Portia M Skin Solutions

2018 Small Supplier of the Year Award Winner: Portia Mngomezulu, founder of Portia M Skin Solutions

Portia Mngomezulu’s local skincare business began after she successfully treated stretch marks with Marula oil during her pregnancy in 2010. She initially bought Marula oil directly from rural women in Limpopo, bottled it herself and began selling it as a sideline business, reinvesting the profits into her business. From there, she progressively built her local skincare business into what is today: a multi-million-rand enterprise that employs 27 full-time staff and is rapidly expanding into Africa.

In 2016 the Pick n Pay ESD programme enabled her to grow her brand by providing access to internal corporate experts for support, business development advice and market access.

“The programme gave me the opportunity to pitch my products to a buyer and, within a week, I was told I had secured a spot on their shelves. This was the greatest day of my business life,” says Mngomezulu.

In 2015 her products were available in 20 corporate and family stores. Between 2016 and 2017 sales jumped by nearly 2 000% as the store list expanded nationally.