The brand now has two offices in Bloemfontein and Johannesburg, which currently manufacture the range of maxi pads. But founder Matefo Morakeng plans to manufacture other ranges.
Author: Tebogo Mokwena
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The importance for girls and women to have the means to buy quality sanitary napkins is the reason behind Matefo Morakeng’s Dear Bella Sanitary Pad business. A pack of Dear Bella sanitary napkins costs less than R10, compared to the usual price between R20 and R30, a pack of 10 pads.
In a short time, Morakeng was able to secure a distribution deal with a major retailer thanks to government intervention.
She told Vutivi News that Dear Bella started in 2018.
It now has two offices in Bloemfontein and Johannesburg, which currently manufacture the range of maxi pads. But it plans to manufacture other ranges. Morakeng thinks that going into the business was obvious.
“A lot of girls in South Africa can’t afford sanitary napkins and some go so far as to sleep with older men because they know these men will give them money for them. can buy toiletries for themselves, ”she said. “I also wanted a sanitary napkin that was suitable for the average girl in townships and rural areas in the sense that it is a brand owned by a black woman that they can certainly relate to.”
When Morakeng started, she was selling her product in local markets in Bloemfontein. This caught the attention of local supermarket retailers and she started supplying them.
He was later spotted by the Small Business Development Department. Morakeng said his sanitary napkins were selected as one of 1,000 locally made products to be purchased by the government as part of its localization program. “The department saw my product on the local market in a cash and carry in Qwaqwa and contacted me. Then they helped me get a distribution deal with Dischem, ”she explained.
“My product is already packaged, certified and tested by the South African Bureau of Standards and complies with ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards,” she said. Morakeng said Dear Bella is now available at Dischem pharmacies in Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Northwest. It was also exported to Lesotho.
She also said that Dear Bella distributed free sanitary napkins to seven girls per month.
“The initiative is called Guardian Angels, and we encourage people to sign up and pay R99 per month. We always get requests from different parts of the country, and sometimes we get requests from schools and when we donate, we donate to more than seven girls, because the goal is to provide them with something that is crucial for their hygiene ”, the business woman mentioned.
“The program is part of the brand. Sometimes it is difficult to get donations from people because of the economic conditions, but there are those who do their best to help because they know how important it is to preserve the dignity of young girls by helping them to survive. have access to sanitary napkins.