hi, my name is Rabia Ghoor and I am the creator of the website you're currently visiting from your cellphone / laptop
I started swiitchbeauty® 5 years ago, from a 4 square meter area in my bedroom. I was fourteen years old at the time
I want to say that I knew what I was doing - but I genuinely had no clue. To be quite frank - I still don’t
It all started when I discovered this incredible thing on the internet, called Youtube
At the time there weren't many South African beauty Youtubers, so I was mostly watching international makeup channels. I remember thinking to myself: “international makeup enthusiasts have so much more of a variety!” - American, European or Asian brands that are unavailable here in South Africa were constantly innovating & evolving - (especially in the digital space), while South African brands lagged behind or just straight up didn't exist.
I began researching product sourcing, formulation, e-commerce, packaging, manufacturing, design with the end goal in mind being to create a beauty brand that firstly, didn’t break the bank and secondly - made things that people would actually use in real life - things that did what they said they were going to do
I remember getting dressed for parties at friends places - and all the girls would pull out their little vanity cases and show off their internationally purchased, cult branded makeup
I wanted to create an affordable, local product the South African girl / boy felt proud to purchase, and more importantly - proud to use
The project started small, with an Instagram page & two products, and when I think back to how it's blown up - it's pretty crazy.
I guess most makeup that’s made isn’t made by the user - that’s the kicker
The product development process with swiitch is really close to home. The things I make are the things I use - so I’m able to optimise them for efficacy, ease of use & performance. I’ve also always maintained that the dynamic between my consumer and I is a conversation. Because of that I’ve managed to crowdsource a lot of really important ideas when it comes to the development of new things
For over a year, I ran the company whilst attending high school full time. It got to a point where I would be working until 3AM, and waking up for school the next morning at 6AM, just trying to balance every facet of the business alongside exams, assignments & extra murals.
It was a complete one woman show & I wasn’t coping. I think I also knew what I was trying to do with swiitch, and I knew it needed my full investment as a person.
I dropped out of grade 10 in May of 2016 to run swiitchbeauty® full time, got a little office space, hired some people.
As things progressed, I got a bigger office space and hired more people.
I was fourteen years old at the time of starting my business and I know it sounds cliché but I think when you're so young nothing seems unachievable, because no one's told you so just yet.
I am twenty this year, and it's all been kind a whirlwind, seeing the company go from inception to where it is now. I can’t believe I get to make makeup for a living. What a concept.
I am so grateful to my friends, family members and to you, sitting behind your screen, for your part in my journey.
love & gratitude