We’re excited to introduce you to Barbara, the owner behind Victoria BC business BEBA Botanica. BEBA Botanica is a natural skincare and haircare company for “people with a zest for life and a desire to make a difference”. They create sustainable zero-waste personal care products. We hope you enjoy getting to know Barbara and her business more.
What’s your favourite thing about owning a small business?
- I love having the freedom to express my creativity and choose how I want to do business. People told me that you cannot run a profitable business and give 10% of your income to charity. People told me “there’s nothing special about soap!” Well, there’s something VERY special about what we do and the way we do it, and I LOVE doing it!
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
- I love travel, and have been so blessed to have travelled to so may places, but I have never been to Germany. It is a country that we all know about from history books, and I would love to visit and get to know it in its modern context.What 3 words best describe your business?
- Natural Clean Skincare
What’s one of your biggest values when it comes to your business?
- For me, integrity is the basis upon which trust between you and your customers is created: being honest about who you are, what you do and standing by those values.
- It seems that integrity has become a commodity in todays world, at the whim of the marketing departments which see green-washing as a part of their sales kit. But not for long. As people become more educated about their choices and more discerning with their dollars, I feel confident that companies with strong core values will triumph.
What’s the biggest problem your business solves for people?
- Plastic bottles and toxic ingredients. Our products contain neither. What started as a Hippo in the form of soap has now developed into a sustainable solution for natural personal care which doesn’t cost the earth. We cater to people who have sensitive skin and really care enough to consciously make a difference.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your business?
- Our biggest challenge has been a lack of financial resources to grow and a completely virtual market space. Making soap was the easy part. Learning how to develop a website, master Facebook ads and Google Adwords and Instagram was like going back to school all the while balancing running a business and doing all the manufacturing in house.
Aside from your business, what’s your biggest passion?
- My family. I have 4 gorgeous young adult children who inspire me to make the world a better place. I just love seeing the world through their eyes and sharing in their joy and wonder as they discover special places and experience adventure and love.
- Summertime at the beach, I grew up in a little town called Umhlanga Rocks on the East coast of South Africa- which was tropical and had the most beautiful beaches. Now, spending time on the beach takes me back in time to my carefree childhood, warm water and sunshine.
When people shop from you, how does that impact you and your family?
- When Covid-19 hit the world, I started raising money for a food charity in South Africa to support people with no-low income during this time. (#hipposforhope) My youngest son carved the hippo we now use to create our Hippo Soap, and I gave a hippo to everyone who donated. By June 2020 we were still in lockdown with no income and 4 kids to feed and educate, and we started selling Hippo Soaps to pay our own bills, giving 10% to charity. Today, our sole income is from Hippo Soap bars and our new range of zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars. So, when you buy from us, you empower us to do more and be more. Both to our own family as well as the many families that our #hipposforhope have provided for in Nolukhanyo.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about Victoria BC business BEBA Botanica. To learn even more and check out their products, click here.
To read more blog posts featuring BC businesses, click here.