Siyavuya Bandezi (16), affectionately referred to as just Siya, is the founder and CEO of Liyana Beauty, a company specialising in ethnic plant-based hair and skin care products. director W had the pleasure of interviewing the teenpreneur.
director W: Running a business at just 16, seems like no easy feat. What is the hardest part about being so young with the responsibility of a whole brand?
Siya: Age stereotypes. The sustainability and credibility of your business is doubted based on your age.
director W: How did Liyana Beauty come about?
Siya: I love my natural hair in its default/factory state. I struggled to find products with less chemicals that are good enough for my hair, that’s how the idea first came to me. I started mixing oils and DIY butters at home to nourish and maintain my hair. Friends and fellow learners started noticing the difference in my hair and we started having these ‘hair conversations’. This is when I realised that more and more people are moving from chemical-based products to plant-based products and indigenous oils.
director W: What can you say to your peers who aspire to start their own businesses?
Siya: If you have an idea that you are passionate about and believe in it, just start. Don’t allow other people’s doubt about your idea to bring you down because no one believes in you until you are successful.
director W: Tell us 3 interesting things people might not know about you.
Siya: I love reading, I make hilarious jokes in Afrikaans with an accent and my mom is fan and I don’t believe in gender roles.