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Glamour Women’s Month series: Getting to know Chané Fortuin

Chané is a Marketing and Customer Relations specialist, who has 9 years experience in digital marketing and customer relations, and 8 years of experience in entrepreneurship.

She then built up her own travel business organization for 5 years, and started an e-commerce beauty brand in 2019 where they now have over 1000 customers. HEBE Beauty is a brand born out of love for luxury beauty and a passion for entrepreneurship. As the Founder CEO and vision behind the brand, Chané is fanatical about encouraging women to feel confident with their real beauty by using luxury products that make them feel worthy of being a powerful woman.

Which woman has positively impacted you in your career/business? And what is the one lesson she taught you?

Rihanna with Fenty Beauty. Her Billion dollar business is successful because of her inclusion and diversity within the beauty industry. I have learnt a lot from the way she includes and speaks to all races, genders and cultures and has normalised it. Making her not only successful, but also making it impactful. That's really what all businesses should be about- making a difference or an impact.

What inspired your business idea and how did you start out?

With HEBE BEAUTY, I looked for an alternate solution to lash extensions as they were breaking my own lashes. Then I started wearing strip lashes but did not like the ones that were on the market so I designed my own. That then turned into a luxury beauty brand, whereby now we’ve also grown to sell luxury cosmetics.

With the Laser Bar that I part own, my business partner saw a gap in aesthetics and approached me and we merged to form a successful partnership.

What are the three words that spring to mind when you hear Women’s Day/Month?

Strength, Resilience, Beauty

What inspires you to be beautiful?

Being beautiful externally is just a way of feeling more confident, and being beautiful on the inside speaks to people's hearts and natures. The combination of both is important to me.

Has being a woman impacted your level of success in the industry? If yes, please provide clarity as to hindrances etc.

Being a woman can be a blessing and a curse in the beauty industry. For one as a woman it's easy to know what you’re looking for in a product and what you yourself would use, so becoming passionate about the kind of results you want comes naturally. This makes us valuable. Simultaneously, most of the high-level decision-makers in the beauty industry are still men. So being succumbed to men in that sense, certainly does affect our levels of success.

What is your personal beauty mantra?

A favourite red lip paired with a winged-eye and some lashes fixes everything :)

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female success?

Gender bias, stereotyping and lack of women’s rights in the workplace.

Your favourite beauty moment?

My favourite beauty moment has to be the moment of body size inclusivity. I absolutely love it!

Your biggest motivation?

My biggest motivation comes from my humble beginnings. My mother is a single parent and raised us on her own. That wasn’t easy to witness or experience and I’d like to make a difference in our family and leave a legacy for my own children one day.

What goals have you set for yourself? And do you have motivation for women out there who sometimes feel like giving up when they don’t reach their goals at the time they had anticipated?

I would love to take my brand international and be in stores such as Sephora one day. With Covid, it’s made it hard to reach goals for many and unfortunately some businesses have even closed down. Now more than ever, its important to be kind to yourself when you feel demotivated or like giving up, and focus on what you can do instead. Work towards your goals as much as you possibly can and don’t rush the process, especially when it's out of your control.

Image: Supplied

What is the most rewarding part about what you do?

Clients loving our products after all the work we’ve put into them and also happy clients from our Laser Bar, is extremely rewarding. When you provide a service and product that people feel satisfied with and as passionate about, there is no greater feeling.

What does it mean to you to be a young female entrepreneur in South Africa today?

To me, it means stepping out of the ordinary and making a difference in our society as a young female. Creating jobs and contributing to our economy, and also inspiring others. The ability, talents and mindset that I have been gifted with is very humbling and I feel blessed to be able to share that with others so they may be inspired to do the same.

Gender Based Violence (GBV) especially women and children abuse has been prevalent in the country for a very long time and there have been various initiatives that speak to this but the scourge of abuse still continues at a large scale, what would you advise as a solution going forward? And who should be involved?

Stricter legal policies and new laws for our justice system regarding such crimes. I do understand from the court reporting that I did when I did my Honours Degree in Journalism that it’s a much more complex matter and that there are many debates around it. But that is one way we can move towards addressing this abuse more seriously.

What are some of the great possibilities about being a woman in the world right now, that may not be easy to see but you feel women should take full advantage of without being ashamed or afraid?

There is a gender shift taking place at the moment whereby women are successfully taking on more leadership roles than before and more women are becoming billionaires. An example is the first female vice president of the US, Kamala Harris. We should all strive for such greatness as women, without any fears, because it’s already been shown that it is possible to achieve.

How has self-care contributed to the woman you are in all facets of your life? Why is self care important, particularly for women, as most women are raised to believe that they have to put everyone else first before themselves?

It’s really important to take care of yourself and not over give as one cannot pour from an empty cup. We do play many roles in society and we have been gifted with this biological ability but we should not neglect ourselves. I personally take a lot of time for myself and for self-care as I have realised that when I feel my best, I give and perform my best. Whether it’s to my relationships with others, family, work or even with physical activities, such as sports. And when I am having a bad day or I feel exhausted I am kind to myself and accept that I need a break and that it's okay to take one.

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