At Just 23, Satta Wahab has built one of Liberia’s fast-rising setup company, Naz Naturals, a natural hair-care manufacturing company.
The company, which started in 2016, came after Satta started her own hair treatment by natural means. That was two years earlier and it was a way of embracing herself and the texture of her hair, following the use of numerous products that did not give her any satisfaction.
After realizing that there was a huge gap in the market for natural hair-care products for Liberian women, Satta created her business venture, Naz Natural, to produce natural beauty solutions for Liberian women.
Starting with just US$100, Satta established Naz Naturals, Liberia’s first hair-care company, and started to sell the company’s first product to friends, who in return helped spread the message.
Now in its second year of operations, Satta has turned the company into a leading entity with a staff of over six and received an annual profit of US$20,000 last year, which this year is expected to double as demand for the product has gone viral.
The company started off with a little over fifty bottles of hair care products but has sold annually over 100,000 bottles in all sizes.
“I wanted to make a difference but in a way that could be profitable. The business succeeded because best business principles were applied. But the quality and work involved do sell our product to the public. In 2014, I went natural as a way of embracing myself and that included the texture of my hair. I would research different ingredients for my hair and make my own hair care products.
“Later, I realized that it was not just an individual problem or that some people didn’t want to go natural, but it was because they couldn’t get the right products on the market. When I saw the problem, I created the solution to that problem with the coming in of Naz Natural,” Satta said, explaining why she decided to open the company.
The beauty industry in Liberia is one of the most lucrative of business sectors but remain unexplored until recently when Satta stepped in. Her company’s products are shea butter and are mixed with other essential oils like coconut oil, honey, olive oil, and water, which helps to nourish and replenish natural hair.
Although she did not start the company with a huge financial backing, Satta was able to spread her company’s product through an annual Curl Fest– a marketing strategy that pays off well for the company, helping expand its customer base.
Gradually, the company has been able to increase sales and now most salons and local cosmetics stores are carrying its products due to the market demands it makes.
“We are not selling just products; we are providing solutions to all the natural hair problems in Liberia. We are empowering young women to feel beautiful and confident about themselves at an affordable price while breaking down negative messages that are being fed to them by the media,” she said. “Our products are safe and healthy for African hair texture because they are inorganic and made from some of the best West African ingredients.”
However, despite this success, Satta still faces numerous challenges, which involve the cost of getting packaging equipment, and drastically reduces the company’s profit. This is because the company has to import cups and branding materials, which doesn’t often arrive on time.
“The biggest difficulty is the unavailability of packaging equipment in Liberia. We import cups and branding materials from Ghana, this shipment is a huge driver of our operating costs. In addition to shipping costs, there is usually delays in shipment, which slows down our production and hampers our ability to deliver on time to our customers,” Satta said.