Belgium-based Rwandans bring makeup brand home

Tamiim Beauty's inspiring story started in December 2014 when Diane Ndamukunda, 27, and Ivan Mugemanyi, 29, decided to launch their makeup brand.
Makeup artist Ivan Mugemanyi studied Translation at Institut Superieur des Traducteurs et Interpretes (ISTI). (Sarine Arslanian)
Makeup artist Ivan Mugemanyi studied Translation at Institut Superieur des Traducteurs et Interpretes (ISTI). (Sarine Arslanian)

Tamiim Beauty’s inspiring story started in December 2014 when Diane Ndamukunda, 27, and Ivan Mugemanyi, 29, decided to launch their makeup brand.

Both young and talented makeup artists are university graduates— Ndamukunda did Communication at Université catholique de Louvain, while Mugemanyi studied Translation at Institut Supérieur des Traducteurs et Interprètes (ISTI) – both in Belgium.

They then learned make up for a year before practicing at MAC Cosmetics in Belgium where they trained themselves. Gaining in confidence and complicity, the duo of artists opened their own beauty company at 66-68, rue de Stassart, 1070 Brussels, offering make up services, workshops, tutorials and finally business services which included teaching work colleagues how to do their make up as a team building activity.

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Diane Ndamukunda has a degree in communication from Université catholique de Louvain.

Combining creativity, art and business appeared to be challenging at first as it was hard for people to understand why they should be paying for these kinds of services. The makeup artists’ Rwandan origins, however, gave them the necessary strength to move forward.

“Europeans are not used to seeing young black people turning creativity into business. It is very important for us coming from Africa to use our courage to really develop our business and show what we are capable of doing,” says Ndamukunda.

Indeed, “creativity is a way to empower ourselves, be proud of what we have, our talents and what we bring into the world” he adds.

For Ndamukunda and Mugemanyi, all the ingredients for success were there. But still, something was missing. And, after a visit to Rwanda in January 2015, Mugemanyi felt the urge to bring their business back home where opportunities were growing.

During his time in Rwanda, Mugemanyi regularly engaged in ‘what is your job?’ type of conversations, and realised that there was a real interest and fascination in the art of doing makeup. “You should come here!”, “MAC Cosmetics is awesome” or even “Come to Rwanda, we need professional makeup artists like you!” are some of the comments he often heard from people.

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The talented duo of makeup artists Diane Ndamukunda and Ivan Mugemanyi get ready for work.

When Mugemanyi flew back to Brussels, the first thing he did was to talk to his associate who instantly fell in love with the idea of getting established back home in Rwanda. After a couple of months of preparation, they were ready to try the Rwanda market. Spending the summer in Kigali, they came to the conclusion that this was only the beginning of something big here.

“We received a lot of positive feedback. It seems that fellow Rwandans really appreciated the fact that we work with great attention to detail, listening to our clients’ wants and needs,” says Ndamukunda.

With their forward looking vision, the talented duo brought a breath of fresh air to the country. “What makes us special”, admits Mugemanyi, “is the quality of our work and the products we use together with the services we offer”. However, when in Kigali, they don’t have a fixed location yet. Indeed, the makeup artists take their work very seriously. From choosing the perfect colour combination to the right product for every single skin type and colour, they master it all.

“Personality really defines you. Everybody has their own idea of beauty. We want to bring that individuality out. We want you to wear it on your face!” says Mugemanyi with a lot of enthusiasm. The duo is now back in Belgium, and are preparing their next visit to Rwanda – with view to strengthening their makeup brand, Tamiim Beauty, back home.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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