What motivated Portia to involve herself with the skincare industry was, she says, “the fact that there were no products in the retail space made for African skin. Our climate is different from that of Europe and that inspired me to formulate something specific to skin type and climate”. Marula is an African indigenous ingredient she discovered had exceptional skin benefits. She then used innovative measures to formulate the product using this natural ingredient. Marula, the ingredient used in the product, is rich in antioxidants and omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, which are good for skin hydration. And you can use it for a number of skin ailments, and its velvety texture keeps skin smooth and hydrated. The products are especially formulated for problem-skin, stretch marks and an uneven skin-tone.
Portia has a background in the health care sector, acquired when she worked for Medical Systems Engineering, a Telecommunications company. Nevertheless, it was her thorough research and collaboration with chemists that resulted in formulating the product. The product is clinically tested through the SABS. “The cosmetics industry is sensitive, so products have to be constantly tested. Good management systems and processes have to be in place”, she said.
“It’s a passion for beauty and getting quality products for African skin”, she told Vuka Darkie. “Passion, skill and marketing is what affords a brand a place in most, if not all, competitive industries – It is passion and drive and a never giving up attitude. One needs to have clear vision of what one wants to accomplish. One must have an end in mind”, she continued” but for one to be accepted in the retail space, as someone from the background that is not ivy”, as she is, “you have to push ten times as more.”
Asked on how the industry is like for women she said, “At the rate things are changing, with assistance from the government and other organisation, the time is favourable for women to do things. But, there is times where people don’t have faith in you because of pre-conceived gender stereotypes. Nevertheless, the industry is one in which it showcases the best of my strengths, as beauty is something I’ve always been admiring, preserving or enhancing. I have always been passionate about it and I was always determined to excel in it.”
“Our vision is to make Portia MTM a leading skin care brand in Africa and the world at large, specialising in quality skincare made by an African for Africans using an African ingredient”, she said.
The brand is named after her as the founder. She believes what she is giving out to people is her power and energy through her name, and that people need to be proud and content when they have her name in a branded product, and the product is a true reflection and representation of who she is and that is what Portia MTM is giving out to Africans. Imbokodo – Igama lamakhosikazi malibongwe!
By Themba Ka Mhlanga