In Conversation with: Maxine Adam
My name is Maxine Adam. I am a 26-year-old Zimbabwean entrepreneur. Early 2018 I launched a makeup brand called Christian by Hadassah. I am constantly challenging a past version of myself and I am highly emotional and receptive to the impact I have on others with the gifts I have been given.
How did you Christian by Hadassah come to be and why did you choose that name?
I have always been fascinated by makeup. I believe every woman is beautiful and every woman deserves to an opportunity to enhance their facial features using make-up. So, I decided to start my own brand that would deliver everything I desired in makeup. In a quest of my seeking something to give me a sense of self-fulfilment I decided to start a business in an industry I always found intriguing.
I chose the name "Christian" because had I not been a Christian I would never have been where I am today. I identify myself as a Christian, Hadassah is my other name. So, after some contemplation I decided to name my brand Christian by Hadassah.
Where does the inspiration for your beauty products come from?
I interact with a lot of women and we have discussions about challenges we face, regardless of trivia. I learn about what people expect from their makeup products and try to meet needs that other brands may be missing.
What have been your highs and lows of life as an entrepreneur?
My journey has been filled with quite a number of lows. I have been discouraged by people who thought the cosmetic industry was too crowded. Others thought people would prefer foreign brands, so we would not be able to get customers. Others said the name Christian by Hadassah would deter customers of a different religion. I was a little disappointed because when I started some people I expected to share the journey with me were absent when I needed their support. I also shared my ideas with certain people who instead of giving me the advice or support, they chose to take my ideas and tried to use them themselves.
I have had some highs too. Our sales have been continuously ascending rapidly.
What makes your brand unique?
We try to give people products most brands are not offering like our liquid highlighters. We also go out our way to make sure that our products have more to offer than the basic functions for example our Mascara comes with little hair strands that increase the volume of your natural lashes.
What is your vision for your brand?
I see my brand growing into one of the biggest, not just locally but internationally too. My vision is to reach a point where other brands in different industries will be looking for us to work with them.
When you are not working what do you do to relax?
I spend a lot of time at church. I find a lot of peace, spending time with the Lord. I also go to the gym, health and fitness are very important to me.
What products do you offer?
We sell lip stains, moisturised lipsticks, lip glosses, mink lashes, eyeshadow, liquid eyeliners, mascara, liquid highlighter, powder highlighter, beauty blenders, translucent power, concealer and makeup brushes.
If you were to give up something for a year what would it be and why?
If I could give up something for a year it would be meat. My friends and I once thought of becoming vegetarian for health reasons, but never actually did it so I guess it would be interesting to try.
What is the soundtrack to your life?
The soundtrack of my life would be "Am I wrong" by Nico and Vinz. I've always been one to defy the odds and be antagonised by people who would be trying to protect me.
Which entrepreneurs do you look up to and why them?
I look up to Strive Masiyiwa. Something about him being innovative, persistent and disciplined interests me.
Where can people buy your products?
For the mean time we only do mobile selling. People place their orders and we deliver.
What are you most proud of about being Zimbabwean?
My favourite thing about being Zimbabwean has to be the peace. I always feel safe in my country.
How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as a game changer. As the girl that made other people know that they can do anything if they put their mind to it.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially in the beauty industry?
Never be scared to pursue what you desire. Everybody starts small then builds from that. There is nothing such as "this industry is too crowded", almost every industry is too crowded, but you can get there and become bigger than the people who intimidate you now.
Instagram - @__Christian__by__hadassah
Twitter - @Christian_by_H
Facebook - Christianbyhadassahzw