Moroccan Entrepreneur Builds Cosmetics Business In Brazil


(MENAFN- Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA)) São Paulo – Born in Safi, a coast city in western Morocco , Youssef Harmali, 53, decided to start Zeena, a business of cosmetics from Morocco in Brazil, in 2014.



Clay is sold under the Zeena brand

The entrepreneur, who holds a degree in Cinema and Visual Arts, has brought two eco-sustainable, vegan, organic products , for skin and hair care, certain that they would be a hit among Brazilian women. The belief became a reality, and now the Argan oil and the Rhassoul clay can be bought from anywhere in the country on the company's website .

“The Brazilian public reception was great from the beginning as I got into this industry at the right time. At that moment, many women who were stopping straightening their hair were getting interested in the hair transition, so they were seeking natural goods to take care of their hair,” said Harmali.

Before starting to import cosmetics from Morocco approximately a year earlier, Harmali had tried to bring in another item to the Brazilian market, an olive oil from Turkey. The business didn't fly, and nine years ago the Moroccan entrepreneur chose to switch products.

“Back then the market was in a bit of a crisis, and one of the few types of goods that were still bought were the cosmetics. I alone invested some BRL 45,000 [approximately USD 9,000] and started importing them. The clay was already pretty famous in the United States and Europe but was still little know around here,” the entrepreneur points out.

The Rhassoul clay, which is only found in Morocco, may be used in skin, hair and nail care.“The clay is bought in stone, and here we grind it a little until it becomes the product. The item bought on our website can be mixed into shampoos and hair creams to boost their cleaning action.”



Argan oil moisturizes the hair

The Argan oil, which is quite popular in the country, has the primary function of moisturizing and nourish the hair strands. Harmali explains that the oil that is commonly sold in Brazil is diluted to just about 2%, while the product by Zeena is 30 ml of pure Argan. The oil bought in Morocco doesn't go through any process to be sold to Brazilians.

Used to living away from his country of origin, the Moroccan was raised in France and lived there for many years. His professional training led him to live in countries like Greece and Portugal before coming to Brazil. The choice was motivated mainly by the climate of the new country.

“I had been already wanting to live here for quite some time. I came to Brazil 14 years ago in search of a quieter life. I decided to come on my own to venture to live in another country,” Harmali recalls.

In search of investors, the Moroccan wants to launch in the future a line with six products made from Rhassoul clay and Argan oil .“We must get investments of BRL 150,000-300,000 [approximately USD 30,000-60,000] to launch the new products. This line would feature a shampoo made from Rhassoul clay and Argan oil, a hair moisturizing cream, a solid shampoo, and a skin cream,” he says.

Report by Rebecca Vettore, especially for ANBA

Translated by Guilherme Miranda

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The post Moroccan entrepreneur builds cosmetics business in Brazil appeared first on Agência de Notícias Brasil-Árabe .

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