Smelling good!

Smelling good!

ROMA – HER perfumes are some of the newest creations in Lesotho’s untapped cosmetics market.
The National University of Lesotho (NUL) educated Selloane Ody Raleting (SOR)’s business creates perfumes simply known in the market as SOR Products.
It is her unique brand.

“People like my products,” she says.
“I send them all over the country. I use the Post Office for distant orders.”
Her perfumes, brewed slowly to blend the delicate ingredients, provide the smell that has a tendency to entice even the most skeptical of souls.
She has no plans to keep the perfumes to herself.

“I call on all those who want to sell my perfumes under their own brands to contact me. I make the perfume, they create the brand,” she says.
Raleting styles herself as a business enthusiast.
She has involved herself in business for as far as her memory can go.

She has experimented with one form of business after another until she settled for manufacturing.
And she is honest about it: business is not for the quitters.
But it can be tricky.

In the meantime, let’s focus on the perfume itself.
To appreciate the value of perfume, listen to this statement by the famed Sydney Smith, the 18th century English writer and comedian.
“Man,” he said, “could direct his ways by plain reason and support his life by tasteless food…but God has given us comedy and flavour, and brightness and laughter, and perfumes…”
Well, we don’t need perfumes to live.

We don’t need them anymore than we need taste in food to survive.
But, boy, oh boy! Don’t we need a lot of taste and perfumes!
In Smith’s words, these seemingly unnecessary things “enliven the days of man’s tough journey”.
Who among you will not get floored by a fantastic smell of a good perfume?

Ladies, specifically, understand the secret of perfumes.
Most of them wear perfumes every day.
But it is the entrepreneurs like Selloane who do not only understand perfumes, they are willing to cash in on them.
“I used to be in the skincare business,” she says.

“I am a bit surprised that there are more profits to be made in the area of perfumes than in skincare products.”
Selloane’s love for business has taken her places.
She knows first-hand, the rough and tumble of the business world.
Sometimes, she learned the hard way.
For instance, just when her skin products business was getting traction, a bombshell was dropped!
The supplier of her supplier was no longer producing the necessary oils.
Her supplier stopped providing them too.
With no alternative source of oils, her product line collapsed.
She was crushed.

But maybe she listened to this advice from Alexander Graham Bell: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

So she revisited her passions and engaged in a new research.
“I had always wanted to get into a perfume business,” she says.
“Failure in skin products created opportunity to explore the new business.”
With passion and experimentation, she finally got what she was looking for.
She was back in business.

“Fall down seven times,” they say, “rise up eight.”
She has everything for everyone.
Basotho men in general used to shy away from “feminine” perfumes.
Not anymore.

Modern men relish the smell of perfumes made just for them.
The smell of Men’s SOR Perfumes border the stealth.
They have a smell that is measured, weak enough, you are barely aware of it, strong enough you can’t ignore it.
So the coolest dudes in town are catered for by the SOR Products.

She produces about 500 products a week and sells them over social media.
Amazingly, people are responding and she can even send the products to distant corners of Lesotho through the Post Office.
In the process, she has created at least four jobs: one job for herself and another job for her younger brother.
She has already secured two distributors, one in Mohale’s Hoek, another in Thaba-Tseka.

“At one point,” she says with excitement, “the Mohale’s Hoek-based distributor sold quite a lot in just two days!”
If she were to receive funding, she could expand her business and create more jobs.
Before then, she is doing her best with the understanding that one day, her persistent efforts and passion for business will bear bigger fruits.

Own Correspondent

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