<p><strong>Nigerian entrepreneur Blondie Okpuzor makes what she calls ‘birthday cake soaps’ at her beauty store in Lagos, Nigeria.</strong></p> <p>She is the founder and chief executive of BathKandy, a cosmetics line that makes food-inspired bath and body products like soaps, scrubs, polishes, scented oils and home fragrances among others.</p> <p>Blondie’s products are all made by hand and purposed to look and smell like desserts.</p> <p>“I think people love things that look good. So, I mean we are in Nigeria so there is a lot of people are doing natural products, and I just think generally the population we are moving towards natural things. So, it was a function of how do you stand out and these are the things that I personally like,” she said.</p> <p>Blondie who studied business management and sociology in the U.S. started her business in 2014, about three years after moving back home.</p> <p>With an initial investment of about 9,800 U.S. dollars mopped up from her savings and contributions from family members, she took on entrepreneurship.</p> <p>The beauty and skincare industry has been described as a fast-growing business sector in the country and is highly competitive.</p> <p>In 2016 the sector was valued at 620 million U.S. dollars according to Euromonitor International, a global market intelligence publisher.</p> <p>With a population of 170 million people, BathKandy is part of a new wave of start-ups that are finding opportunities to market products in Africa’s most populous country.</p> <p>“We manufacture everything here, you need power. So if you are running your generator 24 hours that’s a bit of a challenge right? Another issue that we face was employment and staffing I think we are good now, but it took a while for us to a place where we were okay and comfortable with what we had,” Blondie said.</p> <p>The product website carries the candy theme but BathKandy also markets itself through a sweet in-store experience that has set them apart from other local skin-care companies.</p> <p>“I got to know about Bathkandy two years ago, through a particular company and I first bought their soaps, their garri scrub soap and it was a very nice experience, it had a very wonderful scent, it was affordable and you know it left my skin not dry it was oily and so and I enjoyed the experience,” said Doyin Balogun, a customer.</p> <p>Blondie runs stores in Lagos and Abuja and ships products to clients across the country.<br /> The product website carries the candy theme but BathKandy also markets itself through a sweet in-store experience that has set them apart from other local skin-care companies.</p>
I think people love things that look good. So, I mean we are in Nigeria so there is a lot of people are doing natural products.