Dublin – Catching Up with Ntombenhle and Morra
Sarah Taylor, Vital Voices Senior Program Coordinator, Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship
Ntombenhle Khathwane and her mentor Morra Aarons-Mele, did not waste a moment of the GAP Dublin week. As CEO and founder of AfroBotanics, Ntombenhle transforms culture through her natural and body care product line. Morra, founder of Women Online/The Mission List, is an award winning internet marketer. So it comes with no surprise that by Wednesday afternoon they already had a plan in place to increase AfroBotanics’ sales while expanding the mission.
What are you excited about so far this week?
One of my big goals was wanting my mentor to help me unlock a major marketing campaign for the “golden quarter.” In retail, September to December is a really big deal and I wanted an idea to market differently and position my brand differently. I knew as soon as I got the email introducing me to Morra. I was like okay, this is the mentor I need.
No, it’s all her!
What is the campaign going to be?
We are going to have a campaign with two hashtags. One of them is #MyBeautifulChristmas and the other will link to my hashtag #MyKindOfBeautiful.
It was fun this morning because we went through her Facebook analytics. It set us up really well to create the marketing KPIs that need to be put in place as well. She’s got it!
What else having you been working on at GAP?
Morra told me today that one of the major problems I have is that I am caught in the weeds. I am in the engine room. I need to get out and hire someone to do marketing.
Or if you don’t hire someone to do marketing, then hire someone to do the other stuff so you can have your time focused on marketing.
Yes, because I do love my brand. It’s my baby.
You are your brand.
What is your biggest takeaway?
I need to actually work on the business instead of working in the business. Activities like simply working on my vision and mission.
Yesterday, I spent three hours on the phone with my partner making sure they were bought into the mission and values. I hadn’t really ever written it out before. I’ve always known what they are, but I never actually wrote them down.
My biggest takeaway, other than the fact that I am blown away by you, is I truly believe that you are visionary. You have such a clear mission to transform, not just women’s lives, but men’s lives and the social and political fabric. Hair and beauty products is the vehicle for that right now. But who knows what it will be in twenty years.
You know exactly what you stand for. It’s just about logistically freeing you up in your day-to-day so you can be it every day.
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Photography: David Hume Kennerly