Retrenchee to entrepreneur – get inspired by MUD SA owner Brenda Botha

It takes courage to start a business with virtually no budget.
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Last year I was invited to a PR event to learn more about MUD South Africa. Little did I know that we would be meeting the owner, Brenda Botha – or that she would be so relatable.

I have been holding onto this piece about MUD since July! Inbetween we went to Reunion Island and we had another baby… but it was always there just waiting. I’ve rewritten it so many times because it felt like I didn’t do the experience or brand justice.

Retrenchment is coming…

A few months before Brenda was retrenched from her job at a cosmetics company she per chance met an owner of a South African based cosmetics company. At the time she wasn’t interested, but she took the card anyway.

After her retrenchment she decided to Google the company South African Mud Cosmetics but the website was down – instead she stumbled upon MUD in LA. She immediately fell in love with the brand and knew that this is what she wanted to do. She ordered samples…

When her MUD samples arrived, her fate was sealed.

Bringing MUD to South Africa

At first MUD wasn’t interested in expanding into South Africa, but Brenda was determined. Eventually she met with the LA-based owners and she made it happen!

It hasn’t always been easy for this non-corporate company with it’s small marketing budget in the beginning. However now MUD South Africa supplies professional make-up kits to students and make-up artists, train make-up artists and offer make-up services to the public. There are professional make-up kits as well as direct-to-consumer products.

What you need to know about MUD

MUD believes the true purpose of make-up is to correct, cover and conceal.

  • MUD products are pigmented, lasts longer and uses higher quality ingredients.
  • Quality comes down to the milling and pressing too.
  • Quality control – Each batch of products has to be quality approved before it gets sent out to customers.
  • MUD covers professional and home user products.
  • All MUD make-up artists have to complete their training at one of MUD’s training facilities.
MUD Cosmetics eyeshadow to lipstick

MUD South Africa is owned by a woman that had the determination to realize her dream – even after retrenchment.

What you need to know about Brenda Botha

Brenda Botha MUD SOuth Africa

  • Brenda was raised in the small Karoo town, Middleburg, and matriculated in Bloemfontein.
  • She went on to study Somatology and practiced as a beauty therapist for one of South Africa’s award-winning skincare brands.
  • She has the prestigious CIDESCO qualification for Beauty and Aesthetics under her belt and over 10 years’ experience in the beauty industry.

My MUD experience

What struck me most about MUD is the versatility and pigment in the products. The demonstration at the PR event included a day-to-night make-up look with a single palette; as well as a demonstration on using eyeshadow as lipstick; Swatching ourselves with eyeshadows and lipsticks was encouraged too.

  • I loved the magnetic palette casings that you could fill with all your favourite colors
  • The lipsticks…

I fell in love with this brand too, just like owner Brenda Botha. I also got to take home a little bit of her dream in the form of a MUD palette that I have been using regularly ever since.

Since the PR event I have been toying with the idea of following my dream too… and it involves makeup and investing in myself. Plus now that I’m on the road of not spending on doctors…

Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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