Liviwe Finca, from Qonce in the Eastern Cape, moved to Cape Town to pursue her dreams of obtaining a qualification in journalism. While studying, she nearly lost her life in a car accident in 2014, a near-death experience that sparked the idea for her natural skincare range.
A journalism graduate from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Finca’s life changed forever.
“When I survived a near-death car accident, I had a scar on my forehead and struggled to get used to my facial changes. As a student, I had no money to get skin procedures that could rid the appearance of scars, especially on my face.”
Finca says this prompted her to experiment with natural skincare solutions and she started her business in 2019.
“When I started Amafemvula, it stemmed from an outlook where it was equally important for me to find a solution to help my face, as well as many other girls who were struggling with unexpected changes to their faces.”
Amafemvula – A flood of possibilities
The word “Amafemvula” is isiZulu for “a cloud that is yet to give rain to the land”. It is a cumulus cloud that is waiting to pour, and it is also the name for Finca’s skincare brand. She describes the products, which she makes herself, as “hand-poured” and says that the products are mostly a combination of raw and unrefined oils for soothing skin and promoting hair growth.
“Amafemvula represents the moisture the product [provides]. I have found a powerful and ideal formula that keeps people happy. It is one where shea butter is infused with cocoa butter, coconut oil, black seed oil, as well as hemp oil. When blending the oils, I add essential oils to suit the season.”
Finca says that the product is suited for all skin types, and even has some medicinal properties that can help with pain relief.
“For the elderly, issues such as arthritis tend to leave them leaning towards synthetic products which don’t make much of a difference. But Amafemvula helps rid such irregular pains when it needs be. We are a home-based business and keep things entirely vegan friendly.”
Finca also recommends that pregnant women and lactating mothers use the product as their bodies go through child-bearing changes.
“This product helps women whose skins have been changed by bodily phases such as pregnancy and breastfeeding. Unrefined shea butter keeps the skin looking young, and it allows it to produce collagen on its own. It stimulates the tissue cells and possesses soothing, moisturising and nourishing properties.”
A fledgling business
As with any other business owner, Finca has faced her challenges. She is pushing to get her business off the ground, but at the moment, the business is relying on her full-time income at a debt management agency.
“The business solely relies on my income. Also, most of the time, when we speak to people about the product, they have a sense of doubt. People have never seen a product that shows results in less than 14 days, so they consider buying the product a gamble with their money, and we try to fight that every day.”
Despite these challenges, Finca is motivated to continue. She says seeing the progress of her skincare business so far, keeps her going.
“I believe that if I do something that advances me each time, then it can also help [other people]. If I do something that advances me, then I have done my part.”
She has the following tips for other agripreneurs:
- Find a primary source of income that will benefit you and others.
- Keep on investing in your company. [If you don’t], that is how businesses die out.
- People do not have a consistent cash influx to keep businesses afloat, so sell your products via social media as well. In other words, be a street guerrilla.
- Have faith in everything and remain humble through all challenges.
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