Ever since her childhood, Maxima has been a trendsetter and leader with a keen eye for detail. Having passed her exams with flying colors Maxima joined Makerere University to pursue a Degree in Electrical Engineering, which she excelled at – graduating with a First Class. She was on the Premier team that built Uganda’s first hybrid car – the Kiira EV.
She then joined the Petroleum industry first as a Joint Ventures Coordinator with Total E&P Uganda and shortly after as field engineer with Schlumberger where she went to work in Pointe Noire, Congo. However, despite all this seemingly successful career, Maxima’s true passion was elsewhere – in the Cosmetics industry. And after three years of working at Tullow Oil where she was working as an expatriate and traveling the world, she quit her USD 8000 a month to follow her dream. She first created a comprehensive business plan which she shared with her grandmother for strategic guidance from an experienced and successful entrepreneur. Livara was then officially birthed in May 2015.
Maxima’s Livara Shea Butter Cosmetics
Livara is the first brand in East and Central Africa to manufacture natural and organic lipsticks in the region. Livara lipsticks are made using Ugandan Shea Butter, Castor Oil, beeswax and Brazilian Carnauba Wax. Since their releases in June 2016, the lipsticks have sold more than 2000 units.
Livara focuses on extracting shea butter from the shea nuts collected by local farmers and processing the butter into different hair and body products and lipsticks. Livara products are sold both locally and internationally. All Livara products are retailed in Livara stores which are the first of their kind in Uganda. A one brand, one stop shopping center for 100% Ugandan manufactured natural and organic cosmetic products. The products are manufactured, stored and branded with international standards. The first store was opened on the first floor of The Cube in Kisementi and eight months later, a second and franchised store was opened at Kampala Boulevard. Livara is already implementing a franchise business model right here in Uganda. Talk about trendsetting with international standards!
To date, the Company employs 11 people 8 of whom are women and it has developed a network of well over 2000 farmers on the outskirts of Soroti organized in smaller groups. Because the shea tree is cut down for charcoal, it is important to sensitize the communities about the financial value of not cutting down trees. Shea butter is a $3 Billion industry as of November 2015. The communities are also sensitized about alternative means of revenue acquisition, such as farming other oilseeds like sunflower.
Maxima plans to set up a Shea Butter and oilseed processing factory soon. This will create employment directly and also increase the demand for nuts and seeds. Through the Livara foundation, some children of the impoverished farmers are sponsored in good schools in Soroti. The plan is to have at least 250 children sponsored academically within the next 10 years.