Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Doing Business in China Presents: Tofanyi Coco Scrub, a Vegan Beauty Brand

Tofanyi Coco Scrub

What's your name and where are you from? My name is Abdourahamane ly, I’m from Guinea (West Africa).

What is the name of your Company? My brand name is Tofanyi - which translates as "natural beauty” in Susu language {of Guinea or Sierre Leone , West Africa}.

What type of product or service does your company provide? Tofanyi is a vegan skincare brand that creates scrubs using natural oils and more.

Did/do you study fashion or business? I graduated in Shanghai with an economics degree.

How did your journey begin? I became interested in the skincare industry after becoming vegan and finding out that it is extremely difficult to find vegan, cruelty free, and healthy products in China.  I purchased oils from west Africa in order to experiment, and once I formulated my products I started selling them at the markets.

What is the story behind your brand? Tofanyi is a natural brand that fights against animal testing and the use of any animal derivatives in cosmetic ingredients. We are looking to spread the cruelty free message across China while providing top quality skincare. 

How long have you been doing business in China? My company was registered in 2015. 
  What city do you live in? Shanghai.

How and Why did you start it in China? I came to China to study in 2008. After graduation I felt it was a great place to pursue business. 

What is it like doing business in China? Doing business in China is very challenging but with extremely good communication and connections anything is possible. 

Do you speak Chinese? Yes, I speak Mandarin. 

How does speaking Chinese affect you doing business in China?  It facilitates communication and without Chinese it would be extremely difficult for me to set up and operate a business here. 

How does being a foreigner affect you doing business in China? I think it has both positive and negative aspects. I think being a foreigner selling skincare can give you an edge, as many local [Chinese] brands are not likely trusted. However Business is heavily based on connections so you really have to put yourself out there in order to succeed and be accepted. The system can be hard to navigate as a foreigner, so it is definitely more challenging than running a business in your own country. 

Are you afraid that your products and or designs may be counterfeited and or knocked-off in China? Copyright theft is definitely a big risk in China, however the country is improving in tackling this issue. The only solution is to move forward and be ready to deal with any potential theft as it comes. 

How do you control and maintain the quality of your products during the manufacturing process?  I import argan oil directly from an organic farm in Morocco that I have personally visited. I work closely with the factory in China in order to ensure the ingredients sources are of highly quality . 

What's special or different about your product? our products are 100% vegan and cruelty free (rare in China).

How does your company/product impact the environment? In what ways?    We are a vegan brand that fights against animal exploitation and consumption which is directly affecting our environment. It’s believed that over 300,000 animals are used each year in China for the testing of beauty products. Even major imported foreign brands such as L’Oreal and Estee Lauder are required to be re-tested before being sold in China. We look for sustainable ingredients and try to make our packaging as eco- friendly as possible. We are hoping to reduce any unnecessary packaging in order to prevent waste. 

Where can the public find your products? They are available on Taobao and Weidian

Are you on social media? you can find Tofanyi on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Abdourahamane ly
Founder of Tofanyi
Any other comments? I hope more people will open their eyes to the atrocities that are committed against animals in order to help end cruelty. By choosing cruelty free cosmetics you are voting against the torture of animals. 

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