Being a first mover is great, but not for the faint hearted

August 29, 2018

Being the first to do something is met with a lot of challenges accompanied by the absence of the necessary tools required to solve them. This is something Suzie Wokabi (Founder, brand ambassador and creative director of Suzie beauty) quickly realized when she set out to start her very own local makeup line at a time when local makeup brands were not in existence in Kenya. Suzie wanted her makeup line to cater to the skin of black women in Africa, in the African climate. One of the key things she noticed during her time in Los Angeles was that black women in America have different skin as compared to those in Africa so she kept that in mind as she researched on the ingredients of her products. When she finally decided on her set ingredients, she went to the University of Nairobi to speak to the top professor of Chemistry on how to acquire the ingredients only to realize, most of her ingredients were not available in Kenya. She had no option but to import them and set up a factory for the makeup to be produced. In her search for manufacturers, she had to travel to places like US, Europe and Asia as she would not settle for anyone who didn’t share her values for the company. She had offers such as people wanting her to put her logo on products similar to hers but Suzie didn’t agree to the short cut as she wanted to produce what she came up with on her own and was certain would work on the African woman. She also didn’t take chances on the testing period. She tested it on herself first before testing it on anyone else and the product proved to be serviceable. Suzie was ready to wait as long as needed in order to produce something of good value which has proved to be a way that will always pay off. Suzie Wokabi, Founder of Suzie Beauty, was a guest at Founders drink up held in June 2018. To get access to the full podcast, email

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