Interview with Stephanie Karikari, CEO of Ghana-based Safari Cosmetics

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Stephanie is the Chief Executive Officer of Safari Cosmetics, a luxury cosmetic line based in Ghana’s capital Accra. She won the 2010 edition of the coveted Miss Ghana crown and as a result, participated in the Miss World beauty contest.

 Could you provide a brief history of your company?

Safari Domestics was founded in 2013, but officially commenced in 2016. The aim of Safari Cosmetics is to help restore the confidence of individuals through the outlook of their skin. Known as an African brand, Safari’s line of products have therefore been carefully formulated with organic raw materials sourced from traditional Africa skin healing plants such as Baobab oil, shea butter, sesame seeds oil, mongongo oil, among others.

The first range of products was named the illumini collection which consists of brightening body lotion, face cream, face wash, body wash and intense brightening serum, and comes with no harsh chemicals and parabens in the products.

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Are your products locally produced?

Safari cosmetics are lovely produced in Accra, Ghana, with ingredients sourced across Africa.

If yes, how easy is it getting raw materials, and are these materials locally sourced?

One of the toughest processes of being a manufacturer in the cosmetics industry  is sourcing authentic raw materials and ordering them in huge quantities. A specific budget is needed to order large quantities of raw materials and getting funds to do the purchase is always a challenge.

In the last few years of operations, how would you describe your company’s performance?

We are in our second year of business and the performance has been steady. Our packaging is a very important factor in the growth strategy, so we made sure we invested into achieving the international standard and appeal.

Are your operations limited to only the Ghanaian market? Or are you looking at venturing into the sub-regional market?

Safari Cosmetics is definitely not limited to Ghana. We have plans of expanding to other countries, especially within the sub-region in the coming years. This is very important for us because our objective is to become Africa’s cosmetic company of choice.

What were some of the major challenges you encountered in setting up your business?

Capital and efficient labour were our main challenges. These two represent the commonest challenges that most businesses encounter in their early years.

In your opinion, how can some of these challenges be tackled?

There is a need for investors to support or partner with young people who have profitable businesses but no funding.

As a former Miss Ghana, would you say that has influenced the journey in the setting up of your business?

This was an advantage and also a challenge, because we had to make sure the line of products were up to high quality and standards, from the products to its packaging.

How would you describe the potential of Ghana’s cosmetics industry?

It’s definitely a fast growing industry. With The right strategies and efficient team, success in the industry shouldn’t be too far off.

What measures can be taken to develop the sector?

We need large investments in locally made products to enable them become accessible  and competitive in the local market and also for export.

Where do you want your business to be next the five years?

Accessible across the world and known as an African cosmetic brand.

Any final comment?

Safari cosmetics is definitely a must have.  Everyone needs the touch of safari.

 

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