Constance Bhebhe, affectionately known as Connie Bhebhe, is the Founder and CEO of Bhebhe Groupe, a holding group that houses four highly competitive and innovative companies with a internationally widespread clientele.
Operating primarily in the self-care, nutrition and fitness arena, the Bhebhe Groupe partners and collabs with well-known celebs such as Boity Thulo, Pearl Modiadie, Amanda Du Pont and Sbahle Mpisane.
So, one word: successful.
Connie chats to Go Hustle writer Ondela Mlandu about exactly how she became a self-made businesswoman, and dishes her top tips so you can do it too.
How did she start her businesses?
Six years ago, Constance Bhebhe started a fitness company named Cobe Fit designing and selling sweat belts for men and women needing extra help to trim their core and achieve belly confidence. Two years later, she launched her own black-owned cosmetics brand in South Africa: Connie Transform.
“Starting a business must be your honest true passion,” says Constance. “In a world of social media, it can be difficult to decipher between a trending interest and passion,” she says. Her passion: fitness and beauty.
So, how did she actually start her businesses though? “Look for an angle that isn’t overly saturated, pay for a professional photo shoot to capture your products in the best way possible, publish your images and you’ll see avenues start to open,” says Connie.
Here’s how you can do it too
If you’re looking to get into the beauty industry, specifically make-up and cosmetics, then a good bet is an internship working as an assistant to a professional make-up artist, where you can learn the tricks of the trade. “In the fitness industry, you can be self-taught; however, enrolling in a personal trainer or a nutrition course will give you credibility,” she adds.
And don’t forget YouTube! The platform has become a serious networking tool. “Find entrepreneurs who are in similar businesses to what you want to achieve, and watch their vlogs. Technology has given us different platforms that we should utilise. Listen to podcasts too!” says Connie.
Trust in your abilities and you will go far
“Everything I am doing is an idea I came up with on my own, not by following what other people are doing. I am always 100% confident about my business decisions. Even the ideas that weren’t always good decisions, at the time, I was confident, I did the right thing at that time…” she says.
Also, persistence is key!
In the cosmetics industry, says Connie, you’re only limited to your population. “We live in a country where weddings and events are abundant – there’s room to grow. However, after many years of practising, it is possible to feel limited. The options thin out quickly,” she says.
How to expand your cosmetics business? Open a make-up school or start a cosmetics line. “If you’re not a true businessperson, you can find these to be challenging – that’s why persistence is key!”
Top tips, tricks and life hacks
1/ “Don’t assume anyone is smarter than you. They might be, but don’t go into situations automatically thinking your opinion is second to anyone else.”
2/ “Trust your intuition!”
3/ “Spend a little more time alone and be okay with it.”
4/ “When you wake up, don’t jump onto your phone right away. Allow yourself 15 to 60 minutes of ‘awake time’ to be with yourself. Your best ideas and solutions to problems will come at this time.”
5/ “You’re less likely to experience ‘imposter syndrome’ when your decisions are coming from a place of deep self-awareness.”
A book every woman should read…
“I’d highly recommend a book I wrote called A Young Woman’s Guide to Creating a Balanced Life and The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller.”
Here’s what self-care looks like for Connie
“I spend a lot of time by myself and I love it! I cook the most delicious meals for myself every day. I’m also passionate about fitness. I do a workout programme that strengthens my mind as well as my body – it looks something like Pilates, but it’s more intense. I practice affirmations and innately feel that I am chosen and blessed.”