Women’s Month: #WomanOfTheWeek: Carina Franck | Rooi Rose Interview
When did you start Kalahari Lifestyle?
Kalahari Lifestyle was founded in 2011 as an authentic African brand. We first started with the release of our Spa, Body and Lifestyle range before expanding into our Retail and Professional Skincare range.
Why did you start it?
I grew up in the Kalahari, where I discovered the many secrets to natural health and wellbeing that have been hidden in the desert for generations. After a decade of being in the beauty industry, I began to recognize that more and more individuals were choosing greener lifestyle options and turning to brands whose environmental values aligned with their own. For this reason, I wanted to combine everything I had learnt about natural wellness, with my experience in skincare. Therefore, Kalahari Lifestyle was born; an authentic, Phyto-effective™ lifestyle range that people could really experience and trust.
You used to be much more well-known in the Scandinavian countries than in South Africa? Why is that?
When we first launched Kalahari Lifestyle, we did so in the European wellness market. So naturally the brand flourished in those areas first. I think because we began with our Spa and Body range, the European market loved being transported to Africa through our products and treatments in order to get the authentic, sensory African experience. As a result of our European success, we recognized an opportunity to expand in South Africa.
How many staff did you start with when you started Kalahari?
An exact number is quite difficult to say but I think there were about five core people that started this journey with me. Kalahari Lifestyle began as part of my previous company as an additional brand. I had a dedicated team working solely on Kalahari and it was supported by my talented team or experts. I’m proud to think back on those days and realize just how far we’ve come in only eight short years!
How many people work for you now?
Today, including both my national and international team, we currently have approximately 25 employees!
How many countries are you currently exporting to?
We currently export to approximately 14 countries, with no plans of stopping there!
What is your personal beauty philosophy?
My personal beauty philosophy consists of 4 aspects: Regular exfoliation; Choosing the correct serum for your skin; Making sure you moisturize your skin with the correct moisturizer for your specific skin condition; and regularly going for Professional Treatments is also a big plus!
What products of your range are you using?
I change my products as my circumstances change. Right now, my skin needs a lot of the nutrients found in our Ferulic CEB+ Serum and I am also using our new Retinol Serum, which will be launched in the market soon, so stay tuned!
If you only had to recommend one Kalahari product to someone who would be?
I can’t live without our Anti-puffiness Serum! Perfect for every occasion!
What is your favorite Kalahari salon / spa treatment and why?
For my face and skin, the TCA Professional Treatment is my favorite! And my body loves our KhoiKhoi Neck and Shoulder Massage Treatment!
What are the biggest mistakes women make when it comes to skincare?
I see so many women that use products and professional treatments that are too over-stimulating and over-active for their skin. If there’s one piece of advice I wish I could share with all women, it’s that ‘active’ does not necessarily mean that a product is ‘effective’.
What were the biggest challenges you had when starting your business?
Starting a new business is definitely not easy. There are so many products on the market that finding your place among them can definitely be a challenge. Furthermore, many companies produce “white labelling”, which means that anyone can start their own brand without the real effort. I believe that you have to surround yourself with exceptional people that specialises in particular fields and off cause to stay connected with your followers and people that can add real value to your business.
How is it to a women’s advantage to start a business rather than work for a boss?
From a young age, I knew that I would not fit in the normal 8-5 picture, and having your own business provides you with a lot more freedom in that sense. However, being your own boss is also extremely challenging because there is nobody to hold you accountable for your decisions. Being your own boss requires a lot more discipline, ambition and work ethic than your regular 8-5, so you have to be prepared for the added responsibility. One of my believes is that when you combine your talent and your passion, you will step into your destiny!
Do you think you are being discriminated against because you are a female business owner?
Most female business owners have experienced discrimination in their respective industries, and I certainly experienced a lot more of it when I first launched my business. However, the world has changed a lot for women over the last 5 years alone. Today, we’re seeing women being celebrated and recognized in leadership roles more than ever before, but this is just the tip of the ice berg and we still have so much work to do in this area. I’m also fortunate enough to be a business owner in a mostly female-dominated industry, which means I feel the effects a lot less than females do in male-dominated industries. I also think the people you surround yourself with have a lot to do with how you experience discrimination. I choose to employ men and women who empower and inspire each other and think the way that I do, so I don’t feel it as much in my direct environment. Having said that, I don’t mind being underestimated or told that I can’t do something, because it only makes me work harder to prove the naysayers wrong!
What is your best tip for a woman who wants to start her own business?
To love what you do and to believe in your capabilities and potential. Starting your own business will require more time, effort and strength from you than you can imagine! If you aren’t passionate about what it is that you’re doing or what you stand for, it won’t be enough. You have to want to put in the extra hours and know that your vision is worth working through the difficult times – because there will be difficult times. During those hardships, believing in yourself and knowing that you can achieve anything you set your mind to if you’re willing to work hard, will make all the difference.
How can women better support each other?
I think comparison is society’s main downfall when it comes to women not supporting each other. I encourage all women to remember that we are all running our own race, at our own pace, and we cannot truly compare our personal journeys with another human being. This goes for life and business. “Admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own” – this goes for business and life as well, just because one of us succeeds, doesn’t mean another has to fail. There’s room for all of us to thrive, so long as we teach each other in order to help one another succeed. Growing up, the Khoi San families taught me one of my favorite sayings; “If we all share, we’ll all have enough”!
Are there any women in the beauty world that you have a lot of respect for?
There are far too many women doing incredibly innovative things in the beauty industry, to choose just one! I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for any and all women in the beauty world. It is not an easy industry to be a part of because it is so competitive and is constantly growing and evolving. You have to have a lot of passion, determination and a hunger to keep on learning. To me, every hard-working and ambitious woman is an inspiration!