Maureen Bandari, the owner of Bandari Beauty is a business woman with a charming, generously supportive soul. Maureen lives in Nairobi, Kenya and apart from being an accounting and finance professional, she runs a powerful business that has picked up almost since its inception. The eponymous Bandari Beauty box is a luxury curated box in which, Maureen hosts worldwide luxury skincare solutions products from famous brands across the globe. In one of the most recent editions, Bandari Beauty Box featured local, Kenyan skincare products. Below, Maureen walks us through her business and how she gets everything going. Sit back, relax, admire, and be inspired…. .
What is Bandari Beauty about?
Bandari Beauty is about offering solutions to the modern woman in regards to her make up and skincare needs. We retail popular brands for make up and skincare whose brands have not yet put up shop in Kenya and therefore we make these products available to our clientele locally
As for our beauty box, every month we release a beauty box that has 3-5 products. It can be all make up, skincare or a mix of the two. The idea is to encourage customers to experiment with various brands and to help them slowly but surely build amazing make up and skincare collections. Each box retails at KES 6000 in any given month.
Where are you mainly selling?
Our shop at the moment is primarily set up online and in particular on Instagram although we are soon launching our own website, for now a majority of the sales interactions happen on Instagram.
- Why that market?
The reason we chose Instagram is because majority of our clientele is always online and especially on Instagram and therefore it created the perfect opportunity to meet our customers exactly where they are. We tried Facebook before but that didn’t work out well.
- Why that type of client?
Majority of our clientele especially for make up are young working class women. These type of clients love the idea of looking good and being well put together. They are not afraid to spend on make up to enhance what they already have… the most exciting thing about this group of clients as well is that they are carefree and in most cases love experimenting which makes our work a bit fun because we get to explore make up and skincare together.
- Why that type of price range of KES 6000?
The modern woman we cater to loves the fine things and with that also means we have to stock specific brands which are of good quality and that in most cases attracts a specific price range which our client is able to afford. We do however try to balance both high end and affordable products to cater to all.
- How did you succeed in giving high-price/high-value?
It all boils down to the needs of your customers and responding accordingly. It’s not just about products for us, it’s about the whole shopping experience we give you and how your order makes you feel when it lands on your doorstep. So, if the customers prefer doorstep delivery, fast delivery and well packaged products, that is what we give them. Since we are into skincare as well, educating clients about their products and how to use them once the products arrive truly helps us to give them more value.
Where have you been seen?
We have been featured a couple of times in local magazines and newspapers but our favorite and most important feature has been in our customers’ pages vouching for us. That always humbles us.
Who are your most notable clientele?
Without giving names in general I would say we do have a lot of news anchors and tv personalities as our customers, high profile content creators but all In all nothing truly beats all our customers in general especially those who have been with us from the beginning.
How do you target your niche?
I mostly do this with influencer marketing and Ads and in the case of influencers we work with those who compliment our business and has an audience we are looking for. The most natural way we go about it is by stocking products that speak directly to our target customer
Do you do exclusive invite-only parties for your brand?
At the moment no but it’s something that is up in our to do list sometime in the near future.
Which are some of the African brands you have partnered with?
We have mostly partnered with Kenyan brands only. For our June and July beauty boxes we partnered with so many Kenyan brands among them being Lheritier Skincare, Basic Cosmetics, Joanna K cosmetics, Benji Cosmetics, Crayons and Ink,
Which big, foreign-based brands have you partnered with (products
The main partnership we have done is with vanity planet so far but we are in talks with two other brands as we speak.
How do you sell designer items to your clientele who are new to it?
Most of my clients are actually well travelled and they love to see these products available locally. Again since everything is digital nowadays, we are all able to consume international content at the comfort of our homes via youtube and social media in general so this has helped to break this barrier and make it easier to sell.
How do you sensitize those who are not used to high pricing levels?
We show them the value of investing in quality products. They serve you better and for longer and ultimately these products are cheaper because sometimes cheap is expensive. However, we also recognize that all our customers don’t have the same financial muscles and for that reasons occasionally we do allow payment in instalments and send out the orders upon completion albeit the payment period is never so long.
Where are you found?
At the moment mostly on Instagram ie instagram.com/bandaribeauty
What are some of the biggest things that you have coming soon?
Definitely our website for sure. It has been a labour of love as we focus on creating on of the best user friendly sites to make it easier and fun to shop online. A physical store is also something we are currently planning to have.