As Told By: Zesipho Mncwango, Founder of lamoola

Last updated on: 2020

As Told By

Meet Zesipho Mncwango!

What’s it like working in the beauty industry? Zesipho Mncwango shares her experience working as a Beauty Brand Manager and the founder of lamoola! Learn more about her role in some of the top international beauty brands and how her company, lamoola, is bringing on-demand beauty treatments to South African communities.

  • My name is: Zesipho Mncwango
  • My social handles are: @zesipho.m
  • But the real fun happens at @lamoola_app across all social media platforms
  • Find my website at www.lamoolaapp.com

1. Tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get your start in the beauty world? (Background, career path, other interests, any other interesting facts)

We’re gonna need more mimosas and a longer afternoon!

I am a boxing-loving ballerina that is terrible at yoga (but I still show up every Saturday morning)!

I grew up in a ‘Marketing Family’ as the youngest of 4 children; my siblings are all also exceptional marketers whose work and contributions I admire immensely.

I’m a Marketing specialist in the Beauty & Personal Care and Luxury Goods sector(s). My career spans across working on some of the world’s biggest, most iconic, and most truly exciting international brands. It is the most exciting and challenging adventure of a lifetime, and it is truly my vocation.

Now I’ve taken all of that incredible acumen, experience, and expertise of the beauty industry into making a different kind of impact and contribution at www.lamoolaapp.com

2. Can you tell our readers more about your career as a Beauty Brand Manager?

The abridged version of how I view the role is that of it being defined by walking the tightrope of balancing magic and logic. My career spans across working on brands like Clinique, Estee Lauder Companies, CHANEL Beauty, and on the Unilever Beauty portfolio (I know, this lineup sounds like something out of The Devil Wears Prada)!

I obsess with the magic of the incredible brand stories and combine that magic with my curiosity for turning consumer insights/problems into actions. That translates into groundbreaking and necessary innovation, communications, and messaging that make a positive contribution for people, the planet, and society. I’m also spurred by my love for the challenge that logic presents – in solving business problems and creating business opportunities through applying savviness and acumen.

What I most love is my ability to be a disruptor in this space. I seldom enter a space without running straight into the fire by challenging and questioning the status quo—of perceptions of beauty, of the way products and brands speak to consumers, and of how we, as the teams behind these businesses and brands, can best serve the intention to make it happen.

lamoola

3. You are also the founder of lamoola. Can you tell us more about lamoola and your work as an entrepreneur in beauty and tech?

My people—my ancestors—are from a small village called Kwa Lamula – in case anyone didn’t catch it, lamoola is the namesake of this.

lamoola is a Beauty Treatments On-Demand community-marketplace, which connects clients (our LEGENDS, as we call them) to booking beauty treatments from small local businesses in their same area to meet at the client’s doorstep with one click.

The rise of the on-demand economy has shifted the consumer and user experience of every other sphere of our lives, be it entertainment, grocery shopping, etc. It’s about time there is a solution that enables the R3bn South African beauty industry to be able to tap into immediacy and convenience to disrupt the archaic and time-consuming process that used to be required for a beauty appointment.

The lamoola soul speaks to collaboration over competition, so we have collaborations with African-led and Womxn-led beauty brands; to accelerate their footprint and penetration into the professional kits of each and every one of our Beauty Professional communities. So beyond the instant gratification and feel-good experience that comes with supporting local business, lamoola is also a first-of-its-kind model in integrating the end-to-end value chain of the African and female-led beauty industry; from product to professional, to consumption/use.

lamoola

4. What does a typical day in your life look like?

No two days are ever the same, which I love—that’s what I signed up for!

But there are some constant fixtures that will always feature in my weekly itinerary – connecting with Project Teams that I lead, Digital, Creative & PR Agency teams working on our latest campaigns and comms, our Commercial and Sales team – to track on how we’re doing on the retail and numbers side, and Supply Chain discussions to find solutions that ensure that we have enough of the right products to fulfill our consumers’ needs and demands. There is also a lot of working with our Research & Developments team to work on how we translate whatever we’re seeing in trends and consumer insights into cutting edge products.

And then somewhere in between then, I run an innovative BeautyxTech startup.

What helps is that I don’t romanticize busyness or long meetings, which keeps the pulse and rhythm of my day always in high tempo. And I compartmentalize my time for work, rest, meditation, and working out so that everything lives within set boundaries.

I never know how to respond to the question of “how do you do it all” because I don’t know what it’s like to live in a version of reality where I’m not both a fulltime intrapreneur of these Global Brands, as well a BeautyxTech Entrepreneur who is extending their impact and contribution to this industry in this disruptive solution.

5. Do you have any tips for our readers interested in pursuing a career in beauty?

Don’t walk into it expecting something out of The Devil Wears Prada. Do it if you really love it, do it in the most exciting and challenging places that you can imagine possible, and make sure that it makes a positive impact and contribution.

If you can’t find anyone to hire you and your head full of ideas, then create the business and the solution that you wish existed

6. Tell us about an accomplishment in your career that you are most proud of.

Oh, definitely, lamoola! It’s like my love-letter to an industry that has given me purpose and fulfillment. And the fact that the entire model of the lamoola community is built on African-led, Womxn-led businesses and supporting and sustainably growing together? Well, there isn’t enough champagne in the world to toast to celebrating what that means and feels like

7. Okay, we have to ask – what three products do you always keep in your makeup bag?

The best way to describe this is to say that I have to pay for oversized carry-on luggage, on account of the size of my makeup bag.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

 

Interested in learning more from professionals in the digital marketing and beauty industries? Check out the rest of our As Told By series.

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Ashley Madara