From Small-Town Girl to Big-time Entrepreneur Meet the Powerhouse That is Changing the Skin Care Game for Women of Colour
Your journey to great skin begins with Dr Cebi Sibisi; a qualified dermatologist successfully running her own private practice and recently launched online skincare store. From a small-town girl to a big-time entrepreneur this incredible woman is taking up space as a black female specialist in the private sector, paving the way for many others to come. Not only is she making expert skincare advice more accessible, her online store also provides personalised recommendations so you can take the guess work out of choosing the right products and just focus on living your best skin life.
We asked our new Skin BFF to tell us a little bit more about herself and her business:
- Who is Dr. Cebi Sibisi and what inspired you to start your business?
My name is Cebisile Nhleko – Sibisi, originally from the Mpumalanga Province in a small township of eMzinoni, in BETHAL formerly famous for its potatoes. I came to Durban in 1999 to study and eventually settled here. I am a proud mother of two and a wife to the most supportive, down to earth and handsome man I know ❣️.
I am a qualified dermatologist in private practice in Durban, which I started solo in 2017 after realizing the need for more female black specialists in the private sector. I specialize in clinical dermatology and aesthetic skin care treatments. I have a keen interest in the management of common conditions that affect skin of colour like acne, pigmentation, hair loss, non-invasive skin rejuvenation and skin cancer screening.
I pride myself in researching and utilizing new skincare techniques and consistently strive to provide the highest level of care to my patients.
I’m also passionate about education hence I am also a sessional consultant at King Edward Hospital VIII and a part-time lecturer and examiner for the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine institution and I try to encourage aspiring doctors to dream big!
I also recently started my online skincare store www.drcebionline.co.za to make safe, medical care skin care products more easily accessible.
- Why is the work that you do important to you?
I am very passionate about making expert and safe skincare advice and treatments more accessible so that people can make safe choices about the largest organ in the human body, your skin! I have witnessed an alarming number of people damaging their skins out of lack of information and accessibility of care and information.
Conditions of the skin can affect people in a significant way both physically and psychologically because most of the time they are visible to everyone and can affect how an individual interacts in public.
I find fulfillment in being able to see my patients regain their confidence with the treatments I provide.
- What are the key marketing strategies that have helped your business to date?
Social media – this has been very helpful as I use this to create educational and personalized content, which raises awareness and drives traffic to the business. I must say I’m not very great with the technicalities of social media (but I’m learning every day) hence I enlisted the help of a professional to assist me as I wanted my pages to represent the kind of service I offer and I believe it’s important to invest in your brand.
Networking and collaborations have also been a very fruitful strategy and I think it’s not utilized enough.
- What have you learned about business along the way?
The dream is free but the hustle is sold separately, the outside world only sees the end product, they don’t see the sweats and tears that go with it.
I respect all entrepreneurs because I know the struggle, there are up and down moments but you just have to keep moving, bills need to be paid.
A degree or an education does not necessarily prepare you for business, it just gives you the firm foundation that grounds you, but you learn the ropes and lessons of business from the outside world, so you have to be open minded and always willing to learn in order to better yourself.
Always be innovative as we live in fast paced times.
There is enough for all of us, just be authentic in what you do. Don’t try to replicate someone else, just stay in your lane and move at your own pace, it’s not a competition it must just be you versus you.
Know your ‘WHY’ so that when storms come you are able to stay grounded.
- What are your self-care tips for the IGC community? What routines help you refill your love tank?
I live by the motto ‘Taking care of yourself is an essential part of taking care of others. The healthier the tree, the better the fruit it can offer’
I am a firm believer that self-love or self-care is not selfish. You have to give yourself the same love, compassion and kindness that you give to those you love the most.
So, I have to constantly remind myself to intentionally do more of what I love because it’s easy to get busy and then cancel out on your plans to accommodate others. I am not the only one who benefits from my self- care – everyone around me benefits when my cup is full – my family, my friends, my staff and my clients.
These are some of the ways I refill my tank:
- I have coffee dates with myself
- Schedule spa dates or shopping sprees for myself (I’m a self-confessed shopaholic)
- Daily positive self-affirmations and spiritual devotions
- I look after my mental and physical health as my health is my wealth.
- I try to schedule a short left once in three months (it’s a bit hard now with the lockdown.)
- How can people get a hold of your products/services?
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6 Medigate Road, Medigate Medical Centre 2, Suite 2, Umhlanga Durban 4319