August is a historical month that is dedicated to women from all walks of life in South Africa. Over the years, we have seen the month evolve into what we now see as the celebration of beauty in women. Beauty comes in various forms and degrees – and to zoom into the modern version of women who represent the new era of Woman’s month, we had to pin down a beauty icon in the making. Beauty on TApp Founder, Mathebe Molise is one of the most influential Beauty Insiders in the country.
Mathebe takes on a journey to finding self through products that not only enhance one’s external confidence but encourage everyday women to be bold and ready for life’s experiences.
- With your great career profile in finance, when did the beauty bug bite you?
I’ve always been a beauty enthusiast – used to always look at and admire my mom and grandmother while watching them get dressed. I used to love playing around with my hair and learned how to plait and braid hair on my dolls’ hair which is likely why Beauty on Tapp started off with a big focus on haircare. I also used to collect lipsticks – I was totally obsessed with MAC lipsticks. Going into Beauty isn’t something that really surprised me or those close to me because it has always been something I was passionate about.
2. What inspired Beauty on TApp/ how did the journey start?
My best friend was getting married in Cape Town and we needed a make up artist. There wasn’t really a tool or platform that existed where one could search Beauty services easily based on location – so I took a leap of faith and launched a “find a beauty service” app. Monetising it was really difficult so we had to pivot the platform. We had a find a beauty brand directory as well and app users suggested that we just launch a platform that allowed people to shop all their favourite products on one platform and that’s when the shop site was launched. The e-tailing platform currently has over 60 brands and over 600 products and gives shoppers the opportunity to shop their favourite products on one platform.
3. What consumer problem is Beauty on TApp solving?
Our solve is twofold – 1. We’ve given niche and local beauty brands a platform to showcase their products next to larger more popular brands and this has resulted in these brands getting more exposure. We also work tirelessly to market these products and also educate our community on the benefits of using these products and how to use them. It is really important to me to empower local beauty brands and get them out there in the market. 2. We’ve given our community an easy-to-use digital shopping experience for all their favourite beauty brands. People have the opportunity to shop beauty products on an easy-to-use platform built for shopping for cosmetics. We also strive to deliver efficiently because we believe that beauty doesn’t wait – our customers should get their products within 2-3 days of ordering.
4. How has your career in finance helped you build this business and brand?
Being a CA and understanding finance has really helped me embed good structures and cost habits in Beauty on Tapp. Having been an analyst at a bank I understand the numbers side of the business quite well. Beauty on TApp has intense working capital requirements so understanding the underlying workings of this helps a lot – especially given that the business is self funded and operates with zero external debt. Corporate really taught me a lot about customer centricity, good work ethic, efficiency and the importance of robust structures and processes. Really grateful for everything I learned in corporate.
5. With 410 women globally in business recognised for the Veuve Clicquot Bold Women of the year 2022, how did it feel being named one of the top 6 in South Africa?
It was an absolute honour to be chosen as one of the six ladies, but also just being nominated with the other five ladies was so amazing. The top 6 all own such amazing businesses that are working to make a positive impact on society. I also love that brands like Veuve uplift small women owned companies but also show other women that thriving in business is possible.
6. Top three favorite products from Beauty on TApp?
Haha – I’m always asked this and it’s so hard to choose because I love so many products on the platform. My favourite brand is Pastry (no bias at all) – the Grapefruit scented Niacinamide Body Lotion is my favourite, Uso’s Cellular Active Essence is a favourite for hydration and Skin functional’s SPF50 is my go-to sunscreen. We all know sunscreen is essential.
7. Spring/summer beauty product essentials for every lady’s handbag?
Sunscreen – a spray if possible to reapply if you’re outdoors and exposed to the sun, Swiitch Beauty Niacinamide Superhero Spray, Lanolab’s multi-use balm and Eucerin’s Urea Repair Hand Cream or Skin functional’s new Ceramide hand lotion.