South Africa-based Cardnus Chijongwe is making strides in that country’s beauty industry through her cosmetics brand, Hues and Tones.
Chijongwe is a journalism graduate from the Nust in Buawayo who, after failing to get a job in the neighbouring country and fed up of receiving handouts from her older brother who she lived with, decided to come up with her own business.
She said she started off as a make-up artist and noticed that there was a gap in that industry hence her decision to create her own cosmetics range.
“I started off as a makeup artist and after some time, I started getting a lot of clients. As time went by, I saw an opportunity and decided to do my own thing. With the help of the industry’s gurus, I created my own lipstick brand which was my gateway into the business,” recounted Chijongwe.
In no time, she was able to secure a shop in the affluent Sandton City and to her luck, she managed to persuade the likes of Boity Thulo, Kelly Khumalo and DJ Zinhle among others to use her lipstick range after having had makeovers from her.
Locally, Pokello, MisRed and Madam Boss are some personalities who use her products.
And now, a year-and-a-half later, her brand has grown with her products which also include eye lashes now being sold in Kenya, Ghana, Botswana, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, the United Kingdom and Zimbabwe.
“My brand has grown and at the moment it can be found in eight countries. I’m happy with progress as it shows how hard work pays off,” she said.
Chijongwe said considering her brand is still in its inception, she feels she has been doing well in the industry which is highly competitive.
She, however, said the journey has not been all rosy.
“It was not easy when I started as it was all from scratch. It was hard to get people who would do exactly what you want and come up with the right products. But with time, they eventually got the hang of things.
“My advice to people is that they should not give up if there’s something they want to do in life, especially if it’s setting up a business,” she said.
Chijongwe said she has high hopes for the future. “I’m still working as a make-up artist and pushing my brand at the same as make-up is my passion. It’s my hope to also manufacture foundation but that’ll need a lot of research as it takes time. For now though, I’ll be introducing eyeshadow at the end of this month.
“I always feel happy when I make another woman feel beautiful and pretty.”
Chijongwe said she has no regrets for not practising journalism because she is enjoying the benefits of her business.Send us feedback by CLICKING HERE or, better still, CLICK HERE TO JOIN ONE OF OUR WHATSAPP GROUPS for the latest news!