Alisha Ramasar – a proud combination of South African and New Zealander – has been living in SA for the last 13 years. Her successful career has spanned marketing, media and advertising, having worked across a number of global and local brands, and on both sides of the fence from client to agency. Her latest venture? Launching a skincare brand during a pandemic. Nice job.
For Alisha, Covid-19 was actually opportunity in disguise…
“[Covid-19 gave] me the opportunity to think beyond my current career path. To the point of asking: what else do I wanna do, what else do I love and where do I want to be five, 10, 15 years from now?” It was a natural but not immediate thought to head in the direction of skincare,” says Alisha.
It’s about finding skincare that works for you
Like most of us, Alisha found herself stocking hundreds of beauty products over the years. But she needed to cut through the “noise”. “[It was about] having a close and clear understanding of the marketplace I wanted to enter and not being distracted by the saturation of such a space… I knew that if I wanted to do this, I needed to do it from my heart and develop a range I would personally love to use. A range that spoke to my sister, my friends and, eventually, my daughters. Hence the birth of SMOOCH Skincare,” she says.
The journey counted in Alisha’s favour
When Alisha was in advertising, she was super passionate about the field. She loved it all: “The creativity, learning that there really is no box, and the encouragement to problem-solve across various brands and industries.”
But she didn’t stop there. “Then marketing and retail [became] my passion as my journey continued,” she explains. Alisha discovered her ability and love for the rush of retail, the organised chaos, the quick thinking and strategic planning it required.
Alisha is focused on growing SMOOCH – and she has the commitment and drive to take this budding brand to the next level. “I’m passionate about the journey, about growing and about pushing myself and boundaries,” she says.
So, how do you crack the beauty industry?
As in any industry, start from the ground up. “It’s the growing from the basic understanding of the field that builds the foundation for your development and success. Start by getting experience, any experience – work for free if you have to,” she says. “Make mistakes; learn from them. Challenge yourself and grow to know your strengths, your weaknesses and, ultimately, your passion. Push through.”
Make peace with the process
Like anyone entering the workforce, you can’t be expected to know exactly who you are, what your strengths or weakness are, or what aspect of your job you enjoy. “This lack of understanding makes it difficult for a newbie to grasp the potential goals they want to set for themselves. It’s hard to understand whether you’d enjoy being a CEO, entrepreneur or consultant,” she says. The important thing is to understand that it’s a process, explains Alisha. Don’t rush the process. Ask questions. Listen. Learn. You’ll find your way.
Alisha’s top money-saving tip
“I wish I was told about saving – or maybe I was told, but was too naïve to understand the importance of saving. Consider your income as a business. Work out your profits and then divide that by 50%. Forget about that 50% and place it in a savings account for a rainy day or two. Trust me, rainy seasons come and go. But they always come,” she says.
A book every woman should read
No one belongs here more that you. Stories by Miranda July. “It’s a quirky short story collection of the wonders and weirdness of womanhood,” says Alisha. We’re in!