How I turned my calling in skin care into a successful beauty company

Sonnie Kamau - Founder, Sonnie Touch Wellness. Photo | Pool

What you need to know:

Sonnie Kamau, popularly known as Sonnie Touch is the CEO and founder of Sonnie Touch Wellness Center and Sonnie Touch Botanical Skincare Products

“Unpopular opinion, ‘having healthy and glowing skin doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. I believe skincare will only cost you more if at all you have skin concerns you’re treating such as repairing and/or reversing skin conditions,” Sonnie Kamau, tell me as we settle down for an interview. 

“Once your skin is stable, you’ll be surprised at how much less you’ll spend to maintain and protect your skin,” she adds. 

Sonnie, popularly known as Sonnie Touch is the CEO and founder of Sonnie Touch Wellness Center and Sonnie Touch Botanical Skincare Products. She boasts over 10 years in the industry. “Mine is a passion actually. A passion that started back in Primary School. See, I come from a family with flawless skin but back then, I saw some of my friends struggle with acne and they would always ask me what the secret to my smooth skin was. When I told them I used the basic products, they never believed me,” recalls the mother of one who is in her early 30s.

“I would try and talk to my mum about my friend’s skin issues being that she had a lot of skincare products herself but this did not yield much as she didn’t have the specialised knowledge. Seeing how skin concerns affected some of my friends’ confidence literally gave me sleepless nights. I felt that I needed to give them solutions. To date, if a client has skin concerns that prove hard to deal with, I do not rest till I get a solution,” says Sonnie. 

Some of the skincare products by Sonnie Touch Wellness. Photo | Pool

After high school, Sonnie knew she wanted to pursue a beauty course and enrolled in Vera Beauty College for a cosmetology course. 

After graduating, she landed several internship positions and as much as she took up the opportunities, she was restless. She knew she wanted more and she started signing up for seminars on skin care. This initiative saw her travel to countries like Dubai, Turkey, the United Kingdom and South Africa. 

“I am glad I took the initiative to apply and sponsor myself for some of these seminars, I created strong networks that have stood the test of time and that is also where the motivation and encouragement to start Sonnie Touch Wellness Center came from,” she says. 

On whether she has any mentors locally, Sonnie scoffs. “You know how we’re told to get a mentor in your industry because they’ll help you since they understand the journey, well, I tried, but back then everyone I tried reaching out to flatly turned me down. I don’t blame them though. Remember, I told you mine is a calling? I prayed a lot. I also turned to reading more books, doing lots of research and attending international seminars on skin care. I also made a promise, to be the mentor I never had,” she shares. 

But Sonnie says, there is not a single thing she would change about her trajectory. “I believe that everything that never worked out was a preparation for the current me. I believe everything works out best. I’m happy at peace and content with where I am,” she says. 

Sonnie, who recently started producing and selling her own skincare products dubbed Sonnie Touch Botanical Products, owes her success to consistency, patience and remaining authentic. “It’s not always rosy, but you have to keep at it to break even. The dream of having my own products started to come alive in 2020—in the middle of the pandemic,” Sonnie shares. 

She started her line by distributing samples to different people with different skin types/ conditions and in different counties and countries. 

“These were people I had done consultations on and so I knew what they needed. Every month, I would do a follow-up on each of them and then record. They reported good progress and this was encouraging for me. It took me over one and a half years to collect all the data I needed for my products,” she says.  

Her products, she says, are designed for all skin types and conditions and are purely botanical. “They are also very effective and pocket-friendly,” she emphasis. 

As a leader, Sonnie says she has learnt the three gold qualities of leadership: A-attention, C-consistency, and P-patience, (A.C.P). 

‘I also take time and try and learn as much as I can from my employees, she notes.” On the challenges that she faces, she hilariously notes that some clients expect to see results overnight. “Based on reviews, some people tend to think I perform magic. They want overnight results. I try as much as I can to educate them that skincare is a journey and before they commence, their mindset has to be ready,” she quips. 

Sonnie notes that theory is not equal to practical. “Don’t rely on Google too much. Also, skin care product sellers and specialists should work hand in hand. An ideal situation would be when a product seller advises their client to seek consultation from a certified skin specialist before selling them products. This would save consumers from damaging their skin which may lead to spending more money on repairing and reversing skin conditions,” she shares. 

 “For one to be successful in maintaining healthy and glowing skin, you have to be self-disciplined, have self-control, be motivated, persistent and set realistic skin goals. It doesn’t happen overnight but once achieved, it is worth the tedious journey. Remember, skincare is a need while make-up is just a want,” Sonnie who loves to chill with green tea, dehydrated fruits or bubbles, concludes.