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Hellen Dausen wanted to be a professional model and she was serious about it. After graduating with a BSc. in International Business Administration and Entrepreneurship from the United States International University-Africa in Nairobi, she participated in the 2010 Miss Universe Tanzania beauty pageant and won. As the winner, she received a scholarship to study performing arts at the New York Film Academy and the opportunity to pursue a modelling and acting career. But things did not turn out as expected.

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“It was hard to get jobs and even harder to sustain myself while living in Los Angeles,” Dausen recalls. “I later made a bold decision to come back home with nothing to show for it.” That was in August 2012. After four months of soul-searching, she found the inspiration that birthed Nuya’s Essence – an all-natural bath and body care brand based in Zanzibar.

How did this all start?

In early 2013, baobab oil became very popular in Tanzania as a food and skincare product. One day it struck Dausen how absurd it was to use the natural oil after showering with a soap that contained chemical elements. She considered the possibility of having a baobab soap. While researching how to make baobab soap, she found out that there were many natural skincare products that weren’t available in Tanzania. “So many women wanted these natural skincare products. Some were ordering from abroad with expensive shipping costs.

Source: How we made it in Africa