Skin problem inspires business

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Some of Thato Nkaota’s skincare products

By Motšelisi Sekonyela

Thato Nkaota, a 26-year old Mosotho woman who was born and raised in Roma, Maseru, has taken a giant leap of faith into the cosmeceutical industry and produces a range of skincare products called Slick Productions.

They came as a result of her own skin problems that kept her mentally tormented, forcing her to seek relief. She then came up with a range of products that some of which help repair near damage skin ointments such as cream, coconut gel, face wash soap and essential oil.

Nkaota is a former National University of Lesotho (NUL) Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) student who dropped out in her third year of study “due to personal problems.” She is now pursuing a Business Management degree with the University of South Africa while at the same time managing her business.

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According to Nkaota, she developed deep love for business while at a young age. She sold sweets while still a learner at a primary school.

Her blazing desire in business lived on even at the time she began studies at the university. There she sold fashion items such as clothes to her school mates.

The flame kept ablaze even as she reached university where she used to sell fashion items like clothes to her school mates.

These items were bought and imported from Pretoria, South Africa. The country is her second home from the maternal side. Nkaota says her stay in Pretoria taught her that South Africans have a love for Lesotho-made cosmetics as they would always request that in her commuting between the two countries, she brought some of these products for them.

She says the products that were on high demand included the Makhaleng Petroleum Jelly and Floratt Skincare. That triggered her to start ordering them in bulks and sell them in that country. Unfortunately, the emergence of Covid-19 pandemic hit out at the time her trade was rising.

With the border restrictions implemented and allowing only essential services and goods to be rendered, her world of business began to crunch.

However, the lockdown was not entirely bad as it gave her time to self-introspect, out of which came what would be her best business move.

It is during this time when she came up with an idea of producing her own cosmetics instead of just being a distributor of other brands. She then enrolled in a short cosmeceutical course that imparted her with skills on manufacturing skincare products. It was in August 2021 when she commenced production with the capital injection from her savings to buy machinery.

As to which sector of the cosmetic world she would venture in, she got an inspiration from her own skin problem which she so badly wanted to heal but was struggling to find the right products.

“I had a very bad skin with pimples all over. That came as an inspiration to get into skincare production in a hope to cure myself before everybody else and I am proud to say that my skin is in a very better state since I started using my products,” Nkaota said.

Currently, slick products are available in all districts of Lesotho by independent distributors as well as a great number of South African places including Gauteng, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.

The company has two employees who help in packaging and selling the products and she hopes to increase her staff so as to create employment.

She can be reached on her mobile number – 63220669.