The 29-year-old businesswoman feels strongly that we should buy local and support small businesses to help our communities grow. Olwethu makes a skincare range, for the growing number of consumers of beauty products who want natural, organic products that haven’t been tested on animals. She believes that consumers must inform themselves and that they have the power to choose well. Twyg’s Jo Stein spoke to Olwethu:
I want to play a part in protecting the planet, while not compromising my lifestyle. I’m a free spirited tree hugger with multiple personalities. I’m a photographer, model, actress and I love gardening when I have time. I have a very bubbly personality but I’m serious about my business called Lola&Co Organics, a handcrafted skincare range. I’m currently finishing my Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation with Formula Botanica while running my business.
I grew up in Zwelethemba township in Worcester, in the Western Cape. I had a lot of fun and that’s where my love for the outdoors and for organic germinated. I later moved to Cape Town with my mother and after I finished high school I moved to Johannesburg. There are a lot of farms around Worcester and we used to work on them during holidays to earn extra cash. It was there I experienced processes like those of wine- and jam-making. My mother worked with fynbos and she used to take me to see fauna in the mountains That’s where my love for hiking began.
I started riding when I met my husband as he is horse crazy. I’m scared of horses sometimes because they can be so unpredictable and I fell off twice. I take lessons and my husband takes me for an outride every week at the equestrian estate where we live in Midrand [Gauteng].
I have a vegetable garden and grow flowers and herbs. We use rain water and we also have a borehole. I want to keep honeybees this year. I will be taking a course that teaches people how to keep their own bees. I want them to pollinate the garden.
Lola&Co Organics is made in small batches using organic ingredients such as oils, butters, spices, herbs and hydrosols to create skin food for all skin types. It’s unisex. Formula Botanica has helped me with the sourcing of my ingredients by providing a list of suppliers who are eco-certified and who provide a MSD (material safety data sheet). The MSD gives you the information you need to know about each ingredient such as how it was made, where it comes from, who made it, and how to store and use it yourself. It’s important information to have and to pass on to my customers.
I formulate my products from scratch. I don’t follow other peoples recipes or copy their ingredients. I create products for people with specific needs like sensitive skin and for people with normal skin. I do it all by hand by myself (for now). Organic means being transparent and using ingredients that are kind to the environment and that won’t hurt animals or the air we breathe. We should focus on buying local and supporting small businesses which in return can help our communities grow. Organic is important to me because it means using ingredients available around me and being aware of my environment.
Consumers should not be afraid to ask questions and explore organic products they haven’t tried before to see how they work. Read the list ingredients used in products. If the ingredients aren’t recognisable, do the research and read up to find out what’s being used. You have the power to choose the right lifestyle for you and your family. Avoid products that are tested on animals and that can hurt the environment that provides us with life. We have the power to CHOOSE WELL.
- Olwethu is hosting a pop up at African Chef, Eco Boulevard, Witch-Hazel Avenue, Centurion from 12 – 6pm on Saturday 21 April, 2018.
- See lolaandcoorganics.co.za
- Visit the Rosebank Sunday Market, in Johannesburg, Olwethu is there every week.
- Follow Olwethu on Instagram @OrganicBaddie
- Photo credits: Supplied