Starting a business from scratch and going on to firmly establish a rock solid brand identity is one thing, and quite another as a female entrepreneur to successfully manage to navigate the tricky male-dominated environment with the same gusto if not more.
Alexandra Botez, the founder of Slimatone, a health and wellness lifestyle brand reinventing the vitamin and supplement industry by advocating for a more holistic state of being, has not only managed to give some of the best wellness brands available in the market hardly three years into existence a run for their money.
With hard work and dedication – add to that a clear-cut strategy that sells the concepts of wellness as more than just being fit, but also about feeling good inside and indulging in experiences that promote healthy living, she’s has shown that women have all that it takes to own and run thriving businesses. The petite Johannesburg based businesswoman takes us through the pros and cons of managing and running a successful 21st century wellness business, and most importantly why it’s important to not allow themselves to be swayed by others’ opinions, “let alone those unfounded numbers showing that female-owned businesses tend to fail significantly as compared to that led by men”. It’s all a lie, she reassures.
Meet The Boss
Q. Slimatone is turning three this year. Take us through the journey on how has the brand evolved over the years.
A. It’s been a journey. Starting a new brand in South Africa has its challenges. South Africans have a tendency not to trust SA brands, but thankfully Slimatone is now a very well known brand, meaning the hard work has paid off. Together with my team, we have put a lot of thought into creating Slimatone as a brand and one of the best supplements money can buy. We didn’t compromise on quality, never cut corners, hence we chose to approach one of the best manufacturing facilities in the world, based in France. So we are strongly standing on what we are claiming on the packaging. We started Slimatone with the idea of becoming a brand of choice fully utilized by women. With time and lots of research, we discovered that 65% of the vitamin and wellness products are actually consumed by men. This year we starting to change the marketing strategy and introducing both men and women to our current range. In the past Slimatone had two owners: Hampton Pharmaceuticals and Alexandra Botez. This year I have decided to buy all the shares back and be more hands-on with the brand. Since then great changes are happening. You will have to wait and see and get excited with us for what’s coming soon.
Q. I understand that you are a firm advocate for healthy living and are working tirelessly to in making nutritional supplementation a more critical part of consumers’ journey towards achieving this. How are you going about that?
A. I’m one of those who strongly believes in taking a holistic approach to wellbeing; from eating healthy, to exercising regularly and having enough sleep for mental wellbeing. But the truth is I don’t have enough time to go to the gym as much as I would like to, simply because I have a business to run and it really does take a lot of my time. This is why Slimatone is such a good brand to help one cope with the day to day pressures and still be in good shape – so what I’m saying is ‘try to juggle everything at your best’. We are very active on our website, www.slimatone.co.za and social media pages, which are designed to provide visitors with useful information to help consumers make informed decisions regarding their lifestyle choices. We also put a lot of thought into getting the right ambassadors into our team. By right I mean women with careers, mothers, go-getters, fitness enthusiasts and everyone trying hard to be the best version of themselves. As women we get stuck from time to time, life gets hard, so these women will keep you motivated when you feel like out of luck.
Q. There’s a lot of misleading information when it comes to the importance and effectiveness of vitamins and supplements. What’s your advice to consumers looking to introduce supplementation to their nutrition?
A. This is a great question! My advice for the consumers is to read the label properly or even research the product before buying it. People lately are very price sensitive, I can see a big shift in the market. So as a new brand, we are starting to feel it quite drastically, that’s why we are chopping and changing quickly to meet the needs of our consumer needs. You can only sell a bad product once, the word spreads quickly so you always need to be careful about how you do things, especially in this tough market.
Q. Tell us about your upcoming range of sportswear!
A. We recently launched the Slimatone sportswear line on our website. Its been a year an a half process. Lots of researching, fabric testing, but the feedback is been amazing and I couldn’t be happier! I want to create a one-stop shop for a healthier you! Also, we are soon going to launch our recipe book. A full book with healthy recipes for vegetarians, vegans, and meat lovers combined. I like to take my time with it as I’m creating it from scratch. Besides, I don’t want it to be another book with random recipes.
Q. As a female entrepreneur, what are some of the struggles that you have to navigate on a daily basis?
A. Business, as they say, is a man’s world, but personally, I don’t agree with this perception. As women we are capable of running highly thriving businesses, even so still go back to our home to take care of the household. As a matter of fact, women are better multitasker than men, which is an essential skill one needs to run a successful business. So my advice to women entering the business world is to keep their head high and never give in to outside pressure.
Q. Your tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
A. I always advise men and women to eat in moderation, the importance of portion control cannot be stressed good enough. Pack your food if you are on the road, so you don’t have to buy unnecessary food items that might lead you to the wrong path on your diet journey. Drink lots of water, take your supplements and stay positive and active. Everything starts on the inside. If your mind is right your body will follow through.