Founder, Corium Skincare
Vuyi Zondi (28) is inspired by the need for black Africans to create their own beauty products and promote those products — a radical decolonisation of beauty standards, of sorts. She says: “We shouldn’t need Western popular culture and blog culture to tell us that shea butter and African black soap are good for skincare, when they have been staples of our beauty practices for decades — we should already trust and own our beauty knowledge.”
Zondi founded Corium Skincare in April 2016, a move that’s seen her transition from “passionate about self-care and natural products” to “one to watch in the natural beauty market”. One of the hallmarks of Corium is its reliance on traditional beauty practices, specifically African and Indian practices.
Zondi hopes for Corium to grow into a voice of authority in the natural skincare arena. She’s mastered marketing through social media and is constantly engaging with consumers to grow the brand. In just a year, she has built a natural beauty skincare range that has the market’s attention.
Aside from founding Corium, Zondi is also a management consultant, itself a demanding profession. She has leveraged her corporate experience in strategy consulting to grow Corium. “I think I was able to transition my beauty interest into a business because it was an organic passion,” she notes. “It’s what I love. Identifying the gap, getting in and exploiting it became so much easier because it was a natural progression. I am not trained in beauty, and I could have gotten into any business aligned to my academic/vocational background, but I chose beauty because it resonates with me — it’s in me.”
She has been featured in various notable publications, further cementing the Corium brand and teaching consumers about healthy and sustainable beauty habits. Seeing her grow the business, grow her professional profile and constantly work 18+ hour days to make her dreams a reality is inspiring. Zondi hopes to see more ownership and more pride for Africans.
— Sifiso Buthelezi