As a young black woman, Luve Masoka, often struggled to find beauty products for her hair and her skin. So last year she launched Zuri Online, which is a beauty supplier platform for women of colour, by women of colour.
She told Vutivi News that the site specialised in skincare products, haircare and makeup. It had partnered with Cosmetics company IL Lusso Cosmetics, a 100% black-owned business. The first product they launched on their website this year was a matte lipstick, priced at R450.
Masoka, who is from Cape Town, said she started her business because there was clearly a gap in the market. “Black women are overlooked by society, from the colour of our skin to the texture of our hair, and we struggle to find products within the market that are suitable for our skin tone and hair texture,” she said.
“It’s always a mission to find products and when we do find vendors, it is difficult for them to get products into the market. I thought that it would be ideal to create an e-commerce store to provide a platform for women of colour to be able to ship from the comfort of their own home, where they can purchase products online and not have to go out.”
The third-year Occupational Therapy student at Stellenbosch University said that when she started out, she struggled to balance her private, school and business life. “It gets really demanding, so I need to make sure that my time is planned thoroughly, and I don’t go with the flow,” she said.
“Finances were also a challenge. but being able to manage my own finances put me where I am today.” Masoka said that because her business catered strictly for women of colour, she had to be selective about the type of brands she did business with.
She said her biggest achievement was initially partnering with IL Lusso. “When I look for a brand to work with, it must be a black, female-owned business and must meet the criteria of offering skincare, haircare or beauty products,” Masoka said. “I did research on IL Lusso and what the business goals are as well and if they align with our goals. I also researched the owner and what type of person she is, and when I was satisfied, I reached out.”
The entrepreneur said her business was “doing pretty well”, and she was looking to partner with many startups and bigger brands to ensure that her full “vision is brought to life”. “Personally, I am also looking forward to completing my studies and serving the community through my business and the career path that I took, which is occupational therapy,” she also said.