I just love to hear about entrepreneurial ventures by smart South African women. Christine Buchanan couldn’t find organic and eco-friendly baby products that lived up to her high standards, so she teamed up with her sister to create her own line.
Christine and Louiza created the Oh-lief Natural baby products range using only the best natural ingredients they could find. Theirs is a truly inspirational entrepreneurial venture undertaken by a passionate mother who only wanted the best for her baby.
How long has Oh-lief been going and how did you get started?
Oh-Lief has been going for about 2 years now, we started off with the baby range and launched the Adult range this year at Kamersvol Geskenke.
Who are the ‘we’ in Oh-lief, Christine Buchanan, mother of young Liam, and Louiza Rademan, sister and proud aunt. We were brought up in a family that valued the principles of a green and organic lifestyle and our love of all things natural has certainly influenced our decisions in establishing our Oh-lief brand.
When Christine was pregnant she could not find a skincare range for babies, or for herself, that she felt confident enough to use. We then decided to develop our family recipes into a full baby range, based on 100% raw natural ingredients, and hence, Oh-lief was born. Our name originated from the main ingredient in the Oh-lief waxes, which is Olive oil. Oh-lief is a word -play on Olive and the ‘lief’ represent our love for nature and eco-friendly products.
Our Adult range is an extention on our Baby range as we tend to forget about ourselves. These products are designed to pamper you safely and with a clean conscience to the environment.
Please tell us a bit about your philosophy.
All our formulations are consciously formulated to create a product that is ethically true to nature and as pure and gentle as baby needs. Our products are not formulated to fit into the commercial standards of ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ labels that we see so often in the market place. Rather they reflect what should be used on baby and expecting mom’s skin – pure raw natural and organic ingredients.
Oh-lief products are locally made in Cape Town, keeping our carbon footprint as low as it can be. We love our country and therefore are delighted to claim a proudly South African product.
We source our raw ingredients from local farmers in the Western Cape, which have a very similar ethos, therefore supporting our local community of farmers. Our products are biodegradable and not harmful to the environment, because we pick our ingredients straight from nature. We have a recycling programme running from the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock where we’re based. Moms who participate in the recycling programme bring their empty Oh-lief pots back to refill with Oh-lief wax. This makes us super excited to know there are moms like us who care as much about their little one’s delicate skin and the environment as we do.
Any tips for entrepreneurs starting their own lines?
Never accept no for an answer, it can always be done. A lot of big corporate companies are very intimidating and aren’t open to smaller business, but if you can choose to work with smaller companies you will be surprised how much more you can get done.
Where can we buy Oh-lief?
You can buy all our products directly from us or if they prefer they can buy at your stockists.
Baby Range: Wellness Warehouse ( Kloof, Cavendish, Palmayra, Plattekloof, Cape Quarter, Sea Point)
Healthy Life (V&A Waterfront)
Eco Bambino (online )
GreenLove ( online)
The heart store (Between Plett and Knysna)
The Fresh Earth food store (JHB)
Adult range: Wellness Warehouse (Kloof)
The Hearth store
The Harbour house ( Knysna + Plett)
We are always open to new stockist.
Who designed your lovely packaging?
The baby range was designed by Louiza (co-owner) and Catchatiger (www.catchatiger.co.za) and our adult range was in collaboration with Excelda Verwayen, Catchatiger and Louiza.
Oh-lief on Facebook.
Thanks so much Louiza and Christine!