Oske's all-Natural Lubricant and Fleur Intimate Wash use nourishing, natural and vegan ingredients.
Lizanne Van Niekerk and partner Ross Suttner formulated the idea of OSKE in January 2018, and it came to life in November that year with the launch of OSKE's Aqua Lubricant. The two entrepreneurs were driven by the desire to create something new and to solve a meaningful problem in this world. Over weeks and even months, the two wrestled and tussled with the idea of launching something vital and impactful in their community. Then on the 26th of January, while listening to one of her favourite podcasts, Lizanne was caught by surprise, while three of the hosts were casually discussing a coconut oil lubricant.
“Lube was supposed to be awkward, embarrassing and for old ladies, but these super cool girls were chatting about it like a favourite mascara!”.
It dawned on Lizanne that this was something South Africa needed as natural lubricants that are in South Africa are all imported and very expensive. A local natural lubricant was non-existent. A local product with the ability to give woman confidence, to make them feel beautiful in their own skin and break down the stigmas of shame and secrecy woman have around their bodies that are socially inherited was essential to the South African market. There wasn’t only a product gap in the market, but a gap in the confidence of women.
“I immediately texted my boyfriend “New business concept!! All-natural, organic lube! Gluten-free, sugar-free and slippery”.
A year after Aqua Lubricant was released, OSKE launched their second product- Fleur Intimate Wash. OSKE’s products are all-natural and created from nourishing ingredients. Along with their core traits of being cruelty-free, vegan and having recyclable products. OSKE’s blog provides readers with a comfortable and informative experience that addresses topics that are crucially important but aren’t addressed enough- empowering women to feel extraordinary in their own skin.
OSKE’s success was not without its challenges. OSKE took twice as long as we originally thought to get to market due to minimum runs across many industries. Then there were challenges of the lockdown- It had its setbacks as in the beginning we couldn’t operate at all. Although, the change it has had in E-Commerce has bought new opportunities, paths for exploration and greater solidarity amongst local businesses. It has created awareness around what is local and how we need to support these local businesses now more than ever.
What are your superpowers?
“Connecting with our customers, obsessing with service and committed to the bare necessities”. Through Instagram, OSKE can reply to DM’s quickly and be in closer touch to their customers.
“With products that are so intimate you want to create that close connection”.
What do you love about Africa?
“The abundance of opportunities, nature and resources! There is so much that can still be done here, that hasn’t already such as new challenges and gaps in the market that need to be fulfilled. As an entrepreneur, you never going to run short of things to do in Africa- we are a frontier continent. Africa gives people the ability to be brave and take a chance”.
What made you take the step into the unknown to become an entrepreneur?
“We needed a hobby and don’t enjoy team sports...It does have its challenges, but it is also a creative outlet. You have to be super creative and a problem-solver, those are the challenges we kind of enjoy. Something about entrepreneurship is that it activates every single part of your mind and you have to put on various caps- either the marketing cap, production, or customer service. It requires you to be completely whole and completely dynamic. We come from generations of entrepreneurs, and so it was our time to see if we’ve got the mettle”.