped him employ two interns. “I enjoy bringing and adding value to my customers. I also enjoy the financial freedom that comes with owning a business, because I can then contribute to reducing the flow of poverty in my area,” he said.
Chalatsi also has another company called Square 15 Trading and Projects, which he formed in 2017. “We provide cleaning services to commercial companies in Johannesburg, Sandton and also in Tshwane,” he said. “I also started this business so that I can have financial freedom because I believe that financial freedom is crucial for one if one wants to eliminate the flow of poverty, or at least attempt to.”