FEMtrepreneur: Unaiza Suliman – Brow Queen and Businesswoman

Undisputedly owning the title of ‘The Brow Queen’, Unaiza Suliman is so much more than a pretty face with perfectly arched eyebrows. A diligent businesswoman who never stops working at building her empire and a pioneering force in the beauty industry, Unaiza takes the concept of ‘brows on fleek’ to a whole new level of expertise. After opening her very first brow bar in 2011 – with much success and a few stumbling blocks – this committed and resilient FEMtrepreneur rose from the ashes and rebuilt her brand into something even more dynamic and influential. Read on as this monarch of lush lashes and flawless brows shares tips on making it in the beauty business.

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FEMtrepreneur: Vanessa Alily – Comic Book Illustrator and Executive Media Director at Vanimax Comix

If there’s anything we’ve learnt from superhero movies, it’s that courage, self-belief and intrepidity conquers everything, and that above all, the faith we have in ourselves allows us to unleash our most unique and greatest power. 22-year-old Vanessa Alily has tapped into her own creative power, changing perceptions and altering traditional narratives by bringing a much-needed African overhaul to the comic world. As the Executive Director of Media Communications and Brand Strategy at her family-owned business Vanimax Comix, Vanessa not only manages the company’s PR, digital imprint and brand, she’s also a talented illustrator who creates her own comic books and characters. Championing the invincible force of ‘girl power’, Vanessa chats to us about her exciting career in the world of creative digital art.

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FEMtrepreneur: Zetske van Pletzen – Actress, Designer & Media Personality

Gracing the screen with her luminous presence and enhancing closets with her classic-chic clothing range, Zetske van Pletzen is a dynamic FEMtrepreneur, motivational speaker and actress with bales of talent. South Africans will recognise her exquisite features from local Afrikaans TV shows like Getroud met Rugby and Binnelanders (KykNET), the historical political drama Bloedbroers, and of course, everyone’s favourite soapie, 7de Laan. Zetske isn’t a stranger to the national theatre scene either, having appeared in many acclaimed musicals at the State Theatre. Her love for ‘fashion with functionality’ prompted her to start her own clothing line, Halo by Zetske, which caters to the stylish modern woman with elegant cocktail dresses, modish maternity attire and quirky printed lounge wear.

Zetske enlightens us on what it’s really like behind the scenes….and seams.

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FEMtrepreneur: Conny Oberrauter – Founder of The Cosmetics Chef

Busting the myth that you need to pay thousands for luxury skincare brands to see positive results, is beauty and chemistry maven, Conny Oberrauter who teaches women how to make their own products. Her diploma in Cosmetic Science, along with years of lab experience, has allowed Conny to learn the industry secrets to glowing skin and healthy hair. Meticulously devising simple and foolproof formulations, Conny published her first cosmetics recipe book in 2017. The FEMtrepreneur then started an online store to help budding skincare enthusiasts purchase all the ingredient kits required to concoct creams, scrubs, masks and balms that are ideally suited to their unique skin needs.

The Cosmetics Chef shares her expert knowledge on starting a business and creating your own natural beauty products at a fraction of the cost.

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FEMtrepreneur: Ayesha Seedat – Spice Queen & Creator of Krea Lifestyle

Sprinkling a zesty soupçon of aromatic flavour over pallid dishes, Ayesha Seedat wants us to change how we season food in a whole new, exciting and organic way. Her exotic range of all-natural spices and condiments have quickly permeated through the kitchens and cabinets of South African home cooks, and the reviews have been astounding. This mistress of spices established Kr3A just over a year ago, and already has well-known stockists around the country queueing up to sell her mouth-watering range of artisanal relishes, tea blends, spices, sauces and ready-to-cook meals. The Johannesburg-based momtrepreneur shares her passion for wholesome food, authentic seasonings and growing her flavourful empire.

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FEMtrepreneur: Alyssa Brody – New York Real Estate Expert

As long-time admirers of New York’s palatial apartments, trendy lofts and luxurious townhouses – as seen on shows like Gossip Girl and Million Dollar Listings – we’ve wondered what it’s like to be on the other side of this fascinating world of property. And we found no one better to unfold the red carpet of realty than licensed broker Alyssa Brody. Named as one of Manhattan’s top agents last year, this industrious mum-of-two runs The Alyssa Brody Group at Compass in NYC. Graduating from New York Law School with honours, she specialised in Real Estate Transaction and Taxation. At just 32, Alyssa’s intuitive negotiation skills, principled and trustworthy character and strategising techniques have positioned her as a leading figure in the property game. Finding time to catch her breath in between listings and consultations in the city that never sleeps, Alyssa shares her secrets to success in a fiercely competitive industry.

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FEMtrepreneur: Asmaa Sabiq – Creative Mind behind Alionka Chocolaterie

Mingling a woman’s two favourite things – chocolate and beautiful bouquets – master confectioner Asmaa Sabiq moulds prosaic slabs of chocolate into fanciful three-dimensional works of edible art. Whipping up whimsical edible bouquets from her workshop in Casablanca, Morocco, Asmaa – who was trained by a Russian chocolatier – redefines gifting and food design with her captivating creations. This enterprising #girlboss also has a marketing degree to her name and a business management qualification from ISCAE Casablanca and ICHEC in Brussels, respectively. Her savvy business sense combined with adept artistry helped establish Alionka Chocolaterie in 2018. Asmaa shares a few sumptuous secrets behind chocolate-making and being a FEMrepreneur.

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FEMtrepreneurs: Karishma Bhatia & Poonam Chauhan – Founders and Designers of NESS Shoes

They say that good shoes take you good places. So, when two ambitious friends with a passion for shoes and an eye for design decided to build a business around formative footwear, they knew that it would lead them to great places. Mumbai natives, Karishma Bhatia and Poonam Chauhan noticed a void in the footwear market, where women weren’t able to source the type of niche shoes they desired. This inspired them to create NESS, a new-age designer footwear brand that allows the customer to conceive their own, personalised shoe design.

These young and dynamic FEMtrepreneurs learnt the ins and outs of footwear construction and established their company, Walking Wardrobe, in January 2017. They’ve been steadily climbing the slope of success since then, (in fabulous shoes, naturally), and spared some time to tell us more about their pioneering business model.

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