MatsiiMela is an incredible local home spa brand, with products that include divine-smelling scrubs, lotions, cleansers and creams.
Curious to find out more about this divine brand, I asked MatsiMela founders and owners husband-and-wife team Wayne and Olivia Nel about thier range and company.
How did you start the brand?
Matsimela Home Spa was started by us in 2005 for the export market.
The brand was conceptualized in Cosmoprof Bologna, a show sponsored by the Dept. of Trade & Industry in beautiful Italy.
Our main soap contract manufacturing concern, Willow Soaps was an exhibitor and thus the idea to set the contract business aside and to create a truly authentic African brand was born.
What have been your biggest lessons on tthe way?
When returning to SA after the show and bringing the brand to life with product and packaging, Olivia boldly put her name down at Clearwater Mall for a 40 sqm store. Thinking this application process would take give or take six months (giving us time to financially and creatively plan & prepare), centre management gave the news that a space had become available and we had three weeks to open our doors.
The shop was miraculously designed and fitted and we opened our doors around December of 2006. We traded well over this period, but from here sales were not consistent as thought – we re-conceptualised and revamped the store to be what it is today; perspex-lit tables and product displayed out in the open in bowls, making the environment a tactile, interactive one.
This was a R500 000 learning curve that took years to recover from. If it weren’t for slow sales – we would never have realized that our recipe in actual fact had to change in order to create a different, unique environment for our clients. From retail, our spa business developed and grew and this has been an incredibly, exciting aspect of MatsiMela.
Describe your products in five words:
Creative, distinctly African, unique, beautiful fragrances, a treat!
What sets your prodcuts apart?
I suppose the above five words "Creative, distinctly African, unique, beautiful fragrances, a treat"! Products and gifting are created with the consumer in mind. Our retail stores are personal with one on one interaction. Gifts can be custom made according to whom the gift is given. Special care and attention is always the priority.
All products are made with Ubuntu African oils such as Marula, Baobab, Rooibos tea and other specially selected African extracts. By using our product range and being captivated by the essence of Africa, one is taken back to one’s roots.
As ‘Matsimela’ is a Sothern Sotho word and our co. is truly African, we decided to use pure oils under each variant in order for the consumer to be captivated by each variant.
What are your flagship products?
Our hero products are definitely the scrubs and butters! A salt or sugar scrub is a must, paired with a complimentary shea-based body butter.
What are the products you love the most?
Olivia: Kalahari salt scrub – Ginger & lime, Vanilla Sandalwood body butter, Baobab tissue oil, Baobab cuticle oil, Bronzing crème
Wayne: Moisture plus massage oil (in-room spa range), Baobab body butter, Rooibos & Honey mud scrub, 150g glycerine massage bar (in-room spa range), Kalahari salt scrub – Marula nut
What are you most proud of regarding the business?
We employ over 25 women & men at our factory based in Kya Sands and over 15 ladies on our retail / spa side. From an employment aspect we are contributing towards this vital aspect of our economy. Commodity wise, we endeavour to source raw ingredients from suppliers who in turn support rural communities, again contributing towards socio development within our country.
Over the last 12 years we have grown to have nine stores and supply over 350 spas and salons in SA. We export to the SADC region and other countries such as USA, Britain and Bahrain. We are proud of our African foot print!
What are your top beauty tips?
Always look after your skin. It is one of your best assets. Exfoliate with one of Matsimela’s salt, sugar or mud scrubs by sloughing dry, unnecessary skin and remember to moisturize thereafter with a body butter, crème or one of our body oils.
Try and stay out of the sun or have minimal sun exposure & always wear an SPF if out & about. A healthy body means a healthy mind. Be mindful of what you eat and always drink plenty of water. Take time out when needed and your skin will glow J