Byu-t̮i by Popz, an African beauty product start-up, has launched a range of locally infused make-up and beauty products that is uplifting women and helping them to build new careers, and new lives. Byu-t̮i by Popz is the brainchild and dream of founder and businesswoman, Nthabi Mokitimi-Dlamini, who wanted the new make-up brand to be proudly African, inspired by her home country of Lesotho. The Byu-t̮i by Popz brand is much more than a range of products, it’s also about giving back and leaving a legacy of positive social impact.
The products contain extracts from the blue agave, aloe vera and prickly pear plants from Lesotho and include a range of foundations, setting spray, removers and primers, with more products to follow. These products use locally manufactured – and some such as mink lashes, gel liners and lip products are imported.
“I am really excited about the launch of Byu-t̮i by Popz because we don’t have enough homegrown African make-up brands that are made specifically with the African woman in mind. My family roots are in Matelile, Mafeteng district in Lesotho and raised by my grandparents in Maseru. My grandmother, whilst a renowned academic, was also an entrepreneur at heart. Although most of our products are made in South Africa, it is Lesotho that gave me my start in life, and Byu-t̮i by Popz is my way of honouring my beautiful home country,” says Mokitimi-Dlamini.
More than just make-up
Women empowerment is the driving force behind the Byu-t̮i by Popz brand. The company is actively involved in two outreach programmes that are creating employment for women coming out of abusive relationships. In partnership with the Women’s Law Clinic in Lesotho and the Alexandra Centre for Abused Women in South Africa, Byu-t̮i by Popz trains these women to become beauty therapists and equips them with marketing and business skills to become financially independent.
“Many women remain in an abusive relationship for financial security. If we can shift paradigms and help these women to believe in themselves by building confidence in their abilities, then they can chart their course independently,” says Mokitimi-Dlamini.
For the women who work
The Byu-t̮i by Popz products are designed and assembled by Nthabi to enhance the natural beauty of professional women and aspiring businesswomen.
It is Mokitimi-Dlamini’s hope that Byu-t̮i by Popz will inspire women to enhance, rather than mask, their natural beauty.
“Although our products serve working-class women, our products are for any woman with dreams and aspirations. This includes our youth who need fewer barriers to participate in the beauty industry. One of the barriers tackled with our locally-made goods is price. Producing cost-effective goods without sacrificing quality will create opportunities for many women,” says Mokitimi-Dlamini.
For women on the go, the brand has created ‘Byu-t̮i in a Box’ which is produced in Boksburg, South Africa. The ‘box’ gives women the freedom and confidence to apply make-up while travelling and offers students and make-up artists a more affordable option than what has traditionally been available to them.
Byu-t̮i by Popz is celebrating its launch in Lesotho with guests, make-up artists, local entertainers and businesswomen on 31 October at the Black Swan Guest House.