Yivani Naturals is a skincare company that makes use of natural ingredients from indigenous South African herbs. Founder Ntshantsha Tafeni–Majombozi originally sold her products through cosmetic shops and health spas, but has in the last year begun opening a series of stores around Johannesburg – and the business just keeps growing.
How did your business start?
My grandmother used natural herbs for the treatment of minor ailments. When I was growing up I lost interest in her remedies, but later, I decided to try to identify why black people are losing their traditional herbal wisdom. This led to me and Bulelwa Mapongwana to come up with the Yivani Naturals concept in 2009 to overcome the stigma attached to traditional healing. We launched the business in 2011 with funding from my own pocket. In the last year, we have opened stores in 27Boxes in Melville and then at the Workshop in Newtown.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
Newtown has a cultural traditional history, and we wanted to be part of that vibe. We have a product that takes people down memory lane, and the use of natural herbs fitted in perfectly with the history of the area.
How did you find your premises?
We were attracted by the idea of the Workshop, so we discussed with them which space would best suit our needs.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
We loved the concept of the Watershed in Cape Town, which promotes small, proudly South African businesses, and the people who established that are the same people behind the Workshop, so we were very excited to be part of something similar up here.
Who are your neighbours?
We have the Glitter Nail Boutique on the one side, and a beading shop on the other.
What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?
The rates are reasonable to support local talent.
How many people go through your store each day?
During the week, between 30 and 50, on the weekend anywhere between 50 and 200.
Do you have any expansion plans?
We are opening a store in The Box Shop in Vilakazi Street, and another in the Hub at Riversands Farm.
Do you operate online as well?
We have a website but we don’t sell online. Our products can be bought online through the Nedbank online shopping mall, myafricanbuy. And we’re starting to sell through websites in the UK as well now.
What’s your most popular item?
The flagship essential oils that we use are impepho and mhlonyane, and people just can’t get enough of our body butter.
082 451 1390