The Holistic Business of Hambelela
Since the age of fourteen, Victoria Hambelela Toivo has had a mind for business, so when an idea presented itself for her to start her own business, this young Namibian entrepreneur, with only the help of her mothers wisdom, started Hambelela Organic.
Victoria’s products are used by small enterprises in the manufacture of soaps, creams and beauty products amongst others. “We are wholesalers, trading as Hambelela Organic, the products we wholesale are your essential oils, carrier oils, organic butters and waxes and then also clays and emulsifiers, and dried herbs and spices.”
“My Mom is into medicinal and herbal products, and I wanted to start my own skin care products” explains Victoria, who adds that it was in doing investigation for her skin care range that she uncovered a gap in the market, “The resources are hard to find, so I did more research and I found producers who produce these natural products, but that don’t sell to individuals.”
With big plans to localise her business, Victoria explains, “I want to do as much as I can to enable myself to set up my own distillation factory. There are a lot of producers within the Southern region of Africa, but there aren’t a lot of factories where one can distill raw products.”
Victoria explains the path she took to being a business owner at the age of 24, “I’m an artistic person and I initially wanted to study Architecture and Civil Engineering. But I had a little business ever since I was fourteen, so I’m exposed to being independent. I decided in 2015 to create something for myself after completing my Degree in Marketing which is one of the contributing factors in growing my business.”
“You shouldn’t always wait for certain things to happen or for someone to come along to provide you with something, just start with what you have.”
Now a female entrepreneur with a growing business, Victoria notes that the industry she entered has its challenges for a woman in business, “In this type of market, essential oils, there are certain barriers if you are female. I’m planning on setting up my own place, a little farm where I harvest, dried herbs and that type of thing, but it’s been hard to be able to get land.” However Victoria says that this shouldn’t discourage other entrepreneurs from starting, “Just start, just try to use the little that you have to create something. Then with what you get, try to reinvest that so that you can do bigger and better things. You shouldn’t always wait for certain things to happen or for someone to come along to provide you with something, just start with what you have.”
“That was my initial idea, to have people making their own products and having a more holistic approach to their lives. I know I’m contributing something to someone’s life.”
Victoria says, the best advice she ever received was from her Mother, “she always says just keep pushing even if somebody says something negative about your business, because there are times where you feel you are doing so much but you don’t see the results, but just keep at it because the more you keep at it the more you grow personally. You learn a lot of things, such as critical thinking, being disciplined and also helping others.”
“The best moments are seeing the reaction of people and also seeing how people make certain things out of the products because that was my initial idea, to have people making their own products and having a more holistic approach to their lives. I know I’m contributing something to someone’s life.”
Promoting her clean living and empowered view of life Victoria adds, “It’s trying to live a more clean healthy life, being cautious of the things that you put on your body and the things that you consume. I think we just need to be weary. Perhaps educate yourself a bit on types of products that are not good for your body, check the ingredients of the product, and also try to buy products that are grown locally and fresh products. I think the way forward is just to have a more holistic approach to life.”
Proving she is a wholesaler with a lot of heart, part of Victoria’s approach to holistic life and holistic business, is through empowerment. She has recently launched a project to empower other female entrepreneurs through educating them on how to make their own beauty products, such as soaps and creams, to take to the Namibian market.
Hambelela Organic is a Namibian business that supplies and retails 100% pure essential oils, organic butters, carriers oils, raw materials, dried herbs and preservatives for food & cosmetics grade.
Find out more about Hambelela Organic through their Facebook page here, where you’ll also find weekly giveaways and can sign up for their weekly newsletter.
Written by Kirsty Watermeyer